Maximizing Your Crop Insurance Protection

With corn and soybean crops in their final growth stages and soon will be approaching early maturity, producers are reminded of their responsibilities to avoid jeopardizing their crop insurance benefits. It is the producer's responsibility with crop insurance and all other insurance policies to provide timely notice of damage as well as satisfactory evidence of the amount and cause of loss to the insurance company.

 To meet these requirements, producers are reminded to comply with the following for each insurance unit (usually FSA farm serial number):

  1. Provide notice of damage within 72 hours of discovery to their insurance agent (keep your record of it either with a copy of your written notice or ask your agent for written confirmation your of verbal notice),
  2. Notice of damage 15 days before the beginning of harvesting or destruction of the crop is required by the policy,
  3. DO NOT destroy or harvest your damaged crop until damage is accessed or directed to do so by the loss adjuster (the unharvested damaged crop is your best poof of loss and it makes it possible for adjuster to make yield and quality determinations, and
  4. If damage is first discovered while harvesting, contact insurance agent immediately and ask for directions how to proceed (preferably written instructions for your records),
  5. Additional notice of damage\loss is required within 15 days of the earlier of the date harvesting was completed or the calendar date of the end of the insurance period (i.e. 12/10 for grain corn and soybeans).

Maryland producer received $835 million of protection and $61 million in crop insurance loss payments during the period of 1994-04, more than half of this amount was paid in for disasters in 2002 and 03. These loss payments helped many producers to survive the disasters and return to profitability, which is the crop insurance mission.

Contact a crop insurance agent for additional details.

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