Hail board approves refunds

Montana farmers who bought state hail insurance this year will receive a refund of 40 percent of the premiums they paid.

The state Board of Hail Insurance approved the refunds after reviewing an actuarial report at its Dec. 5 annual meeting.

The Montana Department of Agriculture issued 1,925 hail insurance policies covering nearly 1.8 million acres during 2012.

That’s higher that the 1.5 million acres covered in 2011, primarily because a wet spring limited planting that year, said department Deputy Director Joel Clairmont.

“An independent actuary report showed strong confidence that program reserves and annual insurance premiums can continue to cover hail damage claims and allow for the refunds based on damage levels this year,” Clairmont said.

The state program is designed to cover planning costs; many producers increase their protection through additional insurance from private carriers.

The board decided premiums for the 2013 crop year will remain the same as those charged this year, said board Chairman Gary Gollehon of Brady.

Serving with Gollehon on the board are department Director Ron de Yong, Montana State Auditor Monica Lindeen and producers Trudy Lass Skari of Chester and Jim Schillinger of Baker.

For more information about the state hail insurance, contact the Montana Department of Agriculture’s hail specialist at (406) 444-2402 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .