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California Wine Growers May Be Able to Make Crop Insurance Claims: All Growers with Slightest Possibility of Damage Should Call Their Brokers


Walnut Creek, Calif., 13 October 2017 – The exceptional speed and strength of the wildfires raging through Napa, Sonoma, Lake, and Mendocino counties in California’s wine country is causing stats on destroyed structures and damaged crops to remain on the rise.

If you are an agribusiness owner with a federal crop insurance policy in place, you should be aware there may be multiple reasons for calling in a notice of potential loss to your agent:

  • Direct Damage
    In the case of direct damage to your vineyard resulting in lost crop due to fire, you should immediately contact your crop insurance agent to report the loss. Direct damage (e.g., from a fire) to a crop is a covered cause of loss.
  • Smoke Taint
    The smoke in the air can cause smoke taint, rendering the affected crop a total loss, partial loss, or possible quality loss. If you suspect smoke taint may be a reality in your vineyard, you should notify your crop insurance agent immediately to report the potential damage. Smoke taint can be a covered cause of loss; however, certain conditions must be met in order for a claim to be viable.
  • Inability to Harvest
    If you are precluded from being able to harvest your crop due to wildfire inhibiting access to your vineyard, you could have a potential cause of loss. While rare, “inability to harvest” could very well be the case for some who are not able to reach their vineyard for some period of time. If you are unable to access your vineyard, it is best for you to contact and alert your crop insurance agent.

Please note, crop insurance only covers the crop—not the vines. Even if you have the slightest possibility of damage, you should contact your agent immediately. Additionally, a payable claim is ultimately dependent upon your insurable acreage, average yields, coverage levels, prices per ton, and guarantees of the policy.

If you or anyone you know has any questions related to their agribusiness insurance, we are here to help. Feel free to reach out anytime to Greg Merrill of Pan American at




About Ascension Insurance, Inc.

Ascension Insurance, Inc. is a premier insurance agency that offers superior risk-management and benefits-consulting services across the U.S. It is ranked within the top 50 largest agencies in the country by revenue, with approximately 500 employees in more than 30 locations nationwide. Ascension is a privately held corporation; alongside its private-equity partners, Parthenon Capital and Century Capital Management, the company expects to continue its strong growth trajectory through additional acquisitions and organic growth.





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