Frequently Asked Questions
Which row crops do you offer insurance for?
Keep in mind that every county insures different crops. You’d have to call us to find out what specific crops are insurable in your county. But generally speaking, the main ones we insure are corn, soy beans, dry beans, barley, oats, potatoes, hemp, cucumbers, onions, peas, and sugar beats.
Do I have to ensure all my crops?
It depends. The simple answer is no, however, there are some benefits to ensuring all your crops, especially when it comes in the form of disaster payments from the government. If you have disaster payments, you typically don’t get paid for anything you don’t have ensured. Basically, if you don’t have everything ensured, your eligible acres could be affected.
If I have MPCI (multi-peril crop insurance) with one agent, can I get hail coverage through a different agent?
Yes, you can. We have many customers who have their hail insurance with us, and their MPCI with someone else. We actually offer both.
Which fruit crops do you offer insurance for?
Similar to how it works with row crops, every county insures different crops. You’d have to call us to find out what specific fruit crops are insurable in your county. But generally speaking, the main ones we insure are apples, peaches, grapes, blueberries, and cherries.
So, I want to ensure my popular apples, but not my less popular ones? If I got insurance, would I have to insure all my apples?
Yes, you have to insure all of your apples, not just the tastiest ones. This rule applies to all crops as well. You have to ensure all of a particular crop, not just the profitable pickings.
Do you offer hail insurance for fruit crops?
Yes, we do. We also offer MPCI (multi-peril crop insurance), which covers pretty much every potential way in which nature might harm your crops. As long as the damage was not caused by the farmer, things like droughts, insects, moisture, disease, and “acts of God” are covered by MPCI.
How much does hemp insurance generally cost?
It depends on a couple of factors. The premiums are basically based on three things: 1) your APH (actual production history), 2) the county where the hemp is grown, and 3) the number of acres grown. The best way and, frankly, simplest to nail down that answer is to just give us a call and have us look it up for you.
Am I covered if the hemp goes “hot?”
With hemp, you’re allowed to go up to .03 THC (tetrahydrochloride). Above .03 is considered “hot.” Once that happens, different states have different procedures for what you’re supposed to do. As of right now, MPCI (multi-peril crop insurance) does not offer any coverage for hemp going hot. There are, however, other private products that may offer coverage even when the hemp goes hot. Give us a call and we can walk you through how you’re supposed to hand it in your state specifically.
How many acres do I have to grow to be insurable?
For MPCI (multi-peril crop insurance), you need 5 acres for CDB (Cannabidiol), and 20 acres for grain or fiber. Private products do not have a minimum requirement for acres.
What’s the difference between MPCI and private products?
MPCI products are run and subsidized by the federal government. Private products are run by the AIP (approved insurance provider) and rates and terms vary company to company.
How much does dairy insurance cost?
It always depends on what plan you go with and what your needs are. We encourage farmers to buy their policy at the highest net revenue possible. The main thing dairy insurance price boils down to is whether you use class pricing or component pricing. If you choose component pricing, it depends on how the dairy processor measures the butter-fat and the protein in milk (the higher the butter fat and protein numbers are, the more the farmers get paid). Class pricing is offered as Class III pricing (mostly cheese) and Class IV pricing (mostly butter and powder).
If I already have Dairy Margin Coverage, can I have both and Dairy
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC). The program we offer is called Dairy Revenue Protection (DRP). And yes, you can purchase both insurances, but you cannot insure the same milk twice. How does that work? Let’s say you have 100,000 pounds of milk; you can insure half with DMC and half with DRP. Let us get to know you and figure out what you need in your dairy margin coverage program. We’ll affordably tailor your coverage to your needs.
How does the DRP differ from LGM?
The DRP basically protects against a drop in the milk price. Livestock Growth Margin (LGM) is not based on the price of milk. LGM works more like the Dairy Margin Coverage in that it takes the value of the milk minus the feed costs (generally corn and soybean meal). It covers the margin, not just the price of milk.
Is the Producer Price Differential (PPD) insuranced?
The short answer is no, but concerns about it are warranted and currently being heard by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), which oversees crop insurance. They are trying to find ways to ensure against negative PPD. We agree with farmers that take it seriously. Two years ago PPD would often go between a positive $1 to a negative $1, which was fairly common. But when COVID hit, the PPD went up to $6 – $8. Farmers had to sell their milk for a loss, meaning a lot of hard-working farmers did everything right and still got a much smaller paycheck. Farmers deserve a lot of empathy for what they went through in 2020.
What type of livestock insurance do you offer?
We offer two types of livestock insurance: Livestock Gross Margin (LGM) and Livestock Risk Protection (LRP). Risk Protection guarantees against a loss in price, and Gross Margin guarantees against a loss in the gross margin between the price of livestock and the feed costs.
Does the Livestock Gross Margin or Livestock Risk Protection use the price the producer actually receives at the market?
No. It’s based on averages from settlement prices on the market. The prices are based on simple prices.
Do LGM and LRP have a producer subsidy?
Yes. It just depends on the product chosen. For instance, on LGM, if you have a zero deductible, you get an 18% subsidy, but If you have a $70 deductible, it would be a 50% subsidy. It might seem complicated, but just give us a call and we can walk you through and make the process very simple.
What kind of livestock do you insure?
We currently offer cattle insurance and swine insurance.
Can unborn livestock be insured?
Yes, they can. Give us a call and we’ll walk through a policy with you to make sure your legacy animals are safe.
How long do I have to keep my livestock insured?
The specific length of time you need to insure your livestock for is called an “endorsement length.” That’s anywhere from 13 weeks to 52 weeks, depending on the livestock. It can be chosen by the producer (aka the farmer).
Can some farmers receive more on subsidies?
Yes. Beginning farmers and ranchers get an extra 10 % subsidy. Military veterans also get a 10% subsidy.
What types of weather insurance do you offer?
We offer insurance for the following weather elements: hail, rain, heat, and frost. Other severe types of storms are often covered under these insurances. Tornadoes and wind, for example, are covered under hail insurance, and flooding is covered under multi-peril insurance.
What’s the cost of weather insurance?
Like with other insurances, cost depends on a number of factors, particularly the amount of insurance needed and the amount of acres covered. Give us a call and we’ll find the right plan and price for weather insurance for crops that you rely on.
When is rain insurance due?
Rain insurance payments are a little different from the other premiums because rain insurance is considered a private product. While all other premiums are due after the seasons are over, rain premiums are due at the time of the application.
Am I covered for what specifically happens on my fields?
The way insurance companies measure it is by using a three-by-three mile grid. This means you can get rain and hail within one mile, but two miles away it won’t affect you. If losses occur in the grid, you’re covered. All that matters is what the weather does in the area you have ensured.
What’s the pricing?
Pricing varies depending on a couple of factors like what county you’re in and what crop you’re insuring. For example, some areas experience a higher hail rate than others. Statistically-speaking, Nebraska farmers endure a higher number of hailstorms per year than Michigan farmers do. Insurance isn’t uniform, nor can it be, because of all the different variables that farmers experience all over the country. Call us and we’ll look up what your county and crop pricing will be. Lucky for you, we are an independent agency and we can shop around for the best rates for your specific needs.
What does hail insurance cover?
Hail insurance doesn’t just cover hail. It also covers other threats to your crops. Base hail insurance includes additional coverage for fire, lightning, vandalism, and transit protection for up to 100 miles. Add-ons to hail insurance can also include coverage for issues like wind, lodging, tornadoes, and extra harvest expenses. And there’s extra claims for re-plant options, early planting, and canning reject.
Are there benefits to paying early?
If you pay your bill before August 1, there’s a 3- 5 % discount. This saves you money in the long run, so we recommend paying early.
Anything else I should know?
You are able to establish the hail rate. Every beginning commodity has a set price per $100. Even though every crop is differently insured in every county, there’s still a max level coverage per crop. Here’s an example: for potatoes, it costs $1 for every $100 worth of coverage per acre. That price will vary, but that’s the base level. You actually can go up to $1,500 worth of coverage. More farmers should be aware that they don’t have to go up to the maximum.