U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2022

§ 400.701 - Definitions.

508(h) submission. A policy, plan of insurance, provision of a policy or plan of insurance, or rates of premium provided by an applicant to FCIC in accordance with the requirements of § 400.705.508(h) submissions as referenced in this subpart do not include concept proposals, index-based weather plans of insurance, or non-reinsured supplemental policies.

Act. Subtitle A of the Federal Crop Insurance Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1501-1524).

Actuarial documents. The information for the crop or insurance year that is available for public inspection in an agent's office and published on RMA's Web site, and that shows available insurance policies, coverage levels, information needed to determine amounts of insurance and guarantees, prices, premium rates, premium adjustment percentages, practices, particular types or varieties of the insurable crop or agricultural commodity, insurable acreage, and other related information regarding insurance in the county or state.

Actuarially appropriate. A term used to describe premium rates when such rates are expected to cover anticipated losses and establish a reasonable reserve based on valid reasoning, an examination of available risk data, or knowledge or experience of the expected value of future costs associated with the risk to be covered. This will be expressed by a combination of data including, but not limited to liability, premium, indemnity, and loss ratios based on actual data or simulations reflecting the risks covered by the policy.

Administrative and operating (A&O) subsidy. The subsidy for the administrative and operating expenses authorized by the Act and paid by FCIC on behalf of the producer to the approved insurance provider. Loss adjustment expense reimbursement paid by FCIC for catastrophic risk protection (CAT) eligible crop insurance contracts is not considered as A&O subsidy.

Advance payment. A portion, up to 50 percent, of the estimated research and development costs, that may be approved by the Board under section 522(b) of the Act for an approved concept proposal. Upon request of the submitter the Board may at its sole discretion provide up to an additional 25 percent advance payment of the estimated research and development costs after the applicant begins research and development activities if:

(1) The concept proposal will provide coverage for a region or crop that is underserved, including specialty crops; and

(2) The submitter is making satisfactory progress towards developing a viable and marketable 508(h) submission.

Agent. An individual licensed by the State in which an eligible crop insurance contract is sold and serviced for the reinsurance year, and who is employed by, or under contract with, the approved insurance provider, or its designee, to sell and service such eligible crop insurance contracts.

Applicant. Any person or entity that submits to the Board for approval a 508(h) submission under section 508(h) of the Act, a concept proposal under section 522 of the Act, or an index-based weather plan of insurance under section 523(i) of the Act, who must include the AIP that has committed to be involved in the development and submission process and to market, sell and service the policy or plan of insurance.

Approved insurance provider (AIP). A legal entity, including the Company, which has entered into a reinsurance agreement with FCIC for the applicable reinsurance year.

Approved procedures. The applicable handbooks, manuals, memoranda, bulletins or other directives issued by RMA or the Board.

Board. The Board of Directors of FCIC.

Commodity. Has the same meaning as section 518 of the Act.

Complete. A 508(h) submission, concept proposal, or index-based weather plan of insurance determined by RMA and the Board to contain all required documentation in accordance with § 400.705 and is of sufficient quality.

Complexity. Consideration of factors such as originality of policy materials, underwriting methods, actuarial rating methodology, and the pricing methodology used in design, construction and all other steps required for the full development of a policy or plan of insurance.

Concept proposal. A written proposal for a prospective 508(h) submission, submitted under section 522(b) of the Act for advance payment of research and development costs, and containing all the information required in this regulation and the Procedures Handbook 17030 - Approved Procedures for Submission of Concept Proposals Seeking Advance Payment of Research and Development Costs, which can be found on the RMA Web site at www.rma.usda.gov, such that the Board is able to determine that, if approved, will be developed into a viable and marketable policy consistent with Board approved procedures, these regulations, and section 508(h) of the Act.

Delivery system. The components or parties that make the policy or plan of insurance available to the public for sale.

Development. The process of composing documentation and procedures, pricing and rating methodologies, administrative and operating procedures, systems and software, supporting materials, and documentation necessary to create and implement a 508(h) submission.

Endorsement. A document that amends or revises an insurance policy reinsured under the Act in a manner that changes existing, or provides additional, coverage provided by such policy.

Expert reviewer. Independent persons contracted by the Board who meet the criteria for underwriters or actuaries that are selected by the Board to review a concept proposal, 508(h) submission, or index-based weather plan of insurance and provide advice to the Board regarding the results of their review.

FCIC. The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, a wholly owned government corporation within USDA, whose programs are administered by RMA.

Index-based weather plan of insurance. A risk management product in which indemnities are based on a defined weather parameter exceeding or failing to meet a given threshold during a specified time period. The weather index is a proxy to measure expected loss of production when the defined weather parameter does not meet the threshold.

Limited resource producer. Has the same meaning as the term defined by USDA at: www.lrftool.sc.egov.usda.gov/LRP_Definition.aspx or a successor Web site.

Livestock commodity. Has the same meaning as the term in section 523(i) of the Act.

Maintenance. For the purposes of this subpart only, the process of continual support, revision or improvement, as needed, for an approved 508(h) submission, including the periodic review of premium rates and prices, updating or modifying the rating or pricing methodologies, updating or modifying policy terms and conditions, adding a new commodity under similar policy terms and conditions with similar rating and pricing methodology, or expanding a plan or policy to additional states and counties, and any other actions necessary to provide adequate, reasonable and meaningful protection for producers, ensure actuarial soundness, or to respond to statutory or regulatory changes. A concept proposal that is similar to a previously approved 508(h) submission will be considered maintenance for the similar approved 508(h) submission if submitted by the same person.

Maintenance costs. Specific expenses associated with the maintenance of an approved 508(h) submission as authorized by § 400.712.

Maintenance period. A period of time that begins on the date the Board approves the 508(h) submission and ends on the date that is not more than four reinsurance years after such approval.

Manager. The Manager of FCIC.

Marketable. A determination by the Board, based on a detailed, written marketability assessment provided in accordance with § 400.705(e), that demonstrates a sufficient number of producers will purchase the product to justify the resources and expenses required to offer the product for sale and maintain the product for subsequent years.

Multiple peril crop insurance (MPCI). Policies reinsured by FCIC that provide protection against multiple causes of loss that adversely affect production or revenue, such as to natural disasters, such as hail, drought, and floods.

National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). An agency within USDA, or its successor agency that collects and analyzes data collected from producers and other sources.

Non-reinsured supplemental policy (NRS). A policy, endorsement, or other risk management tool not reinsured by FCIC under the Act, that offers additional coverage, other than for loss related to hail.

Non-significant changes. Minor changes to the policy or plan of insurance, such as technical corrections, that do not affect the rating or pricing methodologies, the amount of subsidy owed, the amount or type of coverage, FCIC's reinsurance risk, or any other condition that does not affect liability or the amount of loss to be paid under the policy. Revisions to approved plans required by statutory or regulatory changes are included in this category. Changes to the policy that involve concepts that have been previously sent for expert review are also included in this category.

Plan of insurance. A class of policies, such as yield, revenue, or area based that offers a specific type of coverage to one or more agricultural commodities.

Policy. Has the same meaning as the term in section 1 of the Basic Provisions (7 CFR 457.8).

Rate of premium. The dollar amount per insured unit, or percentage rate per dollar of liability, that is needed to pay anticipated losses and provide a reasonable reserve.

Reinsurance year. The term beginning July 1 and ending on June 30 of the following year and, for reference purposes, identified by reference to the year containing June.

Related material. The actuarial documents for the insured commodity and any underwriting or loss adjustment manuals, handbooks, forms, instructions or other information needed to administer the policy.

Research. For the purposes of development, the gathering of information related to: Producer needs and interests for risk management; the marketability of the policy or plan of insurance; appropriate policy terms, premium rates, price elections, administrative and operating procedures, supporting materials, documentation, and the systems and software necessary to implement a policy or plan of insurance. The gathering of information to determine whether it is feasible to expand a policy or plan of insurance to a new area or to cover a new commodity under the same policy terms and conditions, price, and premium rates is not considered research.

Research and development costs. Specific expenses incurred and directly related to the research and development activities of a 508(h) submission as authorized in § 400.712.

Risk Management Agency (RMA). An agency within USDA that is authorized to administer the crop insurance program on behalf of FCIC.

Risk subsidy. The portion of the premium paid by FCIC on behalf of the insured.

Sales closing date. A date contained in the Special Provisions by which an application must be filed and the last date by which the insured may change the crop insurance coverage for a crop year.

Secretary. The Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.

Significant change. Any change to the policy or plan of insurance that may affect the rating and pricing methodologies, the amount of subsidy owed, the amount of coverage, the interests of producers, FCIC's reinsurance risk, or any condition that may affect liability or the amount of loss to be paid under the policy.

Special Provisions. Has the same meaning as the term in section 1 of the Basic Provisions (7 CFR 457.8).

Specialty crops. Fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

Socially disadvantaged producer. Has the same meaning as section 2501(E) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(e)).

Standard Reinsurance Agreement (SRA). The reinsurance agreement between FCIC and the approved insurance provider, under which the approved insurance provider is authorized to sell and service eligible crop insurance contracts. For the purposes of this subpart, all references to the SRA will also include any other reinsurance agreements entered into with FCIC, including the Livestock Price Reinsurance Agreement.

Submitter. Same meaning as applicant.

Sufficient quality. A determination made by RMA and the Board that the material presented is clearly written in plain language in accordance with the Plain Writing Act of 2010 (5 U.S.C. 301), unambiguous, and is supported by detailed analysis and data so that expert reviewers, RMA and the Board can understand, comprehend and make calculations, draw substantiated conclusions or results to determine whether the 508(h) submission, concept proposal, or index-based weather plan of insurance meets the standards required for approval.

Targeted producer. Producers who are considered small, socially disadvantaged, beginning and limited resource or other specific aspects designated by FCIC for review.

USDA. The United States Department of Agriculture.

User fees. Fees, approved by the Board, that can be charged to approved insurance provider for use of a policy or plan of insurance once the period for maintenance has expired that only covers the expected maintenance costs to be incurred by the submitter.

Viable. A determination by the Board that the concept proposal, index-based weather plan of insurance, or 508(h) submission is or can be developed into a policy or plan of insurance that can be implemented by the delivery system with actuarially appropriate rates in accordance with Board procedures.