Follow Up to Citrus Canker Newsletter Volume #8

As a follow up to the Citrus Canker Newsletter Volume #8 that was emailed to you last week regarding some of the new changes to the crop insurance policy, attached is a press release issued by Stallings Crop Insurance Corporation in Lakeland, Florida. The article elaborates on some of those new changes to the 2007 Florida Fruit Tree policy. One important point made in the article that should be emphasized is the time constraint that policy holders have for rewriting their 2006 existing policies and the consequences for failing to timely rewrite such policies. The article provides only a brief summary of some of the new changes, so in order to obtain a more detailed understanding of the new changes, it is recommended for policy holders to contact their local crop insurance professional.

Press Release: Florida Fruit Tree Insurance and You!

new Florida Fruit Tree insurance policy has arrived, and is to be implemented in record time. With the inception of the new policy, crop insurance policyholders and growers are better served with increased coverage opportunities including a lower deductible option and a comprehensive tree value endorsement.

The new tree policy for 2007 substantially improves your ability to manage the risk involved with growing Citrus, Lemons, Limes, Avocado, Carambola, and Mangos. By maximizing your ability to use greater risk management tools, you will be better prepared to protect your crop investment on a yearly basis.

As outlined in the next few paragraphs, the new Fruit Tree Policy will offer greater coverage’s and options allowing you to better qualify the needs of your operation and tailor those needs towards the best policy for you.

The Basic Fruit Tree policy provides coverage on Grapefruit, Orange and Other Trees as well as Lemon, Lime, Avocado, Carambola and Mango Trees. Your coverage options range from Catastrophic (CAT) (minimal protection) up to 75% buy-up coverage. CAT through Buy-up coverage will afford increased coverage over the 2006 policy due to increased values set for each tree type and stage. The cost for CAT policy is $ 100.00 per tree type, and all trees in the county are combined under a single unit structure. The cost of Buy-up coverage varies. It takes into consideration several different factors, including location and coverage level, but also affords many options that are not available with a CAT policy.

Increased basic policy protection can be purchased by paying a premium, per tree, for Buy-up insurance coverage levels ranging from 50% through 75%. The 2007 coverage levels all offer increased protection over the 2006 policy. Any trees destroyed for ACC (Canker) are indemnified against the first tree destroyed at the chosen coverage. By incorporating old and new policy provisions USDA is striving to improve your ability to minimize risk for your growing season.

Along with the variable dollar premium for Buy-up insurance ranges, policy additions include the new Occurrence Loss Option and the Comprehensive Tree Value Endorsement. Each option is specifically designed to better assist you with the risk management choices for your growing operations.

The new Occurrence Loss Option can be purchased as an endorsement to the buy-up policy in an effort to significantly reduce your deductible. This greatly enhances the coverage against the perils of freeze, wind [hurricane], and excess moisture. By selecting this deductible option on your policy and paying a small additional premium, you will find a substantive decrease in deductible and dramatically improve the coverage of your basic policy. For example, while considering the past 2 years of hurricane damage to your trees that caused substantial loss; it may not have been enough to satisfy your deductible. With the new Occurrence Loss Option you can reduce deductibles in the basic policy to 5% on any given insured unit by tree type.

Next, is the Comprehensive Tree Value Endorsement. This option provides a valuable buy-up coverage addition. This endorsement allows you to recover lost income due to the destruction of your stage II and stage III trees from all perils except ACC (canker). The Comprehensive Tree Value Endorsement is based on a reference price per tree type and your selected coverage, and the premium cost associated. The indemnity amount to be paid for each tree that is 100% destroyed, after satisfying applicable deductibles, is initially 50% of the total indemnity protection, with the remaining 50% being paid upon verification that the trees have been replanted, subject to policy terms. This is one more option that will provide greater alternatives in developing a more effective risk management strategy tailored to your growing operations. This endorsement is not available for carambola, lemon, lime or mango trees at this time.

Without exception, the 2007 Florida Fruit Tree Insurance Policy will become instrumental in the maintenance and development of greater risk protection for your growing operations. By providing greater insight into the availability of risk protection, these options are designed to promote awareness as to how we can minimize foreseeable risk related to the upcoming growing season. We can better protect ourselves against losses and damage caused by Freeze, Wind, Excess Moisture, Flooding due to high ground water, ACC (citrus canker), as well as other specified diseases, insects and/or parasites that may adversely affect our tree maturation.

As each grower strives to better prepare their growing operations through increased risk management awareness, the newly available policies are designed to maximize your decision making ability in selecting the best policy for your needs. Growers should contact their crop insurance professional to discuss these important changes. Coverages under the old 2006 policies will expire on June 30th, 2006. All Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) Policies will require new applications for all 2007 crop year tree policies.

The Sales Closing Date to rewrite all 2006 existing policy holders is May 24th, 2006. Any current policies not rewritten by this date will be subject to a 45 day waiting period prior to coverage attaching.

Information Provided By: Robert Stallings, Stallings Crop Insurance Corporation, Lakeland, FL 800-721-7099

This article is a brief summary provided with the intent of encouraging policyholder awareness in regard to the new Florida Fruit Tree policy and does not include detailed policy provisions and/or requirements. The most effective way to gain a thorough understanding of newly available benefits and options are through full discussion with a licensed crop insurance agent. In order to develop the most effective risk management strategy associated with your existing FTREE operations please contact your local crop insurance professional for details.



NOTE: Dean Mead provides the information in this e-Newsletter as a service to professionals and clients. While the information in this e-Newsletter deals with legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice. If you have specific questions related to the information in this e-Newsletter, you are encouraged to consult an attorney who can investigate the particular circumstances of your situation. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, Dean Mead is not responsible for informing you of future legal developments. If you would like to be removed from our distribution list, please reply to this email and type REMOVE in the subject line.

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