Crop insurance is an effective taxpayer investment that helps ensure the stability of America’s food, feed, fiber and fuel producers and promotes rural economic growth.
Absent crop insurance, the cost of natural disasters that cripple America’s farmers would fall directly on the laps of taxpayers, which happened repeatedly before the widespread use and availability of crop insurance. In fact, 42 emergency disaster bills in agriculture cost taxpayers $70 billion from 1989 to 2012, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The 2014 Farm Bill cemented crop insurance as the cornerstone of farm policy. Under this policy, farmers shoulder a portion of the risk along with private-sector crop insurance companies. Farmers must first purchase crop insurance before being protected, and must shoulder a portion of the losses through deductibles before receiving an indemnity for the verifiable loss. On average, a farmer in the United States must lose at least 25 percent of the value of their crop before a crop insurance policy kicks in. This ensures that farmers are active participants in risk management and that taxpayers are not being asked to bear all the burden of natural disasters in farming.