The new and improved strawberry crop insurance program has a sales closing date of September 30, 2014, for winter-planted strawberries this year. That means that growers interested in purchasing the coverage must complete an application by that date in order to secure the coverage for their winter berries. Western Growers Insurance Services (WGIS) has a number of qualified crop insurance sales people who can assist in getting the paperwork completed and submitted on time to get the coverage in place.
Three years ago, the federal government created a new and improved strawberry crop program. It is available in six California counties: Ventura, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Fresno and Madera. This new policy provides protection for grower’s revenue. Unlike yield crop insurance products, a grower can have a claim when revenue falls below historical levels. This can be due to a number of factors, including flood, rain, freeze, fire, pests, lack of water and many other weather-related perils.
Additionally, this policy provides coverage for a drop in market price, which is a new concept for crop insurance policies. If revenue falls below historical averages due to a glut of berries on the market or a product contamination scare that drops the value of the crop, growers can collect for their loss.
Western Growers canvassed a number of major berry producers in California and worked with the federal government to incorporate important changes to the program. The revised product includes more realistic claims reporting timelines and is less complicated.
Western Growers was also able to get coverage amounts increased so growers can now guarantee up to 85% of their historical revenue, enabling them to submit claims for much smaller losses, increasing the value of the policy. This improved policy has already been purchased by several growers. The policy can help a grower to recover a good portion of their investment should a crop be affected by a natural peril or by a downturn in the market. The cost of the product is relatively reasonable considering the significant investment berry growers make in planting, growing and harvesting their product.
(WGIS is well prepared to assist growers with information about the program and getting the coverage in place by the sales closing date. If you would like a WGIS crop sales specialist to provide you information, quotes or to complete an application, contact Greg Nelson, assistant vice president of commercial lines at 949-885-2287 for more information.
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