Crop Hail: Proven Peace of Mind06/30/2014
If ever there was a case to be made for crop hail insurance, 2014 has made it, particularly in the Midwest. There are few sounds a farmer hates more than the rattle of hailstones on the roof—and few risk-management tools that can bring more peace of mind than crop hail insurance.
“In certain areas, crop hail insurance is an automatic decision a farmer makes every year,” states Barry Cermak, ProAg Product Development Manager. “These farmers purchase their hail insurance in January, February, and March.”
Others, however, choose to take advantage of the fact that crop hail insurance can be purchased on an as-needed basis if conditions look favorable for hail. “In many states, we have a two-hour binding time, which enables farmers to make that almost-last-minute decision and get coverage for a predicted event,” Barry explains. “In some states, it’s next-day binding, in others, two-day.”
Although it’s easy to see the advantages of waiting, there’s also a lot to be said for locking in hail coverage. “This season, storms seem to be building more quickly than usual,” Barry notes. “Big storms are popping up in areas where no weather watches have been posted. If you’re away from home, or an unexpected storm hits in the middle of the night, it’s good to have coverage in place.”
It is possible to have the best of both worlds,” notes Mary Holle, Crop Hail Underwriting Supervisor with ProAg. “In some states, we have what is called a Carryover Coverage Provision,” she explains. “It’s a limited extension of coverage on certain crops to protect against an early-season loss in the event the insured hasn’t yet requested coverage. And we also have an ARCH policy, an optional endorsement that allows the crop hail policy to automatically renew each year, provided the ensured maintains an MPCI policy.”
Mary adds that it is also possible to add additional crop hail insurance in-season in the event of higher than anticipated crop values. “That happens frequently as farmers get closer to harvest,” she says.
In addition to the basic crop insurance policy, many growers are taking advantage of the value of a growing number of endorsement options that are now available. “We have roughly 35 endorsement offers which vary by state,” Barry says. “Wind and greensnap are growing in popularity.” He adds that the endorsements must be purchased at the same time the farmer purchases the crop hail policy.
No matter what producers are looking for in terms of crop hail coverage, ProAg has a product to meet it. “We have a policy form that will meet just about any need, whether the grower is looking for basic coverage or a deductible option,” Barry concludes. “Crop hail insurance is one of the most affordable risk-management tools you can put in place to protect the crops farmers work so hard to produce.”
Source: ProAg – www.proag.com or @ProAgIns