Montana Hail Board Raises Coverage and Premiums
Authorizes Department to Negotiate for Reinsurance
On Monday, the Montana Hail Board voted to expand coverage, including a slight increase in premiums on hail insurance.
At producers’ request and with the authority granted in House Bill 189, the board voted unanimously to increase per-acreage coverage on non-irrigated land from $50 to $75 and on irrigated land from $76 to $114 or a 50% increase in coverage.
“Producers were looking for increased coverage and the legislature granted the board authority last session. The board was happy to provide the coverage and unanimously pass the motion,” said Board Chair Gary Gollehon.
In addition, the board unanimously approved a five percent premium rate increase. For a producer with a 10% rate, their new rate would be 10.5%. The hail board covered 1,046 losses totaling more than $14 million from 2013 hail events, a record for the programs’ 98 year history.
“Last year was atypical, the hail program paid out 186% of premiums due to the extent of the damage. We look at premiums and reserves every year to ensure that farmers have hail coverage. The five percent is as low as the board felt comfortable raising premiums while still maintaining some reserves and expanding coverage,” said Ron de Yong, Director, Montana Department of Agriculture.
The board also authorized the department to negotiate for reinsurance to protect farmers if Montana has another extreme hail year.
The Montana state hail insurance program was created to provide basic hail insurance coverage on any crop grown in the state and is self-supporting. The five-member board consists of Commissioner of Insurance Monica Lindeen, Agriculture Department Director Ron de Yong, Chair Gary Gollehon, and producers Trudy Lass Skari and Jim Schillinger. A reserve fund is maintained to provide security for the programs financial responsibilities.
For more information about state hail insurance, contact the Montana Department of Agriculture’s hail program at (406) 444-2402.
The Montana Department of Agriculture’s mission is to protect producers and consumers, and to enhance and develop agriculture and allied industries. For more information on the Montana Department of Agriculture, visit http://www.agr.mt.gov.