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States with the highest crop insurance payouts

  • States with the highest crop insurance payouts

    The average American likely knows a thing or two about insurance—if only that their health insurance policy costs them an arm and a leg. Though you might be intimately familiar with the premiums on your car insurance or renter's insurance, odds are you aren't aware of a hugely popular type of insurance in one industry: crop insurance.

    Since agriculture is so dependent on the whims of Mother Nature, the industry is extremely susceptible to weather-based damage. One massive storm could decimate an entire season's crops and wipe away a year of revenue—if you don't have crop insurance, that is. Crop insurance protects farmers against the loss of revenue in the case of natural disasters like hail, drought, deep freezes, fires, and floods. It's an easy way for farming operations of all sizes to manage their risk and protect themselves against potential financial disaster. Plus, it's relatively affordable, since the government shares the cost with growers and insurance companies. According to the Rain and Hail Insurance Society, a whopping 87% of all eligible acres in the United States were insured in 2018. That's more than 2 million individual contracts totaling more than $110 billion in protection. In the same year, U.S. crop insurers paid out $6.8 billion to policyholders.

    To find out which states had the largest amounts of crop insurance payouts, Stacker consulted Rain and Hail Insurance Society data from 2018. Each of the 50 states was ranked by the highest loss ratio, or the premiums paid to insurers divided by total losses paid to farmers. The average loss ratio across the country was 0.69 in 2018. Read through the list to see how the agriculture industry in your state stacks up and find out which state received $341 million in crop insurance payouts last year.

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  • #50. Illinois

    - Loss ratio: 0.15
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $97.8 million (#19 highest among all states)
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $646.7 million (#3 highest among all states)
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 57.1% (#7 lowest among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 86% of eligible acres (#15 highest among all states)

    Corn and soybeans are the two most insured crops in Illinois, the state with the lowest loss ratio in the nation. Though their state had the lowest loss ratio, Illinois farmers paid one of the highest premiums in the country—$646.7 million dollars in premiums in 2018.

  • #49. Indiana

    - Loss ratio: 0.21
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $75.1 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $354.2 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 56.4% (#47 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 82% of eligible acres (#21 among all states)

    As in Illinois, corn and soybeans were also the top two most insured crops in Indiana. Many farmers also took out insurance contracts on their wheat crops.

  • #48. Ohio

    - Loss ratio: 0.23
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $54.7 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $239.3 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 61% (#37 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 77% of eligible acres (#27 among all states)

    Corn, soybeans, and wheat were far and away the most popular crops insured in Ohio—each had thousands of crop insurance contracts. Other crops, like popcorn and burley tobacco, were far behind with just a few hundred contracts.

  • #47. Maine

    - Loss ratio: 0.29
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $3.1 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $10.9 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 66.3% (#17 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 43% of eligible acres (#48 among all states)

    Compared to other states, Maine farmers ensured far fewer acres of cropland. Just 43% of all eligible acres were insured in 2018. That's the 48th lowest in the nation, and far below the national average of 87%.

  • #46. Connecticut

    - Loss ratio: 0.31
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $2 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $6.6 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 63.2% (#29 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 69% of eligible acres (#33 among all states)

    Connecticut also has a relatively low level of crop insurance protection, with only 69% of eligible acres insured and just $6.6 million in total premiums. Corn, tobacco, and apples were the most insured crops.

  • #45. Nebraska

    - Loss ratio: 0.33
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $169.4 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $519 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 58.5% (#41 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 91% of eligible acres (#7 among all states)

    Agricultural powerhouse Nebraska insures nearly all of its farmland, with 91% of eligible acres protected by crop insurance. Corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum led the pack.

  • #44. Washington

    - Loss ratio: 0.34
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $56.6 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $166.5 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 58.2% (#42 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 90% of eligible acres (#8 among all states)

    Washington farmers grow a wide variety of crops, from barley and wheat to apples and cherries to dry peas and canola. Ninety percent of the state's eligible acres were insured in 2018.

  • #43. Idaho

    - Loss ratio: 0.37
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $25.2 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $68.6 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 57.7% (#43 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 64% of eligible acres (#38 among all states)

    Barley, dry peas, and wheat are the three most widely insured crops in Idaho, a state with a relatively low loss ratio. Slightly less than 65% of the state's eligible acres were insured.

  • #42. North Dakota

    - Loss ratio: 0.37
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $327.1 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $879.1 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 68.5% (#7 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 95% of eligible acres (#2 among all states)

    Almost all of North Dakota's eligible acres of cropland were insured in 2018—it ranks second in the nation by this metric. Sunflowers, wheat, soybeans, barley, canola, corn, dry peas, and flax were the most prevalent crops.

  • #41. New York

    - Loss ratio: 0.40
    - Total losses paid to farmers: $22.5 million
    - Total premiums paid by farmers: $55.7 million
    - Premiums subsidized by government: 65.8% (#20 among all states)
    - Insured cropland: 60% of eligible acres (#41 among all states)

    Sixty percent of New York's eligible acres were covered by crop insurance in 2018, ranking it #41 among all states. Corn and soybeans were the most insured crops, though cabbage and barley actually had the highest loss ratios.

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