A Farm Disaster – Now What?
The unthinkable has happened and torrential rain has prevented a farmer from planting, or an unexpected hailstorm has destroyed a growing crop. Now what?
Unlike other farm aid programs, crop insurance provides assistance as determined by an individual farmer’s actual loss, not by the severity of the overall disaster event. So, following a disaster, private-sector crop insurance claims adjusters quickly and accurately assess damages and calculate losses. Delivering aid based on actual losses protects farmers, ranchers, and taxpayers while adhering to one of the key principles for an effective farm safety net.
When a farmer files a claim with their agent, its first stop might be the desk of Danny Thomas, a claims supervisor with Crop Risk Services. Danny joked that although he loves helping his farmers, he always hopes that he doesn’t have to see them a second time.
“Our job’s not only to get the indemnity paid correctly, but to give the insured peace of mind that everything is done correctly on time and that they’re taken care of,” Danny said.
The helping hand provided by adjusters is critical to helping farmers navigate the stress that comes with a crop loss.
“As adjusters, we can try our best to give them peace of mind and we try to let them know that it’s going to be okay,” said Kelsey Eskrigge, an adjuster in Proctor, Arkansas.
“Farmers will tell you I have crop insurance for a peace of mind, you know, farming is a gamble and it’s part of their risk management and helps them sleep at night. So, I think it’s very vital to keep U.S. agriculture in a stable and safe place,” Kelsey added.
Jeff Ray, a regional claims manager, has a long history in agriculture and he wasted no time in explaining just how vital crop insurance is to the farmers that he serves.
“The Federal crop insurance program is a must with the high cost of inputs, the uncertainty of the markets, the uncertainty of the weather. These farmers have got to have risk protection and a risk plan in place for them to be sustainable.”
Thanks to the unique public-private partnership that is the foundation of crop insurance, agents, adjusters, and crop insurance companies work together with the federal government to quickly deliver aid to America’s farmers. This is important when you consider the high-stakes nature of farming and the incredible investment that farmers put into growing our food and fiber.
That’s why crop insurance must remain affordable, widely available, economically viable, and adaptable to the changes of tomorrow.
Watch these stories and more at CropInsuranceInAmerica.org.