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Crop Insurance: a good investment for taxpayers

Agribusiness Matters 4-19-17

We all mailed our tax checks to the federal government yesterday, so today it is appropriate to ask how our tax dollars are being spent.

The Crop Insurance Industry makes the argument that the program represents a huge return on investment for the American Public.

Crop Insurance premiums are paid 1/3 by farmers and 2/3 by tax payers.

However, Mickey Paggi, an economist with National Crop Insurance Services says agriculture represents a huge return on investment.

“I think if you look at it broadly, everyone in America eats and I think we probably have the best deal out there in terms of our food. We spend less money on food than any other country in terms of proportion of our income, Paggi says.”

As America’s farm policies have evolved, taxpayers are saving more and more. A unique cost-sharing arrangement makes that possible.

“Tax payers benefit because farmers are active participants in the program. Farmers have to pay a premium to get protection. They have spent nearly $50 billion out of their own pockets for that protection since 2000,” Paggi explained. “Before farmers get any return on that they have to have shouldered at least a 25% loss. So, it’s not a guarantee it’s an insurance policy.”

Farmers aren’t the only ones chipping in. “Another major player is the private sector. Most claims are paid in a timely fashion, much more so than what would be through government programs that we had in the past,” said Paggi.

Learn more online at CropInsuranceInAmerica.org.