Weather based crop insurance (Ontario)
Agricorp provides weather derivative insurance programs that cover Forage and Grasslands. These programs are based solely on precipitation values during the growing season. Since 2005, Weather INnovations Consulting LP has installed and maintains 350 stations across Ontario. All of the collected data undergoes a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) process before being submitted to Agricorp. This process has been approved by an accredited meteorologist.
All of Agricorps weather-based programs are area based where the weather variables measured at the rain monitoring sites are the sole basis for claim payments. WIN’s regular maintenance and thorough QA/QC process is an integral part in the programs and allows impartiality of Agricorp during the collection and handling of weather data.
Rainfall can vary greatly over relatively short distances, Agricorp needed to get the most accurate assessment of rainfall as possible. A more efficient data collection and review was needed to help reduce the amount of paperwork required by producers and eliminate the need for on-farm inspections while providing coverage against extreme conditions.
In 2005, both WIN and Agricorp selected 350 individual monitoring sites across the province of Ontario. These stations were distributed to have one at every township.
At each WIN station there is one tipping bucket rain gauge, measuring 0.2 mm per tip and one accumulator gauge to verify total rainfall amounts. All data is collected manually by individual contractors who visit each site and take both manual and digital readouts from each gauge. There is a logger, a counter and an accumulator installed at each site for redundancy. Data is then processed through a rigorous QA/QC process.
WIN ensures field services meet crop insurance needs and standards. The weather stations are routinely inspected and maintained throughout the growing season with offseason station calibration and verifications and all verifications documents completed.
The QA/QC process allows WIN to compare both manual and digital data sets and flag anomalies that allows for further investigation. Designated WIN staff review the information daily and reports and maps are generated in Agricorp’s requested format.
In 12 years, WIN has provided nearly 30 million “sensor hours” of service and have recently signed a new agreement with Agricorp in 2017 for the next 3 years. Through the weather-based programs, Agricorp can continue to develop innovative insurance products that offer minimal administration for their customers and WIN can continue developing rigorous weather monitoring and data quality assurance and quality control. Agricorp and WIN have taken every step to ensure that the program and outputs are sound and fair.