The Consumer Federation of America is out with information about auto insurance in Montana and the news isn't very good.

"I've done an analysis of how much rates have risen over roughly the last 20 years in all the states," said Consumer Federation of America's Director of Insurance Bob Hunter. "Montana was the second or third highest at an almost 90 percent increase. That's compared to roughly 45 to 50 percent in the nation. So, it's almost double the national average."

Part of that increase may be due to new ways that insurance providers have been calculating their fees.

"The way the rates are set have changed from things like, how's your driving record? - how many accidents or tickets you have, or how many miles you drive - to other factors that have much less direct relevance to risk," Hunter said.

According to Hunter, some of those other factors include things like education level, credit score, and even wages.

If wages are indeed a factor in insurance rates now, that is something that may directly effect many in Montana, where the average wage is only $38,030 a year.

"Those factors kind of pile up on poor people, and poor people are particularly having difficulty buying the auto insurance they are required to get in every state," Hunter said.

Hunter recommended that all Montanans should spend time researching their auto insurance options, as prices can vary wildly from one insurer to another.