9 Questions to Ask Your Crop Insurance Agent

9 Questions to Ask Your Crop Insurance Agent

13:36 03 February in Insurance

Farming can be a very profitable venture. However, there are so many things that can go wrong. For instance, a storm can leave you reeling. The damage can range from crop destruction to equipment and building damage. This is why you must ensure that your crops are insured. If you keep farming without insurance, you can get into a lot of trouble one day when you wake up to find your crops snapped, flattened, and defoliated. Apart from natural disasters and things like fires, you must also protect your investment from low yields. However, for you to understand how crop insurance works, you should sit and talk with your insurance agent. Here are some questions to ask your crop insurance agent.

What Is Considered a Loss if I Have a Revenue Protection Policy?

This is one of the questions that you should present to your agent. With most policies, you will be able to make a claim if your revenue is below the revenue guarantee specified by your policy. To calculate your revenue, you multiply the actual yield by harvest price. This is why it’s important to choose a reasonable level of revenue protection when you sign up for a crop insurance policy.

What Must I Do Once I Recognize a Crop Loss?

The first step after recognizing a crop loss would be to notify the insurance agent. This should be done not more than 72 hours after you discover the damage. You can make a notice of loss by phone, in person, or in writing. However, there are things like drought loss that are not immediate. In such cases, you must contact an agent as soon as you can tell the loss is present.

How Are the Crops Appraised and Who Assesses Losses?

It’s important for you as a farmer to understand how the loss assessment process works. In most instances, the insurance provider will send an insurance adjuster to appraise your crop and investigate the loss. This is why it’s crucial to keep your crops maintained until the appraisal process is done.

What if I Disagree with the Appraisal?

Sometimes, you might not agree with the adjuster’s appraisal. In such instances, you can leave representative sample areas to maintain until the insurer conducts a final inspection. If you fail to maintain the representative areas, the insurance company can claim that the cause of your loss is not covered, and you won’t receive any payment. This will lead to improper payment. According to the Risk Management Agency (RMA) at USDA, there was a 2.2% rate of improper payments in 2015. This is around 50% of the average rate for all government programs, which is 4.39 percent.

Once the Appraisal Is Complete, Can I Use My Crop as Silage or Animal Feed?

You might want to use the lost crop as animal feed. However, it’s best to find out from your insurance agent if that’s possible. If you proceed without consulting anyone, your harvest can be counted as production for your claim.

How Do Insurance Units Work?

In order to pay lower premiums, some farmers insure their crops using enterprise units. In such instances, any loss is counted by crop per county. This means that all the corn you planted in a given county will be added together when determining loss. However, you can also choose optional units, where losses are calculated using a by-crop, by-field unit approach. Optional units have higher premiums. This is because a good yield in one field will not cancel a loss in another.

What Do I Do if I’m Not Sure I Have a Claim?

Sometimes, you might not be sure if you will experience a loss. However, you mustn’t risk it. If you suspect there could be a loss, contact your agent. If it turns out that there’s no loss, you can just withdraw the claim.

What Types of Insurance Are Available?

There are two main types of crop insurance. The first is crop hail insurance. This is mainly offered by private insurance companies. The second type of insurance is multi-peril crop insurance which is normally provided by the federal government.

Will I Still Be Able to File a Revenue Claim if I Didn’t Notify the Agent Before Harvest?

When it comes to revenue claims, the rule states that you must submit the claim within 45 days after discovering that there has been a revenue loss.

These are some of the questions you need to ask your insurance agent. If you have some things that you need to understand about crop insurance, contact us today. We will be happy to explain everything to you.