With back-to-school season around the corner, students are packing up their notebooks and pencils in preparation for the start of the school year. Crop claims adjusters are also going back to school – but they’re packing up their tape measures and clipboards instead each summer. During the last week of July, COUNTRY Financial® and its’ field force of crop insurance claims experts lead two weeks of training internally at the University of Illinois, and externally the following week through a partnership with National Crop Insurance Services (NCIS).
The external corn and soybean crop hail instruction and field training school is open to loss adjusters from across the Midwest and hosted by NCIS’s Illinois-Wisconsin Regional/State Crop Insurance Committee. The two-day, hands-on workshop allows COUNTRY Financial experts to train new adjusters on corn procedures, V-stage soybean and wheat procedures and R-stage soybean procedures during a day of classroom instruction.
“This school gives us the opportunity to work with fellow adjusters across the industry to calibrate our procedures to NCIS standards,” says Cody Bruning, a field claims manager in the industry and the Chair of the Illinois & Wisconsin Regional State Committee at NCIS. “We might be competitors, but each of us wants to provide the best service for our customers that we can.”
What’s school without a final test? After an extensive corn and soybean crop hail teaching day, the loss adjuster students are “tested” in the field. Using their new knowledge from the classroom, the adjusters must evaluate corn, wheat andsoybean crops at 7 different test plots and assess them for damage. Each test plot contains plants in different stages of development with various simulated damages. After inspection, the adjusters determine if the damage was caused by wind and/or hail, if there is rood lodging or more impacting the plants.
“We look forward each year to partnering with NCIS to provide this opportunity of best practices to others in our field,” says Brad Clow, COUNTRY Financial Crop Operations Manager. “COUNTRY Financial has always trained our employees to be there for our customers. That is the same motivation that drives our team to further grow the industry.”
COUNTRY Financial has protected farms and crops since 1925, adapting products to meet the diverse and changing needs of today’s farmers. Keeping up to date with the latest adjusting practices is one way COUNTRY Financial has remained both the number one farm and number one crop hail insurer in Illinois.
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Photos of NCIS/COUNTRY Financial crop insurance claims adjuster field day
A COUNTRY Financial crop insurance adjuster captured a drone image with one student team in one of the seven field plots used throughout the adjuster field day training at the University of Illinois on August 2, 2018.
Approximately 65 adjusters from companies in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio and Missouri meet up to get directions for their field day portion of the two-day crop insurance adjuster training at the University of Illinois. The annual event hosted by NCIS is more than 40 years old, and is in its third year led by COUNTRY Financial.