There are two types of crop insurance available for farmers to purchase in the United States. Crop-hail policies, which can be purchased at any time in the growing season and protect crops from the risk of hail, are provided by private insurers and not part of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. These policies are particularly popular among farmers in hail-prone areas because of hail’s unusual ability to inflict a severe amount of damage on a concentrated planted area.
Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policies, which must be purchased before the growing season, cover the loss of crops due to a variety of causes including drought, freezing conditions, and disease. MPCI policies are administered by 15 private insurers licensed to write policies by the United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency. The insurers handle customer service and product delivery, performing functions like writing and reinsuring policies, marketing, adjusting, processing claims, training, and recordkeeping, but the program is overseen and regulated by the RMA. The RMA sets the rates that can be charged and determines which crops can be insured in various parts of the country.
As part of their participation in the federal crop insurance program, insurers are obligated to sell insurance to every eligible farmer who requests it while retaining a large portion of the risk on more than 80 percent of policies written. Through the FCIC, the federal government also subsidizes the farmer-paid premiums to reduce the cost to farmers and reimburses participating companies to offset operating and administrative costs that would otherwise be the responsibility of farmers.
In recent years, there have been cuts to, and discussions centered on, further cuts to the program. These cuts, if enacted, would endanger the country’s food supply because they would be ultimately passed on to farmers, the vast majority of whom rely on affordable crop insurance.
Crop insurance plays a vital role in safeguarding the nation’s farmers and America’s food supply. NAMIC opposes making cuts to the federal crop insurance program and will work with lawmakers to ensure they are aware of the program’s importance.
July 15, 2019 Reps. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., sent a letter to colleagues July 12 outlining the formation of a Crop Insurance Caucus. The caucus’ aim will be to educate lawmakers and congressional staff about crop insurance and provide... Read more
February 25, 2019 NAMIC was a signatory on letters sent Feb. 19 urging the Trump administration and Congress to recognize the importance of crop insurance to farmers, lenders, and all of rural America, and to oppose... Read more
December 17, 2018 After passing the Senate by a vote of 87 to 13 on Dec. 11, the House passed the 2018 Farm Bill by a vote of 386-47, sending the $867 billion legislative package to the president. Significantly, the soon-to-become law did not contain any cuts but... Read more
September 19, 2018 The North Dakota Insurance Department has announced that it will be holding its annual crop hail insurance public meeting on Oct. 15. Read more
July 2, 2018 The Senate passed a farm bill that affects a broad swath of food and agriculture programs, among others, on June 28 by a vote of 86-11. The bill did not contain any harmful changes or cuts to the nation's crop insurance... Read more