Sunday, February 10, 2019

Poultry Insurance Faces More Challenges

The Mississippi Department of Insurance issued the following article.

Agriculture is the number one industry in Mississippi, and poultry is one of its most valuable segments. The Mississippi State University Extension Service estimates that in 2018, the poultry and egg industry brought in almost $3 billion. With such a large, profitable industry, insurance is important to producers.

“Poultry is consistently one of the top economic drivers for our state. Insurance helps keep Mississippi-grown poultry prices competitive in national and international markets,” said Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney.

Mark Leggett, President of the Mississippi Poultry Association, when asked why insurance is important to poultry farms, responded, “For one basic reason, you’re not going to get a loan if you don’t have insurance.”

Independent growers rely on loans, mostly Small Business Administration loans, not only to get up and running, but to support continued operations, improvements and expansion. In order to obtain these loans, one thing a grower must have is insurance.

Most poultry production is contracted out to independent growers but that does not imply a small operation. A new poultry house can cost more than $350,000 to build and equip, and most farms have four houses or more. According to the MSU Extension Service, a single 25,000 square foot broiler house can produce almost a million pounds of live birds annually.

Only a small number of insurance providers are willing to write coverage for poultry farms, largely because of the expensive replacement cost for destroyed or damaged poultry houses. The main threats to a poultry house are lightning, fire, tornado, hurricane, hail, and ice storms. One tornado going across a 4-house poultry farm could easily do over a million dollars in damage. In the spring of 2014, tornadoes damaged or destroyed at least 65 poultry houses and killed over a million chickens in the state. The disaster led to some insurers no longer writing policies in Mississippi.

In addition to the wind-related storm damage that growers seek to insure against, one of the most costly threats is lightning. Modern chicken houses are full of electronic systems controlling temperature, humidity and lighting, much of which can be monitored remotely. If these systems are not properly grounded, lightning can blow out and destroy this equipment, which probably has the highest replacement cost.

Ernie Joiner of Joiner Insurance is one of the few agents in the state still writing insurance for poultry houses. He addressed some of the challenges facing poultry growers, saying, “Invest in all safety measures available at the time of construction. This upfront investment will pay for itself many times over with premium savings and loss prevention.”

Joiner continued, “Houses can be retrofitted at any time with safety devices that increase the insurability of the property. New owners of farms that were built years earlier can add the cost for upgrades at the time of purchase.”

Leggett echoes Joiner’s advice to insure and invest in poultry houses, “It’s important to get you back on your feet after a storm or ice damage or fire or whatever the causes you’re insured for.”

The Mississippi Insurance Department (MID) remains committed to helping insurance consumers in the state. Contact the MID Consumer Services division at 1-800-562-2957 or by emailing


Anonymous said...

The insurance industry is exempt from anti-trust law. That needs to change.

Anonymous said...

CH-S to the rescue of the poultry companiies, banks, and growers in that order. Who do you think will foot the bill, the growers and the taxpayers.

Cynical Sam said...

Nothing will change with the insurance and big pharma industries until there are Congressional term limits.

That won't happen until a Convention of States occurs.

Anonymous said...

3;12 is correct. thus the insurance industry in mississippi is regulated by the ms st dept if insurance. an administrative agency created by the legislature. problem is the state dept of insurance doesn't have the resources nor the legal teeth to regulate a one car funeral. reason for that is that the stinking insurance industry has the entire mississippi legislature on its payroll. all those fat ass legislators you hear talking about protecting industry from the evil plaintiff lawyers are all bought and paid for by the insurance companies. you will find them all with their lobbyist buddies at ticos swilling their free booze, packing their faces on free steak {the atkins diet ,of course} and playing grab ass with the waitresses.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, beside what this little advertisement makes you believe, there are plenty of agents writing poultry house insurance besides Ernie Joiner. There aren't but a few carriers. That being said, the poultry market has been sold too cheap and the integrators(companies) and the growers don't what to pay for it. When you can insure over $1mil in property in less than 5 acres for less than $10k in premium, it doesn't take long to figure out that one good storm and the insurance company will never recoup the losses at that location. Then look at the state of MS as a whole and the wide spread wind and hail storms that scatter across this state annually and you can see why MS is not a profitable state for poultry house insurance. Most Poultry house claims are wind/hail driven versus lightening.

Anonymous said...

"Ernie Joiner of Joiner Insurance is one of the few agents in the state still writing insurance for poultry houses." Might be one of the biggest loads of BS i have ever read. There are PLENTY of agents that are "willing" to write insurance on poultry houses.

Why does this Ernie guy thing he is so special?

Anonymous said...

If it were profitable there would be 25 companies wanting to write the coverage. If some of you think its such a money maker jump in and pay a claim out of your pocket. Same can be said for the wind exposure on the coast. If you have a business and can't make a reasonable 6% profit you won't be in business very long. Check out the closed Mugshots on Spillway if you don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

I agree these guys don't gamble, if they can't make a profit, they are leaving town.

Anonymous said...

Appears the insurance companies just need to raise prices. Perhaps Mississippi growers could co op an insurance plan. The poultry companies could help get it started with some seed money. They will benefit in the long term.

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