Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing on Missoula’s Talk Back Show
Montana State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner also appeared on the Tuesday KGVO Talk Back Show immediately after Robyn Driscoll, Chair of the Montana Democratic Party and also voiced his opinion on the upcoming vote by the Montana Redistricting Commission.
“It says specifically in the Montana Constitution that this has to be done without partisanship,” said Downing. “However, if you're using prior presidential elections or even local elections, to try to decide how it's split up, then politically, I think you're deviating from the constitutional intent,” said Downing. “That hearing is actually coming up at the Capitol. I'm really curious to see where that goes and what the comments are. Because I think if you're constantly trying to pursue political intent, or political fairness then you're deviating from the constitutional intent and I firmly believe once you deviate from that everything starts to fall apart.”
As the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Downing is always educating the public on possible insurance scams, such as a term called ‘contributory negligence’ that infers blame on the victim, as well as the perpetrator.
“If you're the victim in an accident, and for some reason an insurance company is saying that you're responsible for five or ten percent of it or 10% of it because you didn't honk your horn or because you didn't back up and it does not seem reasonable, give us a call because we keep track of these things, and we make sure that it is against the law to inappropriately apply contributory negligence.”
Another scam that consumers utilize against insurance companies is called ‘insurance after the fact’, where someone signs up for insurance on their phone just after an accident.
“That's basically when an uninsured motorist is in an accident, and then after the accident, tries to sign up for insurance and a lot of times now in the modern age of technology, they'll try to do it right there while they're waiting for the tow truck to do it online,” he said. “Sometimes they're a little bit more savvy and try to put a little bit of time in there like a couple of days or a couple of weeks. But the message that we've gotten out there is that insurance companies are really smart and they've got a really good system for detecting fraud.”
Downing also reminds homeowners to closely check their insurance, especially for hail damage to the roof, because there are different factors involved in coverage.
“Look at your own personal requirements and go over that with your agent,” he said. “Understand really what your risk is and whether it's more important to have a higher possible expense out of pocket on fixing a problem or having a lower monthly premium and really understanding what those repercussions are.”
Downing is a U.S. Air Force veteran and is active in philanthropic activities.