Crop Insurers, Agents Adjusting

A vibrant farm industry is currently helping the crop insurance industry cope with the Agriculture Department’s decision to substantively cut back its subsidy program, “but every year is a new year,” the head of the trade group that represents the industry said last week. “Obviously, with the new standard operating agreement, there is a reduction in profits,” said Tom Zacharias, president of the National Crop Insurance Services, Overland Park, Kans. These cuts include reduction in reimbursement for delivery expense, administrative costs and operating costs, as well as a reduction in expected underwriting gain for the companies. The Agriculture Department is also installing a new data processing system that will require companies to modify their systems in order to report to the agency, Mr. Zacharias said. Agents were impacted as well with caps on commissions.