Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing Appears on Talk Back
State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing appeared on the Talk Back Show on Monday to answer questions from listeners.
One comment was from an insurance agent who asked Downing to urge homeowners to contact their home insurance carriers and update their replacement coverage.
“I think what a lot of people get in their minds is if they've had their home for 10, 20, or 30 years they only remember what they paid for the home but you're not insuring what you paid for the home, you're insuring the replacement cost,” said Downing. “That's the amount of money that the insurance company will pay to rebuild that if you have if you have a loss.”
Downing tapped that nail again to let listeners know how important it is to reassess the replacement value or a home or rental property, so the insurance coverage can be updated.
“If you bought your house 30 years ago for $150,000 and today it's worth $800,000, then you're probably under insured and it's a good time to reach out to your agent and just go over your policy and make sure that you're covering everything that you need to do and it's a good idea to just look at the contents coverage and everything else that you have in there,” he said. “The big part is making sure that your home was adequately covered on those placement costs.”
Downing also looked back at the many bills he and his office worked on in the last legislative session, such as telemedicine.
“The telemedicine bill, that one really makes me smile, because we started working on that the day after I was sworn into office,” he said. “It’s basically permanently expanding the availability of telemedicine and codifying that and it's very meaningful, especially for rural communities for those who have trouble traveling. It's been it's going to be very effective.”
Downing said he and his team hammered out many of the details before the legislative session began to smooth the way, leading to some unanimous votes.
“So going through this process, it took us a little longer to actually get it in front of the legislature, but we had all the all the debates and fights in the basement, you know, before we got into the legislature, so by the time we got there, we presented them with a consensus bill that made it through the house unanimously,” he said. “In the House there was never a single 'no' vote, and made it through the Senate unanimously with never a 'no' vote and became law.”
Downing also pointed out that his office generates the third most revenue of any state agency, and only a small portion remains there. The remaining funds are transferred to the state general fund, including $33 million for the Healthy Montana Kids Program and other state based programs.