Deal to Fund Federal Government Includes Provisions to Aid Crop Insurance AgentsDecember 20, 2022
WASHINGTON – An agreement reached by Congress on an omnibus deal to fund the federal government until September 30, 2023 includes crop insurance provisions sought by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). The deal comes just weeks after PIA crop insurance agents came to Washington, D.C. to promote the provisions, which seek to reverse actions taken by federal agencies that disadvantage crop insurance agents, especially in a time of rapid inflation.
Crop insurance agents from PIA affiliates in North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Minnesota came to Washington, D.C. on November 30 to ask Congress to include inflation provisions in the year-end omnibus appropriations package. They met with their elected representatives, congressional committee staff, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to press their case. In addition, PIA agents from around the country sent grassroots action messages to their Congressional representatives on this issue.
Background: The 2011 Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA), which is the contract between the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) and crop insurers, established a cap, applicable in most instances, on the administrative and operating (A&O) expense subsidy. In addition, beginning in 2016, the RMA stopped making annual inflation adjustments to the total A&O subsidy cap, leaving its value fixed in 2015 dollars, where it remains today.
These actions resulted in effective cuts to crop insurance agent commissions, during a historically challenging time for agents. The provisions included in the year-end omnibus acknowledge the need for the federal government to provide crop insurance agents with inflation adjustments.
“The inclusion of these provisions in the omnibus is a great example of the impact PIA members can have when they advocate for their profession,” said Jon Gentile, vice president of government relations for PIA.
Congress must still pass the omnibus before December 23 and, Gentile noted, it is also possible that the package could be changed before it comes to the floor of each chamber for a vote. After the omnibus text is final, PIA’s work will continue in 2023 to ensure these provisions are fully implemented and, if necessary, urge the 118th Congress to further address the inflation issues in the upcoming Farm Bill negotiations.
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA’s web address is http://www.pianational.org.