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RMA RELEASES NEW COMMON CROP INSURANCE POLICY BASIC PROVISIONS

WASHINGTON, Mar 31, 2010 - USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) Administrator William J. Murphy announced today that its combined insurance plan will be available shortly for all crops that have a contract change date of April 30, 2010 or later. The combination insurance plan will be used for insurance coverage starting with the 2011 crop year. The combination plan, also known as the COMBO rule, revises the Common Crop Insurance Regulations to combine the Actual Production History, Crop Revenue Coverage, Revenue Assurance, Income Protection, and Indexed Income Protection plans into a single insurance plan.

RMA kept and combined the principle features in the five plans that producers bought most often. RMA also developed a single rating and pricing component so all insurance coverage is consistent in insurance protection and cost to producers.

“The COMBO rule creates one insurance plan that replaces five similar plans, which will greatly simplify the insurance process for agents and promote better understanding of the options available for producers,” said Murphy. “The COMBO rule will also reduce the amount of paper that the companies have to deal with since multiple, similar plans are rolled up into one insurance plan.”

Revenue protection will still be available for barley, canola, corn, cotton, grain sorghum, rapeseed, rice, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat. Producers will now be able to choose revenue or yield protection for these crops using one plan. Other crops currently insurable under the Common Crop Insurance Policy will also be insured using the new plan. Provisions for crops with only yield coverage available will not change significantly.

RMA will now offer only one set of policy materials, Special Provisions, and actuarial documents; one rating and pricing methodology; and one premium calculation, unlike in the past where there were multiple, similar sets of documents. This combination has reduced the number of documents agents and producers must read and process; is easier to understand with fewer pricing methods to compare; and provides less chance of errors for producers, crop insurance companies, insurance agents, and the Risk Management Agency. The Federal Register published the Common Crop Insurance Regulations, Basic Provisions; and Various Crop Insurance Provisions final rule on March 30.

RMA administers the Federal crop insurance program. More information about RMA and its programs is available at http://www.rma.usda.gov.