Leaders from Zurich’s crop insurance provider, Rural Community Insurance Services (RCIS) joined more than 400 leading private crop insurance providers, industry experts and government officials at the 2017 National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) convention in Bonita Springs, Florida on February 4-8.
According to Zurich’s Head of RCIS Mike Day, who also serves as the Chairman of the NCIS Board of Directors, the industry event serves to bring together key crop insurance professionals to learn about the current state of the crop insurance market and discuss common interests and issues to help keep crop insurance available, affordable and viable.
Mike provided opening remarks for the convention. He noted how the nation has seen greater investments in protection, which should be a point of pride for the industry and the lawmakers who have made crop insurance the centerpiece of America’s farm policy.
Improvements in crop insurance
According to NCIS data:
- Total U.S. crop insurance premiums were $9.3 billion compared to $156 million in 1980.
- 290 million net acres have insurance coverage today, representing 90 percent of U.S. farmland, compared to just 26 million acres in 1980.
- Total covered liability on U.S. farmland has increased substantially from $3 billion in 1980 to $100 billion in 2016.
What’s led to this success?
Mike credited the success of the program to a couple of key factors, one being the expanded number of crops covered by insurance. The program was available to just 29 eligible crops in the early days, compared to 120 crops today.
Mike added another important factor has been the efficient public-private partnership that makes crop insurance such a good value to farmers and taxpayers.
“It took an industry willing to put customers first and make investments in streamlining efficiency. It took a dedication and desire to improve and modernize the system. And it took investment and hard work by both components of the public-private relationship,” shared Mike.
With farm income at the lowest level in nearly a decade and more severe weather likely on the horizon, producers of all sizes across the country will continue to depend on strong risk management tools when extreme weather and tough economic conditions strike.
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