Despite 2020 reporting season challenges due to COVID-19, FMH saw yet another record year of acres reported through Precision Solutions, growing significantly over last year’s record.
While use of this contact-free method of reporting has been growing since FMH began offering it in 2015, this year demonstrated just how much more beneficial precision reporting is versus traditional methods. Precision Technology Specialist Branden Plummer says this unusual year may have contributed to this year’s record growth.
“For those that were on the fence about starting Precision Solutions, this was the right year to try it,” he said.
He noted that another significant benefit many of his agents touted this year was how Precision Solutions reduces a policyholder’s reliance on FSA records for acreage reporting. Multiple FSA offices were behind in acreage reporting appointments due to social distancing restrictions. For policyholders who use FSA records for crop insurance reporting, this meant delayed reporting to their agent.
With FMH Precision Solutions, RMA accepts precision data for acreage reporting without the need for FSA records. In fact, FMH agents can also generate a map report for policyholders to take to their FSA after reporting to FMH, allowing them to use their accurate precision data for all their records.
Another factor that led to a successful year was how many acres FMH was able to receive early in the planting season. This allowed more time to correct errors and help with processing.
“We think as policyholders become more comfortable with the process, they tend to report as soon as they’re done planting, not waiting to bring it into the agent’s office or FSA,” said Plummer. “We hope to see this trend continue in the future. Not only does it help spread out the reporting season for agents, it helps FMH as well.”
Even working virtually, the FMH precision team was able to support agents across the country by answering questions and providing training online and over the phone.
“Our Precision Tech Specialists did a great job switching to entirely virtual support for our agents,” said Dawn Stoppelmoor, FMH Business Development Manager. “In one of our busiest times of the year – where our PTS are usually on the road most days – we continued providing the best customer service we could from a distance, and we had yet another record year of precision-reported acres. I’m very proud of our teams and what they accomplished despite the challenges!”
In addition to an increase in calls and video meetings to connect with agents, PTS also hosted multiple webinars for agents and policyholders – something they hope to continue in the future.
“While we pride ourselves in – and truly missed – the in-person interactions this past spring, we were prepared for a contact-free reporting season with technology and processes built for electronic reporting,” explained Stoppelmoor. “FMH is ahead of the game with Precision Crop Insurance Solutions, and this year only confirmed we are heading in the right direction.”