Montana Legislature Weighing Home Insurance Bill

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  • Across the country, millions of Americans are growing a little concerned about the amount they have to pay for their various types of insurance, and often the most expensive policy they carry is for their home coverage. For this reason, a number of state legislators across the country have tried to focus on ways in which they might be able to make these policies a little more beneficial for homeowners, and one such effort is now under way in Montana. That, in turn, means agents who work there may have to do a little bit more to make sure they’re educating their clients about how such laws might impact their policies going forward.

    State Sen. Mary McNally, a Democrat, recently advanced Senate Bill 84 in the Montana legislature, which would limit the length of time home insurers can examine adverse claims when considering whether to renew an existing policy, according to a report from Montana Public Radio. Currently, the period that can be examined is 20 years, but the bill would drop that number to just five years.

    “Why is this important? If a homeowner loses their insurance it makes it difficult if not impossible to get insurance with another company,” McNally told the news agency. “If they have a mortgage they are required to get insurance and it could become cost prohibitive for them to keep their home.”

    Opposition from the insurance industry
    Meanwhile, those in the insurance sector say that having the ability to look that far back is vital to companies looking to properly assess risk for a given property, the report said. Effectively, this bill would limit the amount of data companies have in evaluating just how much a home insurance policy should cost based on the potential claims threats it may pose over the course of a few decades, rather than just a handful of years.

    The agents who are likely to have the most success in terms of boosting customer satisfaction ratings and retention rates will probably also be the ones who can best explain the ins and outs of a person’s policy to them. That’s because high-quality customer service is often valued more highly than even the ability to save money through various discounts. That’s just another reason why building a strong relationship with clients can be so important for agents across the country.

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