The numbers tell the tale: 19.4 million prevented planting acres and more than $1.49 billion in prevented planting indemnities paid thus far in the crop insurance industry. The spring of 2019 was extraordinarily challenging for farmers and ranchers throughout much of the United States. Even as the widespread weather events were occurring, ProAg® was preparing to deliver prompt claim service to affected producers.
“We could see this coming, so we really ramped up heading into the claims season,” notes Matt King, who serves as the National Claims Manager. “We held internal refresher courses on the prevented planting policy provisions, loss adjustment guidelines, and our prevented planting claims process as well as system training. We also had our claims processing department work directly with adjusters to detail exactly what they need from the field in order to process claims without delay. In areas of the country that weren’t used to filing prevented planting claims, we had onsite one-day refresher sessions to get everyone up to speed.”
It was the right call. While ProAg has seen more than a sixfold increase in prevented planting claims compared to 2018, both adjusters and claims processing staff were ready.
Getting it done
ProAg partners with independent agents like Luke Sandrock, a partner in The Cornerstone Agency in Morrison, Illinois. Located in one of the areas hit hardest by prevented planting, Luke has been impressed by the service he and his insureds received from ProAg.
“Any time there is a severe claims year like this, companies can take two drastically different approaches with it, attack or postpone,” he relates. “Our approach at the agency is an all-hands-on-deck approach to try and provide our producers with the most accurate answers as quickly as possible. ProAg has responded the same way. From adjusters through management, their attitude has been, ‘Let’s get after it.’ You can tell they have been out there trying to help the farmer.”
“ProAg has been in lock-step with us from day one,” Luke continues. “Their adjusters have been fantastic – I don’t know when they sleep. Everyone has gone above and beyond, answering phone calls and emails after hours and on weekends; they’ve been fantastic to work with. As quickly as we can get it into ProAg, they’re out there adjusting it. And people notice.”
More than prevented planting
While prevented planting certainly has claimed a lot of acres and headlines, weather has caused the full range of other production problems for farmers. As producers struggled to get a crop in the ground or out of the field they don’t need another headache when they have a crop insurance claim. Getting all claims accurately adjusted and promptly paid is always the goal the ProAg claims team strives to achieve.
Charles Seipel grows 600 acres of wheat near Anthony, Kansas. Excessive moisture is not normally a problem for Kansas producers, but for Charles, there was simply too much of a good thing this spring.
“The wet conditions hurt the wheat this year. We had so much rain that everything sprouted in one 100-acre field,” Charles notes. “I’ve never seen such a mess. We had six-foot-tall ryegrass this year. I couldn’t even see Lindsey, my adjuster out there – just the ryegrass moving around.
“I’ll tell you what, she did a great job,” he continues. “She went over her bounds to take care of me. If she said she was going to meet me somewhere at 8:30, she was there at 8:30 – I didn’t have to wait around. And I really appreciated the promptness of the claim payment. We really needed it.”
“Charles signed paperwork on the 24th and I received the check in three days to promptly deliver to Charles” confirms Gena Ricker, an agent with the Iron Gates Insurance Group in Anthony. “Lindsey would check with us on Charles and all her claims weekly. She is always very clear and concise with our insureds. They know exactly what she needs and what to expect, and that is very much appreciated.”
Matt King notes that the same conditions that resulted in so many prevented planting acres this spring will likely lead to an extended claims season this fall and winter. “We’ll be ready for whatever comes next, just like we were this spring and summer,” he concludes.
Source: ProAg Insurance
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