Using data technology for crop insurance

Data and technology are mainstream in production agriculture, but some related industries are still playing catch-up. One of those is crop insurance. 

Mike Day is the former business head for Rural Community Insurance Services. He says there could be many advantages for farmers who allow precision ag data that’s generated from their machines to help customize their policies for crop coverage. It won’t necessarily lower their premiums, but reporting with electronic data would be a lot easier by saving time and reducing paperwork. 
"To populate acreage reports, to tabulate harvested production, and really kind of work the insurance policy from end-to-end from planting to harvest," says Day. "So, it’s a slow uptake but I think there’s more and more interest now and ways to make it simpler for the farmer to get the data they need to get a policy established, and if need be, work through a claim."

Young farmers are apt to be tech-savvy, but this is still a relatively new idea in the insurance world. Day says more and more companies are jumping in and he predicts using electronic data will be mainstream in a few years. 

"Part of it I think is education and training on how to use it, and that part is having systems that a company can utilize to take that data, clean up the data, use it to populate policy, and issue coverage," he says. "But it’s on-going, it’s hard work to really get to where we would like it to be, but we’re making progress."

As insurance innovations continue, real-time data will help fine-tune crop insurance products and coverage. 

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