SAN FRANCISCO and PEORIA, Ill. –WeatherBill, the pioneers in weather insurance and risk management, today announced the launch of the first full-season weather insurance program for U.S. farmers. Available for the 2011 crop year and designed to address the poor weather conditions frequently faced by growers, WeatherBill’s Total Weather Insurance represents a new, technology-enhanced approach to insurance that protects farmers against weather-related crop loss, providing them with unprecedented protection for their profits each season.
Created with insight from agronomists and growers nationwide, WeatherBill developed Total Weather Insurance to address growers’ exposure to financial loss even when they fully utilize federal crop insurance programs. Total Weather Insurance provides growers with the ability to lock in profits by covering their losses before the government’s coverage benefits begin. This enables farmers to effectively address a perennial challenge: poor weather, which is the cause of 90 percent of crop loss each year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA).
Research by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) recently reported a dramatic increase in extreme weather events each year. As a result, growers are becoming increasingly exposed to significant crop losses, with exposure totaling tens of billions of dollars in the U.S. each year.
“These frequent extreme weather events expose U.S. growers to greater financial risk than ever before,” said DavidFriedberg, chief executive officer of WeatherBill and a former founding member of Google’s corporate development team. “Now, for the first time ever, growers can protect their profits from weather-related losses not covered by federal crop insurance with Total Weather Insurance.”
Available exclusively through qualified crop insurance agents, Total Weather Insurance fills the risk gap by enabling growers to insure against their real weather risk through Weatherbill’s simple-to-use, fully automated system. Growers can now dramatically reduce the impact that weather has on their businesses.
As part of the Total Weather Insurance program, WeatherBill offers growers and their crop insurance agents a free personalized WeatherBill Weather Risk Report that quickly identifies for a grower their expected range of profit-per-acre for the 2011 crop year and the key weather perils that typically cause financial loss, based on the grower’s crop, location, input costs, and federal crop insurance coverage levels. The report provides growers and agents with a Total Weather Insurance program recommendation designed to optimize the grower’s individual profit-per-acre for the 2011 crop year. Growers and crop insurance agents can visit http://www.weatherbill.com to get their free customized Weather Risk Report.
Total Weather Insurance benefits include:
- Full-season weather coverage:Total Weather Insurance enables growers to cost-effectively protect themselves from a wide range of previously underinsured weather-related risks during the entire growing season. Incorporating advanced agronomy, historical yield and loss data, weather history and advanced forecasts for the grower’s specific crop and location, Total Weather Insurance plans reflect farmers’ individual circumstances and the specific weather-related risks for more than thirty crops. Specifically, the plans provide protection from a wide range of weather perils, including:
- Drought throughout the growing season;
- Excessive rainfall during key planting dates;
- Cold wet weather throughout the season;
- Heat stress during pollination;
- Killing freeze before harvest; and
- Frequent rains that can delay harvest.
- The ability to lock in 2011 profits quickly and easily:With its sophisticated weather modeling system, WeatherBill enables growers to see how Total Weather Insurance would have protected them in past years based on an analysis of historical USDA crop production and weather data for their location. Growers can then choose an A.M. Best “A” ratedTotal Weather Insurance plan created specifically for them that reflects the crops they want to cover, the yield they desire – even if it exceeds the farm’s established average production history – and current forecasts in order to lock in their profits for the upcoming 2011 season. Unlike traditional crop insurance, which requires verification of crop yield, planting volume and inspections prior to payment for damages, WeatherBill automatically sends payment when the weather conditions the grower specifies occur as measured by independent sources such as the U.S. Weather Service.In addition, WeatherBill helps growers’ cash flow by not requiring premium payments on their Total Weather Insurance until harvest time.
“Every year we are exposed to a high level of risk from bad weather, even with our current federal crop insurance,” said Mark Stuckewho operates a 13,000-acre farm in Darke County, OH growing corn and soybeans. “We use WeatherBill to help us make sure we don't have a bad year, even if our yields are down significantly. We run our operation as a business, and for us WeatherBill insures us against a serious and unpredictable yearly threat: the weather.”
Editor’s Note: See related press release, “WeatherBill and ADM Crop Risk Services Announce Partnership to Protect Farmers’ Profits.”