The Big “I” sent a letter to congressional leaders urging their continued support of crop insurance agents and the critical role they play in supporting the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
This week, the Big “I" sent a letter to congressional leaders urging their continued support of crop insurance agents and the critical role they play in supporting the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). The letter was sent to leadership of both parties, as well as key committee members and staff.
Currently, specialty crop administrative and operating (A&O) expenses have seen an almost 40% cut across the county, which significantly impacts both agents and the larger farm community.
During the last negotiation of the Standard Reinsurance Agreement in 2011, an agreement between Approved Insurance Providers (AIPs) and the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) created a cap on A&O expenses.
While the Risk Management Agency (RMA) adjusted the A&O cap to track inflation between 2011 and 2015, RMA halted this practice in 2016. Unfortunately, this stoppage, coupled with other unintended consequences, has created this drastic cut to A&O expenses.
Specifically, the letter asks Congress to support report language in the U.S. Senate agriculture appropriations bill that reconfirms RMA does indeed have the authority to implement annual A&O inflation adjustments, as well as language in the House of Representatives agriculture appropriations bill that would provide one year of equitable relief for specialty crops.
The legislative fix to implement annual A&O inflation adjustments noted in this letter, which is currently included in both House and Senate text, would be a key win for Big “I" members and much-needed relief for agents. The Big “I" will continue to provide updates through the News and Views e-newsletter as we approach the end of the year.
Joseph Cortina is staff administrator, Big “I" crop insurance task force.