Although debris from a hurricane-force windstorm has been cleaned up for nearly a month, some Missoula residents are still facing a flurry of paperwork pertaining to insurance claims.
On Wednesday, representatives from the Montana insurance commissioner's office are coming to town to help.
Jesse Laslovich, chief legal counsel for state Auditor Monica Lindeen's office, said many residents are still dealing with insurance and repair claims for homes and vehicles damaged in the Aug. 10 storm, which knocked down trees and power lines around Missoula.
Insurance experts from Lindeen's office will hold two sessions at the GuestHouse Inn & Suites, 3803 Brooks St., on Wednesday – the first from 3 to 5 p.m. and the second from 6 to 8 p.m.
Laslovich said the sessions will open with general remarks, then residents can talk with experts about their specific issues. Residents should bring a copy of their insurance policy, claim records and other relevant documents.
"It could be, 'I have concerns about the person who did repairs to my home or the insurance company who is jerking people around about my claim,' or 'I just want to make sure I'm doing things correctly,' " Laslovich said.
Laslovich said a common example involves repairs to damaged siding or a roof after a storm. Montana requires insurance companies to fix the damaged part of a house so it matches the rest of the building.
"If they can't match it, they have to repair everything. Clearly, if somebody has a yellow house, one side of the house shouldn't be green," he said.
Residents also can file a formal complaint at the event. Laslovich said the state office will then speak with the insurance company to resolve the issue.
"It's something we feel strongly about. These are memorandum from this office to the insurance industry," he said.
For residents who can't make it to Wednesday's sessions, Lindeen's office has a toll-free number, 1-800-332-6128, to speak to experts directly.