“Some of the same people who had to deal with the floods last year along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers are now dealing with the opposite – extreme drought,” says Calamus, Iowa, claims manager David Bousselot, in a new NCIS video.
The video highlights the critical role that many of the 5,000 claims adjusters play in helping farmers pick up the pieces after the worst drought in decades, with $3.6 billion already in the hands of farmers. “The adjuster is the connection with the producer,” says Bousselot.
Throughout most of the summer, more than 60 percent of the continental U.S. was locked in drought, which sent corn and soybean yields plummeting.
“I think it was a combination of the lack of moisture and the heat we had in early July that just cooked the corn,” says claims adjuster Tim Totheroh of Wellington, Illinois.
Bousselot notes that many adjusters have also farmed, and thus fully understand the pinch farmers find themselves in when Mother Nature strikes. “Getting the money back to them in the quickest way we can is the service we provide,” he added.
To date, more than 405,000 claims have been indemnified, with many more expected. In 2012, farmers will invest more than $4.1 billion to purchase more than 1.2 million crop insurance policies, protecting more than 281 million acres of crops.
Robert Geddes, a farmer from Hoopeston, Illinois, explains that after he experienced his first drought as a farmer, he had a chat with a local adjuster and has been purchasing crop insurance ever since. “It’s in the nasty years like this that it really helps,” he said. “If you miss a crop, things will go downhill for a farmer in a hurry,” he added.
The video underscores both the need of crop insurance and the efficiency of the public-private partnership, which makes crop insurance affordable while also being universally available. More than 128 different crops can be protected by crop insurance. These range from major commodities like corn and soybeans to specialty crops ranging from apples to cherries to asparagus. Crop insurance can also be purchased for livestock.