State auditor’s office provides answers to Billings homeowners’ questions about hail damage

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By: Mari Hall

Sharon Richetti, the Policyholder Services Bureau chief for the state auditor’s office said Montana has an advisory memorandum that requires insurance companies to follow a “matching” doctrine.

“If all your roofing shingles matched, or all your siding was the same before the loss, in order to make you whole or put you back as close as possible to your pre-loss condition, the insurance company owes for the stuff to match after the loss,” Richetti said.

Under this memorandum, insurance companies may have to replace all of Christensen’s metal cladding, since the same materials aren’t manufactured anymore.

“It’s just a matter of knowing how the rules are, what we have available, and the support you have through the state. The insurance commissioner’s office has always been great and their support in anything I’ve done,” Christensen said.

At least 50 others were able to get answers to hail damage questions during the meeting at the Billings Public Library, with Richetti emphasizing the importance of reaching out to the state’s auditor’s office with questions and concerns.

The policyholders bureau assists with 1,500 complaints in Montana each year, and recovered about $5 million for Montana consumers last year. During Wednesday’s meeting, Richetti and fraud investigator, Cheri Meier, talked about what Montanans should keep in mind when it comes to insurance and contractors.

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