Agriculture Insurance is purchased by agricultural producers, including farmers, ranchers, and others to protect themselves against either the loss of their crops due to natural disasters, such as hail, drought, and floods, or the loss of revenue due to declines in the prices of agricultural commodities. The two general categories of crop insurance are called crop-yield insurance and crop-revenue insurance.
- Crop-yield insurance There are two main classes of crop-yield insurance:
- Crop-hail insurance is generally available from private insurers (in countries with private sectors) because hail is a narrow peril that occurs in a limited place and its accumulated losses tend not to overwhelm the capital reserves of private insurers. The earliest crop-hail programs were begun by farmers cooperatives in France and Germany in the 1820s.
- Multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI): covers the broad perils of drought, flood, insects, disease, etc., which may affect many insureds at the same time and present the insurer with excessive losses. To make this class of insurance, the perils are often bundled together in a single policy, called a multi-peril crop insurance (MPCI) policy. MPCI coverage is usually offered by a government insurer and premiums are usually partially subsidized by the government. The earliest MPCI program was first implemented by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 1938. The FCIC program has been managed by the Risk Management Agency (RMA), also a U.S. Department of Agriculture agency, since 1996.