No. While most farmers purchase crop insurance annually, only a small portion of them collect indemnities in an average year. For example, while more than 1.2million policies were purchased by farmers in 2015, only 335,554 were indemnified (28 percent). Even in 2012, the year of the worst drought in 25 years, 1.17 million policies were purchased by farmers and only 494,000 (42 percent) were indemnified. In addition, in most years the indemnities from crop insurance do not cover a farmer’s cost of production, which is hardly something to pray for.
Farmers do not count on receiving an indemnity, and when they do receive one, their insurance guarantees in the future go down and their premium rates go up. Furthermore, crop insurance, just like other forms of insurance, has deductibles so farmers must shoulder a considerable loss before indemnities begin. In 2012, for example, those deductible losses were $12.7 billion. In 2015, those deductible losses were more $7 billion.
Farmers buy crop insurance to protect themselves from financial ruin in the event of disaster. They toil with nature to sow, cultivate and harvest food and fiber for the world. It is not just a job but a calling. Anyone who understands agriculture knows farmers are praying for good weather and bountiful harvests.
View a video of farmers responding to the charge that they are “praying for drought, not praying for rain,” below.