AFSC crop insurance rates lower for some producers in 2019

Cow-calf producers can take advantage of premiums lower than at this time last year

On Mar. 11 Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier and AFSC chief executive officer Steve Blakely announced AFSC’s crop insurance program for 2019. Most of Alberta’s crop producers will benefit from lower crop insurance premium rates for 2019. In addition, cow-calf producers can take advantage of premiums that are lower than they were at this time last year.

“Through risk management programming, AFSC crop and livestock producers get the certainty they need to grow and prosper,” said Carlier. “These programs offer producers security and flexibility to manage the risks they face.”

“We strive to provide our clients comprehensive risk management products and an enhanced client experience,” Blakely said. “Declining premium rates for AgriInsurance and WLPIP allow us to provide our clients with more value, allowing them to choose the right coverage to manage their risk for less.”

On average, 2019 crop insurance premium rates are nine per cent lower than they were in 2018. This follows a reduction last year in premium rates of eight per cent. The rate change for each specific crop will vary depending on the actual loss experience for that crop and the experience in the risk area.

Reduced premiums provide an opportunity for producers to adjust their coverage to reflect changing risks. While winter precipitation accumulations have been near normal, over the last two years “conditions have been drier than normal for most lands south of the Yellow Head Highway, down to the US border, and across the north-half of the Peace Region,” Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s AgroMeterology Unit Lead Ralph Wright said. “The driest areas extend from about Red Deer south with most areas experiencing at least one-in-12-year lows, with several areas within this zone dipping below one-in-25-year lows. Across the northern Peace Region, two-year precipitation deficits range from less than one-in-six-year lows to less than one-in-12-year lows. It’s important to note that historically, wet and dry spells begin and end abruptly. Both long- and short-term trend reversals can be sudden and are very difficult to predict.”

Although some parts of Alberta have experienced challenging conditions, growing conditions have generally been good for the past several years resulting in year-over-year premium rate reductions. These recent results will also provide increased yield coverage for many producers in 2019.

The 2019 Spring Price Endorsement will again include the 10 per cent deductible introduced in 2018. The incorporation of the deductible led to a 25 per cent decline in premium rates for protection on within-year commodity price declines of more than 10 per cent. Hail insurance premiums are also decreasing in many areas in 2019, due to lower claims experience in the past two years.

The Western Livestock Price Insurance Program (WLPIP) is an effective risk management tool for cattle and hog producers. The Fed, Feeder, Calf, and Hog programs provide a dependable solution to managing downside price risk on livestock for future sale, without limiting upside price potential.

The WLPIP – Calf sales season is underway with policies available to cow-calf producers until May 30, 2019. WLPIP – Calf is currently offering significantly lower premiums, as compared to 2018, due to reduced marketplace volatility. When comparing rates from the last day in February for 2018 and 2019, depending on the length of coverage desired, premium rates are between 20 and 40 per cent less. These rates are subject to change responding to market variability as the sales season continues.

-Submitted by AFSC

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