2019 was a record year for farmers in many respects, but it was also a real test for the crop insurance industry. “According to reports from the Risk Management Agency, this was a record year for indemnity claims,” said George Underwood Assistant Vice President of Technical Claims with RCIS crop insurance. He told Michigan Ag Today that, for the most part, the claims process went smoothly in 2019, “At one point, we had a problem when our agents were processing claims faster than our system could handle them. Since then, we have had no problems.”
However, there have been farmers complaining of how some companies were slow in processing and how some prevent plant claims are being denied. Underwood urges growers to learn from their 2019 experience and to make adjustments for 2020, “Visit with their agents and see if they need to update or change their policies going into 2020.”
Bill Meade, with RCIS, says new technology is allowing farmers and their agents to do a better job of tracking claims, “We have the ability to identify every farm tract and field number that a farmer participates in. We can then deliver that information to his phone or tablet right in the field.”
Gone are the days of coloring in maps with colored pencils. Meade says these mapping platforms can also speed up the claims process, “No need to drive to the FSA office or mail information to your agent. It can all be sent electronically; that will save a lot of time.” Certainly this is the time of year for you to be in touch with your crop insurance agent.