USDA’s New Crop Insurance Option for Tropical Storms Already Paying Off

Timing is everything. And with another active Atlantic hurricane season in full swing, a new addition to USDA’s hurricane crop insurance policy is coming in handy. According to the government agency, the recent expansion to cover tropical storms this year has already provided farmers with $85.4 million to help them recover in the wake of Hurricane Idalia. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) rolled out the new Tropical Storm Option for its Hurricane Insurance Protection-Wind Index (HIP-WI) Endorsement earlier this year after working directly with farmers to improve coverage.

Additionally, through HIP-WI, producers have received $84.8 million in indemnities for hurricane-related losses for a total of more than $170 million in crop insurance payments that will directly help farmers and rural communities recover from Hurricane Idalia. This coverage was unavailable this time last year.

So far, indemnities by state include:
• Georgia: $72.7 million for hurricanes, and $5.7 million for tropical storms;
• Florida: $12.1 million for hurricanes;
• North Carolina: $40.1 million for tropical storms; and
• South Carolina: $39.6 million for tropical storms.

Earlier this year, RMA added the Tropical Storm Option to this endorsement to cover named tropical storms, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), with maximum sustained winds exceeding 34 knots and precipitation exceeding six inches over a four-day period.

RELATED CONTENT: Preparing Your Greenhouse for a Hurricane or Severe Storms

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Farmers do not need to file a claim to receive payment. If a county is triggered, then the Approved Insurance Provider will issue a payment in the coming weeks. Producers can find a list of triggered counties on RMA’s Product Management Bulletins webpage. This is in addition to coverage provided under a farmer’s crop policy. The standard notice of loss and claims process applies to these policies, and Approved Insurance Providers are working to process these claims.

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