As a new agent, Samantha Rogers with Madden Crop Insurance in Ringsted, Iowa, experienced the agency side of an RMA Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) audit for the first time this year. Luckily for her and her policyholder, the experience was quick and simple thanks to FMH Precision Solutions.
“With a background in farming, I know how much stress and time goes into an IPERA review along with all the other moving parts,” Rogers explained. “Being a new agent, I never had to experience a review from an agent’s perspective. Unfortunately, the first review I had to go through was right in the middle of planting. In our area, like many others, we had a lot of prevented and late planting. Not only was planting stressful enough, having to worry about a review on top of that didn’t make things any easier.”
The policyholder used precision ag equipment in their operation, and Rogers was able to guide them through the process of supplying documentation for the review using their precision records. The records the policyholder gathered are the same precision records FMH uses to validate claims.
“Because we had precision harvest information from the year before, we were able to use the harvest wet-weight maps with associated crop insurance unit details for the review,” she said. The maps only took about 30 minutes to print.
After submitting the review documentation, Rogers was pleased to discover just how accurate the policyholder’s information was by using the precision records. “We received a phone call a few hours later stating that all the information for the review was received; the numbers reported were within less than half of a percent of what the harvest wet-weight maps had stated – meaning the review process was over and no further action was needed,” she said.
The review experience further confirmed Rogers’ decision to offer FMH Precision Solutions this past year.
“At first, I was a little hesitant to use Precision Solutions because, like many programs, I was worried about not having help and finding issues that couldn’t be resolved. I was also a little hesitant about recommending the program to farmers because I hadn’t ever used it before,” she said.
“After I had the first map-based report done, I could easily see that I would be saving myself a lot of time using the precision data instead of the 578’s provided by the FSA. My other concern was with the accuracy of the data – however, after going through a review, I knew then that the data was accurate and this was going to make life a lot easier,” Rogers added.
With a successful first experience and the backing of the FMH precision team, Rogers decided to grow the agency’s Precision Solutions business.
"My original plan was to only try out a few policies using precision; after I did a couple, I ended up making a few more phone calls to find out if there were more farmers that might be interested. We ended up with 17 different entities using precision – the time saved was unbelievable!"
- Samantha Rogers, FMH Agent
From reporting to claims, Rogers was excited to offer a service that could save time and increase accuracy for both her agency and her policyholders.
“The greatest advantage to using Automated Crop Reporting is most definitely time. Instead of taking hours to look through 578s, we can use FMH’s system to pull through all farms and farm numbers,” she explained. “One of the greatest advantages for me was not having to key in acres — there was a lot less room for error because the data was being transferred straight from their monitor into the system.”
She also noted how simple the adjusting process has become for policyholders when they used their precision records for claims.
“Claims are usually settled within 24 hours — no more climbing bins and very time convenient,” she said. “As long as all three pieces to the precision claims process are in the system, everything is a breeze.”
To validate a claim using precision records, a precision-certified FMH adjuster typically only needs three documents to complete the claim: the farmer’s seeding map, harvest wet-weight map, and calibration report. If the farmer submitted precision data for acreage and production reporting, then FMH can now generate the seeding and harvest wet-weight map for the claim adjustment, which means the farmer only needs to provide their calibration report.
“I would highly recommend FMH’s precision program over any other AIP,” said Rogers. “I tried using another AIP’s precision to see how it would compare and I can honestly say it wasn’t even comparable. Farmers Mutual Hail not only has the best precision program, their team of specialists is irreplaceable.”