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Living in Big Sky Country can be a wonderful thing. You can experience diverse wildlife, natural beauty, and so much more. However, as a landlord or property manager, your goals extend far beyond that. In fact, there are real issues to consider, such as wildfires, earthquakes, and floods.

You must protect your real estate investment, and homeowners insurance in Montana can be highly beneficial. This guide will walk you through it all. We've researched the top companies to help you search for an appropriate insurance product. Let's dive in and get started now!

Understanding Montana Homeowners Insurance

Is homeowners insurance required? This is the question on everyone's minds, and the state doesn't make you get it. However, many lenders will want you to have Montana homeowners insurance throughout the loan period. It can be beneficial because it's a safety net against damages and liability. Without it, you'd likely have to pay money out of pocket, which is never a good thing.

Average Home Insurance Costs in Montana

Typical Montana home insurance rates are $1,736/year, which is much higher than the national average of $1,428.

Why are Montana homeowners insurance rates more expensive compared to the national average? Many factors could be at play, such as more insurance claims and inflation affecting the materials and labor prices.

Likewise, homeowners insurance policies cost more than in neighboring states. For example, Idaho's insurance rates are $905/year, and Wyoming residents pay about $954/year.

The dwelling coverage amount can also affect your price. For example, you might pay over $2,500 for $750,000.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

While searching for home insurance options, you've probably come across landlord insurance, as well. What is it, and what does it do?

Generally, homeowners insurance in Montana protects your personal belongings and the property. However, there might not be enough coverage when renting to others.

You've also got landlord insurance, which is tailored to meet your needs. It will help with loss of rental income and offers more liability from accidents on the property.

Each insurance policy has its own terms and conditions. Therefore, you'll have to tell the insurer what you use the property for to prevent issues later. Your provider can likely offer advice on which options are available. Plus, you can easily find a separate policy to give you more protection against certain things.

When will you need homeowners insurance as a landlord? Here are some scenarios to consider:

  • Temporary Absence - Are you planning to move temporarily and want to rent the property to another person? As long as you plan to return, you can use homeowners insurance. However, you'll have to check coverage options to ensure it's enough for your needs.
  • Home Sharing - Sometimes, home insurance companies offer home-sharing coverage. If you're renting a portion of the home to another, you'll use this. However, policies vary, and you'll have to ensure adequate coverage. Likewise, you may need separate liability insurance to protect yourself from guest and tenant injuries (you don't want to get sued and be required to pay out of pocket).
  • Vacant Property - When you own rental properties, but they are vacant, you could get homeowners insurance. This protects your personal property and the home. However, you should speak with your insurance agent to ensure it will be covered. Some companies don't cover empty properties.
  • Transition Periods - What happens if you're living on the property, but you're trying to turn it into a rental? You want homeowners insurance during this transitional period to protect your personal property.

How to Choose a Montana Homeowners Insurance Company

You now realize that Montana homeowners insurance is crucial for your needs, regardless of what they are.

Now, you have to choose home insurance that fits your budget and requirements. Here are some tips to help you:

Unique Policy Needs for Montana Homeowners Insurance

Montana homeowners insurance is complex because the state has unique hazards to consider. You want adequate coverage that will protect you during any eventual problem.

Each home insurance company offers standard policies that cover specific things. However, you can usually get endorsements. They're purchased separately and will protect you against more problems. They include:

Flood Coverage (National Flood Insurance Program and Others)

Flooding damage can be a huge concern, depending on the location of your property. Most home insurance policies don't include flood insurance coverage alone. Therefore, you'll buy it separately from your carrier or the National Flood Insurance Program.

Identity Theft Protection

Sometimes, home insurance companies cover identity theft with basic coverage, but you may have to add it as an endorsement that you buy separately. It covers the costs involved when your identity is stolen, such as a social security number or bank account number. Typically, it includes credit monitoring and legal services. However, it might also reimburse you for the cost to replace a driver's license or credit card.

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance coverage is often something you want to get, but most home insurance policies don't include it as standard. Therefore, you'll buy it separately. Most of the seismic activity in Montana happens toward the west, so it's important to consider where the home is located.

Other Factors to Consider When Assessing Montana Home Insurance Companies

How do you choose an appropriate company to provide Montana home insurance? Here are the steps to take:

  1. Determine what you need.
  2. Research as many companies as possible.
  3. Compare the coverage options and limitations.
  4. Consider the price you'll pay.
  5. Request at least three quotes.
  6. Review your policy carefully before deciding.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Montana

Here are the five top Montana homeowners insurance companies available. Learn more about them below!

1. Chubb

Chubb

Chubb is an excellent source for homeowners insurance because you'll get customer service, and it offers various products. However, you'll generally pay higher prices.

Coverage and Features

When you need Montana home insurance, Chubb can help you. The Masterpiece Home Insurance offers cash settlement, risk consulting services, and extended replacement cost. With it, you'll get these basic coverage options:

  • Extended replacement cost
  • Home scans
  • Temporary living arrangements
  • Tree removal
  • Wildfire defensive services
  • Replacement cost coverage
  • Water backup
  • Lock replacement
  • Electronic data storage

Along with the basic coverage options, you'll find these add-ons:

  • Cyber Insurance - This covers cyber financial loss, extortion, and personal protection for those high-value homes.
  • Family Protection - This will help you cover expenses after a traumatic event, such as cyberbullying, carjackings, and home invasions.
  • Equipment Breakdown - This pays to fully replace or repair the equipment and appliances after unexpected damage.

Discounts

You'll find many ways to save money with Chubb discounts. These include:

  • Gated community patrol service
  • Gated community
  • Suburban rating
  • Storm shutters
  • Fire resistance
  • Fire alarm
  • Burglar alarm
  • Valuable articles
  • Multi-policy
  • Renovated house
  • New house
  • Masonry construction
  • Residential sprinkler system

There's also the Superior Protection Discount, which is available to those who have a combination of these things in their houses:

  • Lighting protection system
  • Explosive gas leak detector
  • Temperature monitoring system
  • Permanently installed generator
  • 24-hour alarm protection
  • Motion-activated detection system
  • Closed-circuit TV cameras
  • Perimeter gate
  • Water leak detection system
  • Automatic seismic shutoff valves
  • Sprinkler system alarms
  • Full-time caretaker
  • 24/7 security guard

2. Farmers

Farmers

Farmers is an excellent homeowners insurance company because it offers many ways to customize your policy and has many positive reviews. Let's learn more!

Coverage and Features

If you want the best cheap home insurance possible, Farmers might not be a suitable option. In fact, it's more expensive than the others on this list, but it gives you great coverage.

There are three packages available:

  • Standard - This includes basic coverage for the dwelling and other structures, loss of use, home contents, and liability coverage.
  • Premier - This includes higher policy limits, and you can add the Guaranteed Replacement Coverage, paying the full cost to rebuild.
  • Enhanced - This increases your policy limits, but you'll also find other features.

Farmers also includes a few endorsement options, which include:

  • Contents Replacement Cost - This covers the replacement cost of all items after a covered loss. It's based on what you'd spend for a new and similar thing.
  • Eco-Rebuild - This gives you $25,000 more to rebuild, replace, or repair your home with green materials after a covered loss.
  • Identity Theft Protection - This gives you credit monitoring for two, annual reports, and much more.

Discounts

You'll find many available discounts from Farmers, including:

  • Bundle discounts
  • Affinity discount (when you belong to a group affiliated with Farmers, you'll save money)
  • Electronic policy enrollment
  • New home
  • UL-approved roofing materials discount
  • Green certifications
  • Home safety
  • Connected home
  • Declining deductible
  • Claim forgiveness
  • Claim-free discount
  • Protective devices discount

3. Travelers

Travelers

Travelers offers many options for auto insurance and homeowners insurance. Reviews tend to be mixed here, but you'll likely find that it's inexpensive and helpful to have. Let's learn more.

Coverage and Features

The standard home insurance coverage includes personal property and dwelling protection, but you'll find many add-on options, such as:

  • Identity fraud protection
  • Water backup protection
  • Personal articles floater
  • Valuable items and jewelry
  • Additional replacement cost coverage
  • Contents replacement cost
  • Green home coverage

Discounts

There aren't as many discounts available with Travelers as other companies offer, but they include:

  • Green home discount
  • Protective device discount
  • Loss-free discount
  • Homebuyer discount
  • Multi-policy discount

4. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual has been around since 1912, and it all started with workers' compensation insurance. Now, it offers other products, such as auto, fire, and homeowners insurance.

Coverage and Features

When you choose this home insurance from Liberty Mutual, you'll find the standard policy covers:

  • Additional living expenses (ALE)
  • Guest medical coverage
  • Liability protection
  • Personal property
  • Dwelling and other structures

You'll also find additional coverages, such as:

  • Earthquake coverage
  • Flood insurance
  • Personal property coverage
  • Blanket jewelry coverage
  • Inflation protection, which adjusts your coverage limits as needed
  • Identity theft protection
  • Umbrella coverage
  • Water backup coverage

Discounts

There are many available discounts from Liberty Mutual, such as:

  • Paperless policy discount
  • Preferred payment discount
  • Insured-to-value discount
  • Safe homeowner program
  • Claims-free discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Newly purchased home discount
  • Early shopper discount
  • New/renovated home discount
  • New roof discount

5. State Farm

State Farm

State Farm is one of the top choices for homeowners insurance, but it offers many other products, such as rental property, condo, renters, manufactured homes, personal articles, and ranch insurance.

Coverage and Features

If you choose home insurance from State Farm, you'll get these basic coverages:

  • Personal liability coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Additional living expenses (ALE)
  • Personal property
  • Dwelling and other structures

There are additional coverages available, including:

  • Identity restoration coverage
  • Cyber event and fraud loss coverage
  • Valuable possessions coverage
  • Inflation Guard
  • Ordinance or law coverage

Discounts

Of course, State Farm offers discounts to customers, and they include:

  • Updated utilities discount
  • Claims-free discount
  • Automatic sprinkler discount
  • Impact-resistant roof discount
  • Home security discount
  • Multi-policy discount

Other Notable Montana Home Insurance Companies

While you can choose any of the above-mentioned brands as the best homeowners insurance company, those aren't the only ones to consider. Here are a few others you should check out while researching options:

  • Allstate
  • Progressive
  • USAA (only available to military members and their families)
  • Nationwide
  • Amica

Make sure you discuss your needs with each insurer to ensure you're getting adequate coverage for a fair price.

Conclusion

Owning property in Big Sky Country means enjoying the beauty of nature. However, you're also a property manager or landlord, so you have to focus on homeowners insurance in Montana. It's crucial to secure your investment and have peace of mind.

Make sure you focus on your needs and look beyond what those standard homeowners insurance policies provide. You'll likely need more endorsements and riders than you would if you were a simple homeowner, especially for high-value homes.

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

Legal Disclaimer

The information on this website is from public sources, for informational purposes only and not intended for legal or accounting advice. DoorLoop does not guarantee its accuracy and is not liable for any damages or inaccuracies.

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