Commissioner Troy Downing Provides Advice to Hail Victims

csimt 2022, Insurance, Press Release

Reminds Montanans to be Wary of Storm Chasers

Helena, Mont.- Storms over the Independence Day weekend produced, by some reports, golf ball-sized hail in eastern Montana, causing damage to property and crops. Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing offers advice to those affected and reminds Montanans to be wary of unscrupulous contractors.

Commissioner Downing provides the following advice to those affected by hail damage:

  • Take photos and document all damage before cleaning up or starting repairs.
  • Prevent further damage by covering windows and placing tarps over holes in roofs.
  • Contact your insurance company immediately to get the claims process started.
  • Never sign an agreement with a contractor until you have spoken with your insurance adjuster.

“Following hail events, we often see an influx of ‘storm chasers’ coming from out-of-state to defraud Montanans,” Commissioner Downing says. “Always verify your contractor is licensed to do business in Montana and check references. If a contractor is asking you to pay in full before the work is complete, this is a red flag to contact our office.”

Montana’s agriculture community is often the hardest hit by hail. Most crop insurance plans are federally regulated through the US Department of Agriculture. Farmers and ranchers with problems related to a hail claim can contact the USDA RMA office in Billings by calling 657-6447. For questions or complaints regarding insurance agents selling crop insurance, contact the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance at 444-2040.

“Just two weeks into summer, we have seen record-breaking flooding, hail events, and wildfires. It’s critical to speak with your insurance agent to ensure your property is adequately insured.” Commissioner Downing continues, “With rising inflation, it’s possible your property is underinsured, and even small claims may not be paid in full by your insurance company.” 

For questions about your insurance coverage or to file a complaint, contact the Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance by calling 444-2040 or by going to CSIMT.gov.