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Crop insurance coverage deadline coming up

Agriculture.com Staff 11/19/2009 @ 12:53pm

A cool summer and rainy fall has left Nebraska's corn crop high in moisture and harvest weeks behind schedule. One thing not to forget, though, is the December 10 deadline for the crop insurance period, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln ag economist says.

The end of the insurance period is near, meaning farmers who are going to be turning in any losses need to do two very important things, says Doug Jose, UNL ag economist in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Since the end of the insurance period is December 10, farmers that are not finished by then will need to ask for an extension if they plan to file any losses. In addition, if losses are going to be filed due to loss in quality, such as moldy corn in a field, a strip must be left behind in the field so an insurance agent can make an assessment. A sample can not be taken from the bin, says Terry Warren, sales representative, Rural Community Insurance Services in Nebraska and Iowa.

The main thing farmers need to do is keep the lines of communication open with their insurance agent if they are thinking of filing a claim, Warren said.

"With the 'End of the Insurance Period' just around the corner, it is important that farmers submit their notice of loss promptly," says Bob Parkerson, President of National Crop Insurance Services, a non-profit crop insurance organization. "The ability to manage risk through crop insurance is their best asset when facing the uncertainties inherent with farming."

Some important reminders for insureds who are facing a delayed harvest, according to Parkerson, are:

  • Submit a notice of loss with your agent if you have not already done so and request additional time to harvest in order to protect your crop insurance coverage.
  • Continue to carry out normal and customary harvesting practices, if possible, utilizing available windows of opportunity.
  • Yield-based policies provide coverage for loss of quality (review crop provisions for specifics), reduced yields and revenue losses (if chosen).
  • If, for example, you are unable to harvest by the EOIP due to extreme wet or snowy conditions, your crop insurance company may allow additional time to harvest, if:
    • You give timely notice of loss to your agent; and,
    • It is determined and documented by the insurance company that the delay was due to an insured cause of loss; and,
    • You demonstrate that harvest was not possible due to an insured cause of loss; and,
    • The delay was not due to an uninsured cause of loss or because you did not have sufficient equipment or manpower to harvest.

"It is important for insureds to document conditions for their acreage and the actions they take in order to receive an accurate claim payment if one is due," said Parkerson. "We can’t stress to farmers enough the need to contact their agent as soon as possible. Agents are the best resource of information for their insureds, especially during the loss season."

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