BILLINGS — Officials from the Montana State Auditor's Office will meet in Billings Thursday to discuss hail damage and the insurance claim process with property owners, insurance agents and adjusters, and contractors in Yellowstone County.
Officials will meet on Thursday at the Billings Public Library located at 510 N. Broadway from 5-6 p.m.
State Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale said in a phone interview Monday the auditor's office is holding the meeting, “because of all the increased hail damage and the storms that have taken place in Yellowstone County and in the general area."
Homeowners will be advised on the proper steps to take when filing an insurance claim and repairing damage. The meeting will cover contractor agreements and their requirements. Information will also be shared about how to stay away from shady contractors and high-pressure sales tactics.
“What we’re trying to do is provide as much information as possible to protect Montana consumers," Rosendale said.
The auditor's staff is inviting contractors, insurers, adjusters to the meeting as well.
"That way they can also meet with the staff that I’m sending down to hear some of the things that the general public will hear," Rosendale said. "And that way they will also know what is to be expected of them and what the general public really wants them to do."
Rosendale mentioned how the state is working with insurance companies to make repairs easier for Montanans. The state has requested insurance companies to extend the time frame which people have to complete repair work.
"Just taking that simple step and allowing additional time for work to be completed, most homeowners don't feel that pressure. They feel like they can shop, take their time, have an adjuster appraise how much damage has taken place, and enter into a contract that they have been able to thoroughly review. Have their insurance company give them good advice on it and then have a transaction closed out so that they are made whole again."
Rosendale invited people who can't make the Thursday meeting to direct their questions to the state auditor's office at 406-444-2040.