Whether you are an executive renting a condo in Billings, a new parent leasing a house in Helena, or an MSU student living in an off-campus apartment in Bozeman, if you are among the many tenants in Montana, you can benefit from having the protections of a good renters insurance policy.
Local independent agents can help you find a suitable policy at a great price. These agents aren’t tied to a single insurance provider, so they can provide you with a variety of customized renters insurance quotes that you can review together. Find an independent insurance agent near you to learn more.
Is Renters Insurance Required in Montana?
Renters insurance is not required by law in Montana. In fact, this coverage is nearly always optional except for the few instances where your landlord may require it as a term of your lease.
Make no mistake, though. Just because it is optional does not mean that renters insurance is not important. Having a policy can ensure that you are protected against a number of potential hazards that can lead to large financial losses.
Even though renters insurance has many benefits, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that only 37% of tenants in the US have it.
In Montana, where the average rent is $810 a month, and 41.1% of tenants spend more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities, it makes sense that people do not want to add to their housing costs by buying an optional policy. However, renters insurance costs less than you might think.
How Much Does Renters Insurance Cost in Montana?
The average renters insurance policy in Montana costs just $147 a year. This is only around $12 month — a very small price to pay for the peace of mind a good policy can give you.
Some of the factors that may influence your renters insurance rates include:
- The estimated value of your personal belongings
- The crime rate and weather risks where your home is located
- The amount of liability coverage you are purchasing
- The size of your deductible
- Whether you are bundling your renters insurance with another policy like car insurance or life insurance
By taking the time to compare quotes from a few different insurance companies, you can be sure that you are getting your coverage at a competitive price. Independent agents make comparison shopping easy.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover in Montana?
Renters insurance is designed to protect against most of the risks you are likely to face as a tenant in Big Sky Country. You can expect your policy to provide three types of important coverage. These are:
- Coverage for your personal property: This is called contents insurance. It can cover repair or replacement costs if your personal belongings are lost or damaged due to a covered event such as:
- Fire, including accidental fires and wildfires
- Property crimes, including burglary and vandalism
- Severe weather events, including thunderstorms, lightning, windstorms, tornadoes, hail, and heavy snow
- Coverage against liabilities: This is called renters liability insurance. It can cover your legal bills and various financial obligations if you unintentionally cause someone else to experience injuries, property damage, financial loss, or other harm.
- Coverage against displacement: This is called loss of use insurance. It can cover your various living expenses if a covered event like a lightning strike leaves your rental home uninhabitable and you must stay in a hotel or temporary rental home while your landlord brings the property up to code.
You will want to be sure that your contents coverage limits are high enough to enable you fully replace all of your personal belongings if you experience a total loss in a disaster like a fire. An experienced insurance agent can help you determine how much coverage you need.
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What Is Not Covered by Renters Insurance in Montana?
Renters insurance protects you from losses related to a lot of risks, but it doesn’t cover against everything. You should expect your policy to exclude coverage for:
- Flood damage
- Earthquake damage
- Pest infestation
- Damage to your vehicle
While droughts present one of the most serious risks in Montana, flooding occurs here too. In fact, 15% of the properties in this state have at least a 26% chance of sustaining serious flood damage in the next 30 years.
If you rent a ground floor apartment or a house in a flood-prone area, you may therefore want to supplement your renters insurance with a contents-only flood insurance policy.
Montana is one of the most seismically active states in the US, but earthquake damage is not covered by renters insurance.
You do have the option to cover your personal property with earthquake insurance. However, these policies are rather expensive and have high deductibles, so in most cases, they are not cost-effective for renters.
If your rental property is infested with pests like ants, rodents, or bed bugs, your renters insurance will not cover remediation or resultant property losses. Rather, your landlord will be responsible for handling the problem.
Damage to your vehicle
Although your vehicle is property personally owned by you, it is not covered in your renters insurance contents coverage. If your car is lost or damaged while parked at your rental unit, your car insurance can provide coverage, but only if your policy includes full coverage.
What Are the Best Renters Insurance Companies in Montana?
When you are looking for the right insurance company to meet your coverage needs, an independent insurance agent can help. These agents have relationships with a variety of trustworthy and reliable insurance companies.
This means you can compare coverage and rates from some of the best insurance providers in Montana before selecting a policy.
How Can an Independent Insurance Agent in Montana Help?
Independent agents live and work in your community, so they understand the risks you face as a renter in Montana. These agents work for you, not for a specific insurance company, so they can offer you guidance and advice and can shop around to find you suitable coverage at the most affordable price.
Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an independent insurance agent near you to start comparing a selection of customized renters insurance quotes.