Crop Insurance Coverage

Res #: 4-10M
Number: 4
Year: 2010
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

WHEREAS Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) assists producers in managing their operations production risk over the crop year;

WHEREAS SCIC provides programs to allow producers to tailor their coverage to their operation; and

WHEREAS hail and fire are risks that must be managed by the producer over the crop year;

BE IT RESOLVED that the SCIC multi-peril insurance program provide an option for spot loss coverage for hail and/or fire for the producers.

Response from Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Minister of Agriculture:

Spot-loss hail insurance is considered a high-cost coverage option under the federal-provincial Growing Forward Agreement, which requires producers to pay two-thirds of the premium cost. The current cost-sharing formula makes spot-loss hail insurance significantly more expensive for producers than when the option was available in the past and the producer share was 40 per cent of the premium costs. This option was examined under our Crop Insurance Review in 2008 and it was determined spot loss hail would have cost the provincial government an additional $71 million in 2009 alone.  

Our government has focused spending on improving the core multi-peril Crop Insurance program, where hail is still an insurable cause of loss, and the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. We have made significant improvements to these programs since forming government in 2007. These include introducing new Crop Insurance features such as yield trending, yield cushioning, and new pricing options, as well as coverage for camelina, soybeans, navy beans and honey. We have also increased establishment benefit payment levels and improved the experience discount feature.

Our government has also significantly improved the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. First, we increased compensation to producers from 80 per cent to 100 per cent, with the provincial government covering the increased costs. In addition, producers are also now compensated for wildlife damage to swath, corn and bale grazing operations. Recently, I announced the program is being expanded to include compensation for damage to crops and forage caused by all wild animals, including beavers.

I would also note that our government has provided the three highest Crop Insurance budgets in the province’s history and record high coverage levels for producers.

In consultation with organizations such as SARM, we will continue to work to improve these programs in the future.