Insurance companies have been scrambling since summer to speed the avalanche of claims. They started surveying growers in August to gauge potential indemnities, hired extra adjusters and even urged agents to curb the chit-chat in order to speed claims. One claims manager said his average phone call is just over five and a half minutes. He says if he could skinny that up he could process another 20 claims a day.
By mid-October, companies had processed 146,000 claims for $2.2 billion of insured losses, but that’s just a trickle of what’s to come.
Some estimates put the total claims at more than $24.3 billion, more than twice the all-time record of $10.8 billion set in 2011.
The good news is, most affected growers have crop insurance. Eighty percent of the nation’s corn fields are insured. Back in 1988, only 15 percent of Midwest corn acres had insurance.