Farmers Business Network recently launched an affiliate FBN Insurance with a network of trained professionals offering crop insurance in key ag states. Spokespeople say the goal is to customize products to fit each individual grower’s needs. FBN will use its data resources on a wide range of factors, from weather to yield history to soil information, to help farmers make cost-effective decisions.
FBN says this latest endeavor isn’t just another company selling crop insurance. FBN’s goal is to change not only the way farmers decide which coverage to buy, but also how they work with their crop insurance agent.
Lucas Strom, Kane County, Ill., is FBN’s head of insurance. Here is his exclusive interview with Farm Progress:
What states will you operate in? We’re currently operating across these 17 states: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. We will expand into more states.
Who is selling insurance products for you? We put together our own network. We have national reach, but with a localized, experienced team. They are full-time agents backed by hundreds of millions of acres of data points to help farmers make the best decisions about risk. We’re talking with other agencies which may offer our products.
Do you have to be an FBN member to buy FBN Insurance? No, FBN Insurance will sell crop insurance to anyone. We firmly believe that an annual fee of $700 for an FBN membership provides access to many advantages and is a bargain, but it’s not a requirement. Farmers who don’t belong to FBN will get the same assistance from our insurance agents as anyone else.
What products will FBN Insurance offer? We offer the same federally backed insurance policies which farmers are familiar with. We also offer wind and hail protection. Ultimately, we will have a scenario analysis model to help farmers pick the right risk coverage based on weather patterns, marketing plans and the operator’s risk tolerance.
Prices for federal coverage are set. Since you can’t offer lower price, why would farmers want to consider working with FBN Insurance? First, we’re firm believers in helping farmers be profitable. We’re going to do what it takes to educate farmers so they can make informed, profitable decisions.
Secondly, our agents will have FBN’s data and resources at their disposal. If a farmer is overinsured, we can lower their total premiums. If they’re underinsured, we can help them better mitigate risk. They will see our agents more than twice per year.
We intend to develop computerized tools like yield estimation which will be customizable to any location. We don’t have it yet, but it’s coming. Farmers who work with our agents will have access to that level of sophisticated data.
How would you sum up what sets your company apart? We’re bringing technology to the crop insurance world. It’s an industry which has done things the same way for a long time. We will use data-driven technology to help farmers make smarter, more efficient decisions in an easier way. The goal is to help farmers save money.
How can a farmer learn more? You can get a free personal risk analysis at fbn.com/try-insurance, or call 1-844-200-FARM. You can get an analysis online or arrange for an agent to visit your farm.