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Crop Insurance Claim Rejection

Crop insurance policies are a safety net if you lose all or part of your crops. You make a claim, and an insurance adjuster comes out. Some adjusters are well-versed in assessing the situation, some are not. In some cases, your claim might be rejected.

John Schwarz is a third-generation farmer and the owner of Schwarz Law Firm in Hudson, Indiana. He says farmers should follow the instructions of the adjuster. However, it’s important that you document what the adjuster tells you to do in case it’s perceived by the insurance company that you did something incorrect.

"Let’s say the loss adjustment manual says you have to leave six rows of corn if you have a loss so it can be tested but the adjuster tells me two. Well, I think you should document that. I think you should even have the adjuster write out the instructions and sign that," says Schwarz. "That way, if the crop insurance company says you didn’t do something correctly, you can say look, I was following the advice of this adjuster because there is a no-harm-no-foul provision of the crop insurance that says if you’re relying on the adjuster’s advice, then you’re okay."

If there’s a dispute over a claim between you and the insurance company, it can go as far as arbitration. But Schwarz says there’s a tight time frame to get it settled.

"If I turn in my crop insurance and in December I get a letter that says sorry John, we’re denying your claim, you generally have one year to fight that. That’s it," he says. "If you don’t take action to go ahead and arbitrate it, your claim will be gone after a year which is a really short, short time."

Have videos and pictures of the crop damage. With the adjuster’s consent, a video of the conversation with your adjuster can also be helpful.  

Learn more about protecting yourself when making crop insurance claims