You are here:HomeNews CenterPIA Press Releases2011Federal Employees Union Attacks Crop Insurance Agents

Federal Employees Union Attacks Crop Insurance Agents

WASHINGTON, Friday, May 19, 2011 - A federal employees union is proposing to expel private sector crop insurance agents from a large swath...
May 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, Friday, May 19, 2011  - A federal employees union is proposing to expel private sector crop insurance agents from a large swath of the federal crop insurance program in an apparent effort to immunize union members from budget cuts, according to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).

Employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) are actively lobbying the USDA to be the sole agency to handle the processing of crop insurance claims and collecting acreage reports.

The FSA's employee union, the National Association of FSA County Employees (NASCOE), has asked its members in a bulletin to contact USDA and tell them that, "…FSA of the USDA should be the sole designated entity to take the acreage reports for all USDA purposes." Further, that "agents have a motive for selling policies that are based upon acreages" and that "it does not make sense to pay a crop insurance agent to take the report on insured crops and FSA take acreage reports on all other crops."

Members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents are sending letters to the USDA opposing the FSA employee union's stance. The comment period ends at midnight Friday May 20.

"With continued pressure to cut funding for farm programs, the FSA's employees union has apparently decided it can protect its members' jobs by attacking private sector crop insurance agents and taking over agents' functions," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker. "Moving certain parts of the crop insurance program back to the FSA would set the program back 30 years, to a time when the program was inefficient, underutilized and administrative costs were significantly higher."

"The public/private partnership that has developed over the years has been critical to the overall success of the crop insurance program," Becker said. "Removing functions provided by the private sector from the crop insurance program and replacing them with federal employees is poor public policy and risks increasing, rather than reducing costs."

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM. PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.

Filed under: