Citrus Industry Losses from 2017 Storms Involve Multiple Policies, Coverages

Property Casualty 360

Hurricane Irma devastated 50% to 90% of Florida’s citrus fruit — oranges, grapefruits and tangerines — and Florida is facing its lowest citrus forecast in more than 70 years. Shortly after the storm, the state estimated that its citrus industry lost more than $750 million. Lawmakers and the Florida Agriculture Commissioner have stated that the damage estimate may exceed $1 billion, as fruit continued to fall well after the storm passed. In addition to citrus losses, the state estimated that Irma inflicted $180 million in damage to vegetable and non-citrus fruit growers.

Serious questions remain regarding whether Florida citrus can survive without assistance. Much of the conversation is focused on emergency assistance from the government. But the citrus industry and others affected by the storms should not overlook the significant assets that may be found in their insurance portfolios. Companies should consider coverage for the destroyed fruit and for lost business income — both for growers and those whose business relies on the growers.

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“Citrus Industry Losses from 2017 Storms Involve Multiple Policies, Coverages,” by Jared Zola and Robyn L. Michaelson was published in Property Casualty 360 on March 21, 2018. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.