Producers Tips to Avoid Traps - Crop Insurance

The federally sponsored crop insurance program is governed by an authorizing law, federal regulations, insurance policies, crop endorsements, county actuarial tables, and hundreds of pages of handbooks and forms. And yet, the administrative goal of the public\private partnership that delivers the program, is to keep it to be producer friendly. The good news is that there are a handful of common sense guiding principals that eliminate most of the potential traps that producers could fall into.

The tips follow:

  1. Select a good knowledgeable agent with a successful track record,
  2. Understand every document that you are asked to sign and keep a copy of it in your records,
  3. If yours is a complex situation, obtain signed written instructions from the insurance company,
  4. Do a due-diligence - if it sounds too good or bad to be true, it probably is - get a second opinion,
  5. Remember that deadlines matter,
  6. Producer responsibilities must be fulfilled timely or penalties result:
    1. Choose the right insurance plan with adequate protection (to meet your expectations) before the enrollment deadline ((calendar deadline dates are published) also notify agent of farming operation changes immediately),
    2. Report the prior year's yield information timely (usually require within 45 days of enrollment deadline, see published deadline dates),
    3. Report acreage and planting information timely and accurately ((to both crop ins. agent and FSA office) before published deadline dates)
    4. Report crop damage promptly by crop by farm insurance unit (within 48 hours of discovery, before crop destruction, 15 days prior to the beginning of harvesting, and earlier of within 15 days of harvest completion or end of ins. period (i.e.12/10 for grain corn and soybeans), NOTE: THE UNHARVESTED CROP IS YOUR BEST EVIDENCE OF INSURABLE LOSS,
    5. Proving your Claim IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, don't destroy evidence of yield, quality, cause of loss and that you followed good farming practices until you are given written permission from the insurance company!

Failure to follow the rules can result in reduced or declined loss payments. Contact a crop insurance agent for more details.