More Than 200K Crop Insurance Policies Already Purchased

National Crop Insurance Services says despite criticism, crop insurance is working

Published on: May 28, 2013

According to the most recent stats from the National Crop Insurance Services, more than 244,000 crop insurance policies have already been processed through participating companies and the Risk Management Agency, though the program continues to be called into question by lawmakers.

NCIS reported this month that to date, Kansas, Texas, California, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Florida lead the way in the number of crop insurance policies purchased. The policies represent more than 89 million acres and $20 billion in liabilities, accounting for $810 million in farmer paid premium.

The figures show there is still strong support for the crop insurance program though the Senate last week approved an amendment to the Farm Bill that would limit crop insurance subsidy payments for farmers with an adjusted gross income of more than $750,000.

National Crop Insurance Services says despite criticism, crop insurance is working
National Crop Insurance Services says despite criticism, crop insurance is working

NCIS has been tackling opponents of the crop insurance program amidst ongoing Farm Bill discussion in the Senate and impending discussion in the House.

More proposals to cut crop insurance are expected when talks resume next week, but for now, Tom Zacharias, National Crop Insurance Services President, said the program works, and government has actually incurred underwriting gains that have offset payments to farmers in bad years.

"In fact, the government experienced nearly $4 billion in gains from 2001-2010," he noted, pointing out that after the 2012 drought, "Congress was not asked to fund an ad hoc disaster bill despite the historic devastation endured by our agricultural producers."

About 1.2 million crop insurance policies were purchased in 2012, protecting 128 different crops and 281 million acres. Farmers incurred $12.7 billion in losses as part of their deductibles to crop insurance policies, NCIS said.

"When combined with the $4.1 billion farmers paid out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance last year, total farmer investment neared $17 billion," Zacharias said.

Overall, farmers have spent more than $30 billion out of their own pockets to purchase crop insurance since 2000, according to NCIS.

Opponents of the crop insurance program, such as the Environmental Working Group, have called for reforms such as payment limits, means testing and greater disclosure requirements.