National Crop Insurance Services
8900 Indian Creek Parkway - Suite 600
Overland Park, KS 66210-1567
Phone 913-685-2767 - Fax: 913-685-3080
NCIS President: Dr. Thomas P. Zacharias
National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS) is an international not-for-profit organization representing the interests of private crop insurance companies. NCIS members are the direct link to production agriculture in America.
Since 1915, NCIS has served agriculture through member companies. Its role in the industry was enhanced when, in 1989, two organizations, the Crop-Hail Insurance Actuarial Association (CHIAA) and the National Crop Insurance Association (NCIA) merged to form the modern-day NCIS structure.
Today, 16 (15) private-sector NCIS member companies, in partnership with the government, provide a complex risk management safety net to every producer in America choosing to participate. More than one million policies were written in 2010.
NCIS member companies write Crop-Hail Insurance; Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI), the federally subsidized risk management program; and, privately developed risk management products.
Knowing one crop failure or one disastrous year can wipe out multiple years of profit, crop insurance has become an essential risk management tool for America’s agricultural producers.
The development of every successful risk management tool relies on accurate information. Since the beginning, a primary NCIS focus has been on the importance of data. That focus has enabled NCIS to provide government and industry highly technical crop risk information used to develop diverse and equitable coverage. The information has been used to:
Develop fair underwriting guidelines;
Develop and test accurate loss adjustment procedures;
Develop appropriate loss statistics and crop specific policy terms;
Develop training and educational programs for industry professionals; and,
Develop research programs at more than 20 land-grant universities.
From labor intensive, manual documentation processes in the past, to computer systems processing data at warp speed, NCIS’s ability to respond to agricultural risk management is remarkable.
NCIS is often challenged with the task of analyzing proposed legislative changes to determine industry effectiveness. Developing actuarial scenarios, testing the data and reporting the findings to the Federal government assist the decision-making process and prevent unintended risk to production agriculture.
Extensive data collection and information management is the backbone of NCIS’s ability to respond to member needs.
While MPCI accounts for the majority of crop insurance protection and data, Crop-Hail insurance has been in existence longer.
NCIS assists the crop insurance industry in meeting the regulatory requirements of the individual states. It develops appropriate and adequate loss statistics and insurance policy terms and conditions specific to each crop and location.
As a licensed statistical agency, NCIS files Crop-Hail Final Average Loss Costs (FALCs) with state insurance departments on behalf of members.
NCIS also serves as a liaison with individual state insurance departments through active participation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The increasingly important role of NCIS is the process of policy review, standardization and education.
For any program to be equitable, the policies and procedures to accurately determine loss must be the same for every insured producer. Policies and procedures are written by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and carefully reviewed by NCIS and its member companies.
It is the responsibility of NCIS to analyze changes and determine if those changes will potentially have a negative impact on production agriculture.
Final changes are published in the Loss Adjustment Standards Handbooks (LASH) for each crop procedure. There are more than 75 loss adjustment handbooks, most reviewed on an annual basis. Each year, approximately 30 handbooks are revised resulting in the release of new versions.
Standardization and education are critical to the continued success of any crop insurance program. NCIS committees provide timely feedback regarding research needs and improvements to crop policies and loss adjustment procedures. This valuable input is accomplished by utilizing the NCIS Regional/State Crop Insurance Committee structure, which have representatives from every NCIS member company.
NCIS R/S Committees conduct adjuster schools throughout the year. The schools promote uniformity in the application and understanding of policies and loss procedures. Adjuster schools also address important agronomical issues. Adjusters must be able to differentiate damages from hail, herbicide, stress and other causes of crop damage. Adjuster competency is assured through NCIS’s Crop Adjuster Proficiency Program (CAPP).
Through standardized policies and procedures and accurate and timely data analysis has proven that a private sector-Federal government partnership can work to benefit production agriculture.
Each year, NCIS conducts educational and professional forums for its members. More than 3,500 individuals attend these annual sessions on claims, program ethics, policy, and procedure.
With over 80 percent of the insurable farmland covered by crop insurance, the unique relationship between the U.S. government and the private sector has become the envy of developing nations around the globe.
The infrastructure of the public-private partnership continues to be studied by many developing nations. Government officials, university professors and private insurance company representatives from countries around the world visit the NCIS corporate office to learn more about the programs.
Every visiting nation understands an equitable and affordable risk management system available to every producer is one step toward a vibrant, sustainable system of production agriculture. These representatives understand that access to affordable crop insurance allows American farmers to provide affordable food for America and the rest of the world.
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