Beginning this fall, USDA will offer California citrus and avocado producers limited crop insurance for losses from quarantines for the 2011 crop year. The pilot quarantine endorsement that USDA’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors has approved will cover certain types of losses due to quarantines that are imposed by a duly authorized regulatory body. This insurance is designed as an endorsement to existing citrus and avocado policies in California. Various commodity groups have expressed interest in an insurance program to cover losses due to quarantine for some time; however, the FCIC’s authority in this area is limited. While Federal crop insurance program policies may only cover losses due to natural causes, FCIC also has authority to pilot and test new insurance designs to evaluate whether a new risk management approach is suitable for the marketplace, and addresses the needs of producers of agricultural commodities.
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