Hail season is here. Will your insurance cover the damage?

csimt In The News

By: Tom Lutey

With several days of extreme weather forecast for Eastern Montana, now’s a good time for homeowners to read their insurance policies and prepare for damage…

“Since the last hail season, we’re seeing people’s deductibles change. It was a standard $500 deductible or $1,000 deductible, but companies have changed what they’re offering. They’ve changed to a percentage deductible, some have,” said Bob Biskupiak, the Montana State Auditor’s deputy insurance commissioner. What that means is the deductible is based on a percentage of a home’s value…

The steps homeowners take after a storm to address property damage are important, Biskupiak said. Damage should be photographed and documented before any cleanup so it’s clear what necessary repairs were related to the weather. After recording damage, it’s a good idea to prevent further destruction by covering holes or broken material created by the storm…

Scammers and high-pressure sales pitches are common in the aftermath of damaging storms. As Roundup residents know, it can take more than a year to deal with contracted repairs that were paid for, but never provided. After a severe hailstorm in 2018, Roundup residents are still filing complaints about work agreed to, but not completed. Some made down payments to contractors who are nowhere to be found.

The Montana Office of Consumer Protection within the state Department of Justice and the State Auditor’s office are working with homeowners on Roundup now.

Homeowners shouldn’t sign an agreement with a contractor until an insurance agent has been contacted, Biskupiak said.

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