If you’re a farmer, you know that the weather plays a big role in how your crops perform. In 2009, an unexpected drought caused problems for farmers in Alberta and western Saskatchewan. Since farming is one of Canada’s most important industries, the government has found a way to help you keep your income steady, even when your crops are damaged by natural hazards: AgriInsurance. With this program, you can rest easy even when the environment gets in the way of growing season.
How Does AgriInsurance Work?
Like other insurance programs, you pay a premium for coverage under AgriInsurance. It’s open to farmers in all provinces and territories who are growing foods that fall under the list of covered crops. When a natural hazard happens and your farm produces less than usual, you can make a claim, and the insurance program sends you a payment. Because agribusiness is so important to Canada, AgriInsurance uses a cost-sharing model to make it more affordable. You pay a percentage, the federal government pays a percentage, and your province or territory covers the rest.
What Kinds of Natural Hazards Are Covered?
AgriInsurance helps protect you from natural hazards that are severe and out of your control. This might include high winds that kill your seedlings and damage your equipment or a flood that washes out your fields. In the colder parts of Canada, the insurance could cover snow and unexpected late frosts. The program also helps you deal with problems due to wildlife that eat your crops or insect infestations that make your foods unusable.
What Crops Are Covered by AgriInsurance?
The type of AgriInsurance coverage you can get varies by the type of crops you grow, and your province or territory manages these lists. In British Columbia, AgriInsurance covers crops including some berries, vegetables, and forage products, including silage corn, among others. In some cases, only the product itself is covered. In others, you can actually insure the plants. If you grow blueberries or strawberries in BC, you can insure both the fruits and the plants. Other provinces have broader coverage. Manitoba covers more than 70 different crops and also offers programs to help you deal with excess moisture and unplanned reseeding.
What Coverage Levels Are Available?
Your province decides the type of AgriInsurance coverage you can get, and it depends on your crops. BC blueberry farmers can choose from deductibles of 50%, 20%, or 30%, and each level has its own rules. When you choose the lowest 50% deductible, the program states that you have to lose more than half of your crops before you can make a claim. If you run a vegetable farm in BC, you can choose AgriInsurance coverage that’s based on the amount of food you lose or how many acres are affected. These policies can be very complex, so it’s a good idea to work with an agent to find the best option for your farm.
How Can You Get AgriInsurance for Your Farm?
AgriInsurance is managed on a provincial level, so you can apply directly through your province or territory. Each program is linked from the AgriInsurance website. From there, you can find out about what crops are covered and learn how to apply. If you live in Alberta, you must visit a Agriculture Financial Services Corporation branch office to start the process.
When you grow crops for a living, AgriInsurance is one way to help reduce risk in a challenging industry. The right coverage level can keep your income steady and help you maintain your agriculture business, even when a natural disaster strikes.