Hortica Encourages Due Diligence, Thorough Data Collection as Nursery Crop Insurance Renewals Approach
Hortica Insurance & Employee Benefits, specialists in providing business insurance, employee benefits and personal insurance to the horticultural industry since 1887, is strongly urging owners and managers at nurseries and other growers to learn a lesson from crop insurance incidents in 2008: failure to adequately support reported inventory values and failure to retain required records may result in voided policies. Growers should maintain adequate records to substantiate their inventories at the time that coverage begins, as well as at the time of loss.
The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has expressed its preference that producers use RMA’s “Crop Inventory Valuation Estimate Report” (Nursery Inventory Software program commonly known as DataScape) to develop their Plant Inventory Value Report (PIVR). Most Authorized Insurance Providers (AIP) concur and mandate the use of DataScape by their clients. In instances where DataScape is not used, RMA requires the AIP to review the grower’s documentation to verify those records support the PIVR values, an unnecessary complication when DataScape is used.
Recognizing that busy growers didn’t need an additional administrative burden, in 2008 Hortica assisted many grower-customers by entering their inventory reports in the DataScape program. Hortica will continue to provide this support in 2009. Both new and renewal customers must have their inventory reports in Hortica’s hands by April 1, 2009 to take advantage of this valuable service.
Hortica believes that growers are best served by using DataScape to develop their PIVR values. John Hodapp, Hortica’s senior vice president for agency operations, put it this way: “We know crop insurance can be complex. But we also know it could make the difference between survival and going out of business for growers who suffer disasters; particularly since waiving crop insurance equates to also waiving federal disaster assistance. That’s why Hortica stepped up to provide growers with the sound advice and assistance they so desperately need in order to participate in this valuable program.”