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Crop Insurance in the United States

NEW DATA - Insurance subsidies to individual policyholders

Washington, D.C. - A new analysis of over a million government records never before made public and obtained by the Environmental Working Group through the Freedom of Information Act has found that in 2011 more than 10,000 individual farming operations have received federal crop insurance premium subsidies ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 million apiece. Some 26 farming operations received subsidies of $1 million or more last year. Read More

26 farm businesses benefitted from $1 million in subsidies to buy crop insurance in 2011.

Policyholders receiving the most Insurance subsidies - Nation, state and county. National list here.

10 percent of farm businesses received 54 percent of all insurance subsidies in 2011. Click here

Federally subsidized crop insurance is available to farmers if their crop is an eligible crop for their area. The government provides 50% catastrophic coverage to farmers at no cost to the farmer. However, farmers can upgrade their coverage by purchasing additional insurance through crop insurance companies.

Government Expenses of the Crop Insurance Program in the United States (1995-2012)
IndemnitiesIndemnities are the amount of money that is paid out by the Federal Government to farmers in claims of loss or damage to an insured crop.$76,897,777,061 
Administrative and Operating Expense ReimbursementsAmounts paid by the Federal Government to insurance companies to administer the crop insurance program.$16,617,279,100 
Other Federal ExpensesIncludes Federal administration and program costs as well as Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) primarily in 1999-2000 which paid a percentage of farmer premiums. The EFA paid $855 million dollars in farmer premiums over the life of the program.$2,903,503,798 
Expenses to the Government$96,418,559,958
Government Revenue of the Crop Insurance Program in the United States (1995-2012)
Farmer PremiumsAmount paid by farmers for insurance premiums$36,319,957,037 
Government Earned Interest$795,910,005 
Revenue to the Government$37,115,867,042
Cost of the Crop Insurance Program in the United States (1995-2012)
Cost to the Government*
Underwriting Gains paid by the government to crop insurance companies are not included in this total - see methodology. Crop insurance companies were paid $12 billion nationally by the government in underwriting gains from 1995-2012 and is a cost not shown in this table.
$59,302,692,917
METHODOLOGY: EWG obtained county level crop insurance information from USDA Risk Management Agency which shows premium subsidies, indemnities and farmer premiums at the county/crop level by crop year. Administrative and Operating Expense Reimbursements to crop insurance companies (A+O), Other program fund costs, Other administrative and operating fund costs expenses, and Government earned interest were allocated to the crop/county level by using the national expenditures/revenue of the Crop Insurance program (available here for 2003-2012 and from RMA previous to 2003) in each category and attributing them the crop/county level by total premiums. EWG was unable to attribute underwriting gains to the county/crop level. Underwriting gains (or losses) are paid to insurance companies when the insurance companies collect more in total subsidies than are paid out in indemnities. Since underwriting gains are paid by company on the basis of all of their policies, EWG was unable to allocate underwriting gains by crop or by region. The total underwriting gains for 1995-2012 is $11 billion.