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Crop Insurance coverage for Soybeans: The Low Loss Ratio Concern

Some farmers have requested about utilizing crop insurance coverage on soybeans, indicating that they haven’t obtained crop insurance coverage funds in a really very long time and questioning if buying crop insurance coverage is an inexpensive funding. Herein, we look at the crop insurance coverage efficiency for soybeans, discovering that soybean insurance policies pay comparatively lower than all insurance policies within the U.S. Funds relative to premiums are a lot decrease in northern and central Illinois than the U.S. normally. Even given low funds, lowering crop insurance coverage protection has dangers, significantly given the excessive manufacturing prices this 12 months. We talk about some crop insurance coverage methods which some farmers could use with soybeans.

Soybean Loss Ratios Over Time

Soybeans have low loss ratios over time. A loss ratio equals funds over whole premiums, with a loss ratio of 1.00, that means that funds equal premiums. A loss ratio above 1.00 signifies that funds exceed premiums. Conversely, a loss ratio under 1.00 means the whole premiums are larger than funds. The Danger Administration Company (RMA) is the U.S. Division of Agriculture company that administers crop insurance coverage and has a legislative objective of sustaining a loss ratio for your entire program of 1.00 over time. A loss reserve is constructed in the course of the setting of the premium, leading to a goal loss ratio for this system that must be under 1.00.

Over the twenty-year interval from 2002 to 2021, the loss ratio for your entire program averaged .82 (see Determine 1). In all however 4 years, the loss ratio for all insurance policies administered by the RMA was under 1.00: 2002 when the ratio was 1.39, 2012 with 1.57, 2013 with 1.02, and 2019 with 1.05 (see Determine 1). When evaluated throughout all insurance policies and crops, RMA is assembly its legislative objective.

The loss ratio for soybean insurance policies within the U.S. averaged .62 from 2002 to 2021, properly under the .82 loss ratio for your entire program. In all however 4 years, the loss ratio for soybeans was under the loss ratio for the U.S. program:

  • 2003: soybean loss ratio of 1.45 and U.S. ratio of .95.
  • 2004: soybean loss ratio of .78 and U.S. ratio of .76.
  • 2007: soybean loss ratio of .56 and U.S. ratio of .54.
  • 2008: soybean loss ratio of 1.10 and U.S. ratio of .88

General, the soybean loss ratio is constantly under the loss ratio for all insurance policies within the U.S.

Soybeans in Illinois have even decrease loss ratios than within the U.S. (see Determine 2). Between 2002 and 2021, Illinois’ loss ratio for soybeans averaged .48, properly under the .65 common for the U.S. Illinois’ loss ratio for soybeans has been under the U.S. loss ratio in all however three years:

  • 2003: 1.56 for Illinois in comparison with 1.45 for the U.S.
  • 2012: 1.21 for Illinois in comparison with .91 for the U.S.
  • 2015: .57 for Illinois in comparison with .55 for the U.S.

Inside Illinois, loss ratios are the bottom in central Illinois, adopted by northern Illinois, after which by southern Illinois (see Determine 3). The county with the bottom common loss ratio from 2002 to 2021 is Christian County (central Illinois), with a .17 loss ratio. Warren County (west-central Illinois) has the second lowest loss ratio at .19. Many counties in central Illinois have loss ratios under .30.

Loss ratios in southern Illinois are usually larger. In southern Illinois, Jefferson County has the best loss ratio at .86. Observe that Jefferson County will not be excessively excessive however nearer the 1.00 legislated goal when in comparison with many different counties in Illinois.

Crop Insurance coverage Choices with Low Loss Ratios

Low loss ratios over time point out that premiums are too excessive relative to funds. Farmers don’t pay all of the premiums related to the whole premiums because the Federal authorities offers premium assist. Even given this premium assist, farmers in some counties have paid extra into crop insurance coverage than have been obtained in indemnity funds over time. For instance, in Christian County — the county with the bottom soybean loss ratio in Illinois — farmers have, on common, paid $5.32 per acre extra in premiums than have been obtained in funds in every year from 2002 to 2021.

It appears extraordinarily dangerous to remove crop insurance coverage on soybeans. Prices have elevated tremendously, and there’s the danger of draw back worth actions. Nicely over 90% of the acres in Illinois are insured utilizing Income Safety (RP), and most farmers use comparatively excessive protection ranges (see farmdoc each day, November 17, 2020 and January 25, 2022). In northern and central Illinois, most farmers buy crop insurance coverage on the 80 and 85% protection ranges, whereas southern Illinois farmers usually use 75% and 80% protection ranges. Beneath we provide and talk about two insurance coverage methods to contemplate.

Decrease Protection Stage and Use SCO and ECO: Desk 1 exhibits crop insurance coverage premiums for RP at completely different protection ranges in Christian County. These premiums are for enterprise models. An 85% protection degree has a farmer-paid premium of $15.25 per acre. Decreasing the protection degree to 80% will minimize the farmer-paid premium in half to $6.62 per acre.

A farmer might additionally add the Supplemental Protection Choice (SCO) to their decrease particular person protection degree (see farmdoc each day, February 27, 2014). SCO offers county protection from 86% to the extent of the underlying RP product. For an 80% RP product, SCO offers protection from 86% to 80%. SCO protection makes use of county yields, and county yields could not match farm yields, presenting instances by which a farm-level product would pay and SCO wouldn’t, and vice versa. An 80% RP plus an SCO product has an $11.52 whole premium, nonetheless under the $15.25 premium for 85% RP. Additional reductions within the RP protection degree cut back the premium on the mixed RP and SCO product (see Desk 1).

Farmers might additionally add an Enhanced Protection Choice (ECO) coverage on high of SCO (see farmdoc each day, November 24, 2020). ECO with a 90% protection degree will shield 90% to 86%, enhancing the protection above the 86% degree on SCO. Nonetheless, ECO will improve the farmer-paid premium value. For instance, a mixture of 80% RP, SCO, and ECO on the 90% protection degree has a premium of $20.03 per acre, larger than the $15.25 premium for RP-85%.

In Christian County, SCO was bought on 3,806 acres or 2.8% of eligible RP acres in 2022. ECO was used on 2,580 acres. Extra element on ECO and SCO use is offered in farmdoc each day articles on August 9, 2022, and January 31, 2020.

Extra element on methods utilizing RP, SCO, and ECO is offered within the March 2, 2021, farmdoc each day.

Use RP with the Harvest Value Exclusion

Farmers might additionally use RP with the Harvest Value Exclusion (RPhpe). RPhpe doesn’t have a assure improve like RP. RP makes use of the upper of the projected and harvest worth in setting its assure, whereas RPhpe makes use of solely the projected worth. Having the assure improve is especially helpful in drought years when yields are low, and costs are excessive. In 2012, the assure improve had a big impression on crop insurance coverage funds from corn. Nonetheless, the impression was much less for soybeans (see Desk 2).

RPhpe 85% has a $7.37 premium, half the premium for RP 85%. Farmers might add SCO and ECO-90% and have a mixed premium of $15.02, nonetheless lower than the RP 85% protection degree. Using RPhpe plus ECO would profit these farmers extra involved with worth declines because the SCO and ECO would improve the protection degree, though utilizing a county-based protection band from 90% all the way down to the person plan’s protection degree.


Loss ratios for soybeans are decrease than different Federal insurance policies, and loss ratios are significantly low in northern and central Illinois. In an effort to cut back premiums whereas sustaining some security internet, some farmers could decrease protection ranges on RP and make up a number of the distinction with SCO. Doing so will commerce farm yield protection for county protection.  If a farm’s yields are low, lowering protection degree could end in decrease or no crop insurance coverage cost. Using RPhpe fairly than RP additionally will decrease the premium considerably. Utilizing RPhpe offers up the assure improve which is included in RP.  The assure improve is most helpful in drought years like 2012. Any technique to cut back insurance coverage premium prices has tradeoffs that must be thought-about.


Paulson, N. and J. Coppess. “2014 Farm Invoice: The Supplemental Protection Choice.” farmdoc each day (4):37, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 27, 2014.

Paulson, N., G. Schnitkey, J. Coppess, C. Zulauf and Ok. Swanson. “SCO and ECO Insurance coverage Program Use.” farmdoc each day (12):118, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, August 9, 2022.

Paulson, N., G. Schnitkey, Ok. Swanson and C. Zulauf. “The New Enhanced Protection Choice (ECO) Crop Insurance coverage Program.” farmdoc each day (10):203, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 24, 2020.

Schnitkey, G., C. Zulauf, N. Paulson and Ok. Swanson. “Crop insurance coverage Choices in 2022.” farmdoc each day (12):10, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, January 25, 2022.

Schnitkey, G., N. Paulson, C. Zulauf and Ok. Swanson. “Income Safety: The Most Used Crop Insurance coverage Product.” farmdoc each day (10):198, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, November 17, 2020.

Schnitkey, G., N. Paulson, Ok. Swanson and C. Zulauf. “RP, ECO, and SCO Tradeoffs.” farmdoc each day (11):29, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, March 2, 2021.

Zulauf, C., G. Schnitkey, Ok. Swanson, J. Coppess and N. Paulson. “Historic Have a look at SCO (Supplemental Protection Choice) Participation.” farmdoc each day (10):18, Division of Agricultural and Shopper Economics, College of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, January 31, 2020.

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