DAILY NEWS Feb 12, 2013 3:10 PM - 0 comments

Saskatchewan buying reinsurance for crop losses

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Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. announced Monday it will be purchasing private reinsurance in 2013.

"In 2013, for the first time ever, private reinsurance will be purchased for the Crop Insurance Program to stabilize premiums, which will help protect producers in the event of a large claim year," the firm stated in a press release. "Purchasing private reinsurance was a recommendation from the 2008 Crop Insurance Review."

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance, a provincial crown corporation, provides a variety of services, including AgriRecovery, a business risk management program in which the federal government cooperates with provinces in responding to specific disasters, such as disease and weather.

"As a result of record coverage and continued crop insurance enhancements, there will be no ad-hoc AgriRecovery Program for weather-related disasters in 2013," the firm stated in a press release Monday.

A spokesperson for Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart stated in an e-mail to Canadian Underwriter that Stewart "strongly" encourages all producers "to consider the full business risk management suite, including Crop Insurance, for their operation."

Last year, the spokesperson wrote, the province increased its unseeded acreage benefit, noting that in 2010 and 2011, there were additional AgriRecovery programs for unseeded or flooded crop acres.

"Each crop insurance customer is covered up to $70 per eligible acre through the unseeded acreage benefit," the spokesperson wrote. "The change for 2012 was to allow the producers to purchase additional coverage of $15/acre or $30/acre. At the maximum the crop insurance customer could be covered for up to $100 per eligible acre. With this enhancement it was decided that if 2012 was another wet year that no additional AgriRecovery program would be available. 

The coverage changes announced in Monday's press release include expansion of the insurable regions in Saskatchewan for both soybeans and corn.

Saskatchewan Crop Insurance also said it will expand the crops eligible for yield trending, where it accounts for improved techniques and technologies in increasing yield coverage. In 2012, yield trending applied to canola, fall rye and winter wheat. On Monday the province announced that in 2013, yield trending will be expanded to include hard red spring wheat and oats, the yields of which will increase by nine and 13 per cent on average.

"On average, coverage levels are also increasing to a record $194 per acre up from $174 per acre in 2012, and more than double the coverage offered in 2007," Saskatchewan Crop Insurance said.

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