As harvest time approaches for orchards and fruit producers across the nation, severe summer storms threaten to turn the season’s work into a total loss. Hail, wind, flooding, and other weather events can cause extensive damage to ripening tree fruits, especially during key periods of growth. While carrying crop insurance can help to protect fruit producers when these losses occur, the truth is that many policyholders have a poor understanding of their coverage for crop losses in the event of severe storms.
Three Things You Should Know About Handling Crop Insurance Claims for Tree Fruits
Many tree fruits are delicate, and some orchards and producers struggle to get adequate coverage—and to collect compensation under their coverage once it’s in place. After a severe storm damages your trees and ruins your yield, it’s important that you understand that:
- How you go about handling damage claims can make a big difference in the outcome. Although it’s tempting to rush through assessments and plans for loss mitigation, it could wreck your chances of a smooth recovery. Getting organized, understanding your policy coverage, and paying close attention to what will be required to maximize your claim is the best way to avoid complications and missed avenues for compensation.
- You may not be compensated until after the crop matures. Since actual yields can be difficult to predict for damaged trees and fruit, it’s likely that you will be left waiting until harvest time. Once fruit yields have been assessed and graded, the insurance process should move forward—but it’s still up to you to nurse damaged trees and prevent further losses in the meantime.
- Unfair claim delays and denials may be more common than you think. Although you pay the premiums for your crop insurance every year, there are times when the insurance company takes steps to delay or outright deny your legitimate claims. If you believe you’re getting “the runaround” about your claims for orchard and tree-fruit losses, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team today.
Don’t risk the future of your orchard when a season’s fruits are lost in a storm. For more information about negotiating crop insurance claims of all kinds, request your free copy of our important book, Understanding Agricultural Insurance Claims, or speak directly with one of our experienced policyholder attorneys today.