It may be common knowledge amongst most in Bozeman that were a law enforcement official to pull you over, the first thing he or she would likely ask is if you can provide your license and proof of insurance. While the need to see your driver’s license might be clear, why must you also show that you are insured (especially if you have not been involved in an accident)? While it may be generally accepted that carrying auto insurance is a good idea, few may actually understand that the law also requires a minimum amount of coverage. Knowing this, the question then becomes how much should you carry, and in what situations will you need it.
According to the Montana Department of Justice, the state requires that you at least the following amount of liability coverage:
- Up to $25,000 in death/bodily injury coverage for one person
- Up to $50,000 in death/bodily injury coverage for two or more people
- Up to $20,000 in personal property coverage
While you may think that you can easily get by carrying the minimum amount of coverage required by law, you should know that in the event of an accident, your expenses can easily exceed those amounts. Thus, many may recommend that you carry additional coverage to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.
Montana is a “fault” state, meaning that if you were to be involved in an accident, you have the option of filing a claim with either yours or the at-fault driver’s auto insurance. You may also initiate legal action against him or her to recover any expenses beyond that which his or her insurance covers. Your own insurance plan may be viewed as your safety net should the aforementioned methods of legal recourse fail to net you enough to cover your accident expenses.