PIA Backs Bill to Reinstate Crop Insurance Inflation Adjustment

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Georgia Republicans Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Tracy Mann of Kansas and California Democrat Rep. Jimmy Panetta to reinstate the inflation adjustment for crop insurance agents.

PIA National backs the bill.

Those commissions were basically cut in 2016 when the UDSA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) stopped adding an inflation adjustment to agent compensation. Since then the cap rate has been in 2015 dollars.

Sadly, in 2022 the PIA and its supporters got a language put into an appropriation bill that should have allowed the RMA to add an inflation adjustment. The RMA says it does not have the legal authority to do so without renegotiating the Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA).

PIA National Chief of Public Affairs and Advocacy Office Jon Gentile said the bill — if passed — will address that issue.

“For years, crop agents have been compensated less and less every year, with many experiencing substantial financial hardship, all because of this disagreement between the RMA and Congress about the scope of the RMA’s authority,” Gentile said. “The RMA’s decision to stop adjusting A&O for inflation devastated crop agents and agencies. Jobs have been lost, small business growth has been impaired, and local community investments have, in many cases, disappeared. If Congress does not provide crop agents with inflation adjustment relief, they are likely to be forced out of the industry, until many farmers no longer have access to knowledgeable agents and their risk management expertise.”

He also said the PIA is working on a companion bill in the U.S. Senate.

A different bill affecting crop insurance — the  Federal Agriculture Risk Management Enhancement and Resilience (FARMER) Act — has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by North Dakota Republican Sen. Jon Hoeven. It is an amendment to the farm bill and will bump up premium support for higher levels of crop insurance.

Cosponsors, and Republicans, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst said the bill will not force producers to choose between picking up enhance crop insurance coverage or joining the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs.

“Crop insurance is an essential piece of the farm safety net, providing farmers with their most important risk management tool as they work to continue providing Americans with the highest quality, lowest cost food supply in the world,” Hoeven said.

Source link: PIA National — https://bit.ly/3UEsm5m

Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/3xYOwGN

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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