As a result of the catastrophic damage Hurricane Ian caused in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, the Risk Management Agency (RMA) in conjunction with Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs), recognizes the need for authorizing emergency procedures to streamline determinations on specific crops and accelerate the adjustment of losses and issuance of indemnity payments to crop insurance policyholders in the impacted areas.
Because several residents living in the impacted areas have either lost their primary residences or been evacuated from their homes due to the storm damage, local infrastructure for normal day-to-day activities has and will continue to be disrupted as recovery efforts progress. Due to the destruction of communication lines and limited ability to travel in the impacted areas, many policyholders might be unable to communicate with their agents in a timely manner to report losses within the 72-hour requirement that is specified in Section 14 of the Common Crop Insurance Policy Basic Provisions (22.1.BR).
Per Managers Bulletin MGR-22-008, RMA authorizes the use of these emergency procedures for all crops in Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. These emergency procedures are limited to those situations where the catastrophic nature of the losses due to insured perils is such that not authorizing these emergency procedures will result in unnecessary delays in administering the crop insurance program. Specifically, RMA is authorizing insurance companies to:
- Accept delayed notices of loss because of destroyed communication infrastructure, inability to travel or return after evacuation
- Use reported acres as determined acres
- Waive appraisals in situations where the crop will not be harvested due to extensive hurricane damage
- Settle claims prior to destruction of the crops when the edible portion of an insured crop has been exposed to floodwaters
- Use emergency procedures to account for tobacco that is destroyed during the curing process due to loss of power from Hurricane Ian
For more specific details and information regarding the emergency procedures RMA is authorizing for AIPs to utilize, on a case-by-case basis, to assist impacted policyholders and increase the efficiency of making loss determinations, please access the following hyperlink: https://rma.usda.gov/en/Policy-and-Procedure/Bulletins-and-Memos/2022/MGR-22-008