There will be a tremendous number of people filing crop insurance claims this year, especially in Indiana, but also in several other parts of the Corn Belt. At this stage in the game, no matter what the weather does from here on out, that's a given. It's obvious there will be so many claims that some people have questioned if the crop insurance companies, backed by the federal government, will be able to pay off on the claims. Some of the policies, the GRP and GRIP policies in particular, don't pay out until after county yields are established by the National Ag Statistics Service in March 2013.
Doug Emery, based in Lafayette, is regional marketing manager for Diversified Services, one of many crop insurance companies operating in the Midwest. He assured farmers at a meeting held in Franklin last week that there would be enough money to go around. He says all claims will be paid.
Emery says that crop insurance is backed by the Risk Management Agency within USDA. RMA sent out a letter to crop insurance companies after reports of concerns over payments, verifying that all producers with legitimate losses and claims would be paid. RMA is the agency that underwrites policies for crop insurance companies. Many of the rules that must be followed to establish a claim are laid out by RMA. All companies, not just his company, must follow those rules, Emery says.
The important thing is to tell to your agent, the person you bought the policy from, and start the claim process as soon as you know you will have a claim. The other key is not to do anything to the field or fields where you expect to have a claim until you have talked to your agent, and he has received the "ok" from the company he represents. RMA rules are very specific about how losses must be verified. Sometimes it involves leaving part of the crop in the field. There are even specific rules as to how much crop must be left.