You’re halfway through harvest and disaster strikes.
The already-small window for harvest is shrinking. Timing is everything. How does your crop insurance company respond?
This is exactly what central and eastern Nebraska farmers faced in mid-to-late October of this year as the corn harvest was underway.
On November 1, the Columbus Telegram reported that farmers had been happy with their corn harvest. “Then strong winds that wreaked havoc on eastern Nebraska last week blew away that optimism,” the article states.*
Strong winds for eight out of 11 days**, with gusts up to 50 mph, knocked off ears, broke corn stalks and caused lodging.
Farmers reported yield losses up to 100 bushels per acre due to the powerful and continuous winds.
“The wind event ripped the corn cobs right off the stalks,” says Brian Houston, RCIS Claims Manager. “The losses are extremely high.”
One RCIS adjuster reported that on one farm, what had been yields of 250 bushels per acre overnight became 190 bushels, leaving 60 bushels in the fields that cannot be salvaged. That level of yield loss represents approximately $19,000 lost on each quarter (about 160 acres) of corn.
Immediate Claims Handling Response
The disaster in Nebraska was particularly heart-wrenching for farmers because they were expecting high yields.
“The damage from wind in Nebraska was a critical time for RCIS and our farmers,” Houston says. “Because the damage occurred at harvest, which is payday for farmers, they were extremely concerned.”
“Every crop insurance company has its own procedures,” Houston says. “In our case, RCIS immediately mobilized adjusters to respond as quickly as possible.”
Representatives from the RCIS crop care center spoke with every RCIS-covered farmer impacted by the Nebraska wind event and connected them with crop adjusters to begin the claims process.
“Our adjusters are well trained,” Houston says. “They understand the crops, conditions and marketing challenges faced by the farmers in Nebraska.”
RCIS had 43 local claims adjusters from the impacted area out immediately, working closely with farmers to assess the damages and assist in the claims process. To ensure adequate capacity, RCIS moved three Catastrophic (CAT) teams, consisting of 29 additional adjusters, into the impacted areas. RCIS Nebraska CAT team hubs are located in Fullerton, Norfolk, Kearney, Columbus and Lincoln.
“We wanted to make sure we had enough boots on the ground to get all of the losses worked and claims filed as quickly as possible,” says Houston.
RCIS adjusters were fully aware of the compressed timeline between harvest and plowing for spring or moving cattle onto the corn stubble.
“There’s a short window for farmers between harvest and their next steps,” Houston says. “It was imperative to have adjusters in the fields to assess damages and finalize ground counts immediately thereafter.”
Houston added that farmers and agents alike were pleased with the speed and commitment with which RCIS handled claims for the Nebraska wind event.
To learn more about RCIS, visit RCIS.com or ask your crop insurance agent.
Some products not available in all states or counties. This is intended as a general description of certain types of insurance and services available to qualified customers provided solely for informational purposes. Coverage is underwritten in all states by Rural Community Insurance Company, Anoka, MN except in Montana where hail coverage is underwritten by Tri-County Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, Malta, MT. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation, offer, advice, recommendation, or any other service with regard to any type of insurance product or services. Your policy is the contract that specifically and fully describes your coverage, terms and conditions. The description of the policy provisions gives a broad overview of coverages and does not revise or amend the policy. Coverage may vary by state. Coverages and rates are subject to individual insured meeting our underwriting qualifications and product availability in applicable states. RCIS is a registered trademark of Rural Community Insurance Company. RCIC is an equal opportunity provider. © 2018 Rural Community Insurance Company. All rights reserved.