Support for crop insurance is especially strong in rural America after this historic drought. A new NCIS video focuses on the overall training, continuing education and primary role adjusters play in getting crop insurance claims processed efficiently and accurately. More than 146,000 policies have been indemnified so far this year, resulting in more than $2.2 billion worth of indemnity payments reaching farmers in need.
The video highlights the fact that claims adjusters must undergo 60 hours of training before they adjust their first claim, and then must earn 16 hours of continuing education every year thereafter to ensure that their procedures are consistent, accurate and efficient.
After spending time in the classroom reviewing data capturing procedures, students go into the field to examine damaged crops with experts on-hand. During a recent school in Lubbock Texas, Jim Allison, a claims supervisor from Shallowater, Texas, pointed out recent hail damage on grain sorghum and explained what it meant to the overall productivity of the plant in the long-term. “A more mature grain sorghum plant that loses all of its leaves is going to be affected much more severely from the hail and the impact to the yield will be greater,” he explained.
“We have a lot of losses due to hail every year,” explained Gary Smith, a claims supervisor from Idalou, Texas. “When we get any hail of any size with significant winds, it can be like a lawnmower or a shredder,” he explained.
Many claims adjusters currently farm, or have farmed in their recent past. And because of that experience, they understand the important role crop insurance plays in helping farmers manage risk. “Crop insurance has become an integral part of farming, period,” noted Ben Hanawa, a claims adjuster from San Benito, Texas. “Everything has gotten expensive, and without that form of backup from a disaster, it would be hard for anybody to survive.”