New Insurance Options for Florida Citrus Growers

Ernie NeffInsurance

insurance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced a new crop insurance hurricane endorsement and an improved citrus crop insurance plan.

The hurricane endorsement, Hurricane Insurance Protection – Wind Index (HIP-WI), covers a portion of growers’ underlying crop insurance policy deductible when their county is within or adjacent to the area of sustained hurricane-force winds. HIP-WI is available in counties near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic as well as Hawaii. Learn more about HIP-WI.

RMA also worked with the Florida citrus industry and other stakeholders to develop the Florida Citrus Actual Production History (APH) policy, which will be available beginning in the 2022 crop year. The sales closing date is Nov. 1, 2020.

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The Florida Citrus APH policy offers several advantages over the existing Florida Citrus Fruit Dollar plan. First, APH coverage is individualized based on a grower’s historical yield, not on a state’s average value. So, growers don’t have to pay for coverage they don’t need, but can still get a higher coverage level if they need it.

The APH plan also offers more comprehensive coverage. It covers citrus fruit during the bloom phase until fruit forms on the tree. So, growers are covered, for example, when there is a freeze event during the bloom period.

In addition, the APH plan allows growers to choose enterprise units to spread the risk over their entire operations. RMA says this is a better value for growers’ risk management dollar – lowering their premium rate and, therefore, allowing them to buy a higher percentage of coverage for the entire operation.

Finally, the APH plan offers a simpler loss adjustment process and faster settlement of claims. During a hurricane, RMA says, citrus fruit can fall off the tree, float away and disappear, making it extremely difficult to determine the percentage of the total crop that was damaged. With the APH plan, growers are covered based on their historic average yield, so damage is determined by the difference between it and the remaining citrus on the trees.

Learn more about the new insurance programs.

Source: USDA’s Risk Management Agency

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