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corn with wind damage

August 10, 2020, was a day that many Iowa farmers won’t soon forget, and the rest of us learned what the word “derecho” meant. Straight line winds of more than 100 MPH flattened corn fields and caused significant damage to the rural and urban landscape earning the storm the reputation of the costliest thunderstorm in U.S. history. These types of weather events allow us to evaluate our own risk management strategy by asking “What if that was me?”.

Private insurance offers Green Snap, Wind, and Extra Harvest Expense products to protect against events like the derecho that hit Iowa. These products are typically available for purchase until mid-June; however, each insurance company will define their own provisions. Here are some general items true of most policy offerings:

  1. Policies for Green Snap, Wind, and Extra Harvest Expense are an optional endorsement added to a crop hail policy.
  2. All acres of corn in the county are required to be insured. 
  3. Green Snap provides protection for damage caused by natural wind. It is generally defined as a severed corn stock broken at the node above the brace root and below the ear.
  4. Wind coverage includes Green Snap but further expands coverage to include corn stalks that are bent, broken, or blown by natural wind making the ear unrecoverable by normal harvesting equipment.
  5. Extra Harvest Expense is coverage that can be written separately or along with Green Snap or Wind coverage that seeks to offer reimbursement for the time it takes to harvest downed corn. This type of coverage normally has a maximum liability of 8% of the underlying crop hail coverage per acre.  
  6. Each policy will contain some sort of deductible or damage threshold that must be reached before it can be adjusted for loss. 
  7. Since the rules vary by company, policy provisions for these types of products are important to review with your agent. Make sure you understand what you are purchasing, and the date coverage expires.  

We encourage you to contact your local FCS Financial agent to discuss how we can help you protect against derecho type devastation if it happens to strike your corn crop.

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