Leaders of two key crop insurance organizations this week during the joint national convention of the National Crop Insurance Services and the American Association of Crop Insurers said farmers can rest assured that crop insurance is strong and will endure past losses
"Hopefully, the rains that farmers have been praying for will come this spring. But if they don't, then that's why the federal crop insurance program is here," said Steve Rutledge, NCIS chairman. Rutledge pointed out that farmers paid $4.1 billion out of their own pockets for the protection of crop insurance in 2012.
"One of the reasons why this public-private partnership works so well is that those who seek protection must first put 'skin in the game,'" he said.
While farmers were possibly facing three bad years in a row, Rutledge said the federal crop insurance program has been around since 1938 and farmers should know that their indemnity is something they can count on.
"One of the many reasons why farmers love crop insurance is because when disasters strikes – and that happens all too frequently in farming – help is there quickly," he said.
Sharing the stage with Rutledge was Greg Deal, chairman of AACI. Deal praised the 15,000 crop insurance agents and 5,000 claims adjusters because they work directly with farmers to ensure that crop insurance is fast, accurate and efficient.
"The agents, who are often farmers themselves, understand the risks involved in farming and how unnerving a bad crop year can be," he said.
With drought conditions expected to continue in 2013 and farm policy getting added attention in the halls of Congress, this year will likely be as busy for the industry, Deal explained.
"What we've heard from almost every commodity group and farm organization is "Do No Harm" to crop insurance. This program is a three-way partnership between the general public, the farmer and the private sector, and all three benefit from their investment," Deal said. "Crop insurance is the risk management tool of preference - and for some the only risk management tool available - to the vast majority of America's farmers."