IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Accounting for Weather Probabilities in Crop Insurance Rating


  • Coble, Keith H.
  • Miller, Mary Frances
  • Rejesus, Roderick M.
  • Boyles, Ryan
  • Goodwin, Barry K.
  • Knight, Thomas O.


The US crop insurance program previously used a simple average of equally weighted historical loss cost data to serve as the backbone for estimating crop insurance premium rates. This article develops a procedure for weighting the historical loss cost experience based on longer time-series weather information and improve statistical validity of estimated premium rates. It was determined that the best weather data to account for weather probabilities in crop insurance premium rating is the National Climatic Data Center’s Time Bias Corrected Divisional Temperature-Precipitation-Drought Index data, also called the Climate Division Data. Using fractional logit and out-of-sample competitions, weather variables can be selected to construct an index that would allow proper assessment of the relative probability of weather events that drive production losses and to construct proper “weather weights” that can be applied when averaging historical loss cost data to calculate rates. A variable width binning approach with equal probabilities was determined as the best approach for classifying each year in the shorter historical loss cost data used for rating. When the weather weighting approach described above is applied, we find that for apples, barley, cotton, potatoes, rice, and spring/winter wheat, the weather weighted average loss costs at the national level tend to be smaller than the calculated average loss costs without weather weighting. However, for corn, cotton, sorghum, and soybeans, the weather weighted average loss costs at the national level tend to be larger. Around 51% of the counties have weather weighted average loss costs lower than the average loss costs without weather weighting

Suggested Citation

  • Coble, Keith H. & Miller, Mary Frances & Rejesus, Roderick M. & Boyles, Ryan & Goodwin, Barry K. & Knight, Thomas O., 2013. "Accounting for Weather Probabilities in Crop Insurance Rating," 2013 AAEA: Crop Insurance and the Farm Bill Symposium, October 8-9, Louisville, KY 156825, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaeaci:156825

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vincent H. Smith & Barry K. Goodwin, 1995. "The Economics of Crop Insurance and Disaster Aid," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53374.
    2. Esmeralda A. Ramalho & Joaquim J.S. Ramalho & José M.R. Murteira, 2011. "Alternative Estimating And Testing Empirical Strategies For Fractional Regression Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 19-68, February.
    3. Beach, Robert H. & Thomson, Allison M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2010. "Climate Change Impacts On Us Agriculture," Proceedings Issues, 2010: Climate Change in World Agriculture: Mitigation, Adaptation, Trade and Food Security, June 2010, Stuttgart- Hohenheim, Germany 91393, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    4. Julia I. Borman & Barry K. Goodwin & Keith H. Coble & Thomas O. Knight & Rod Rejesus, 2013. "Accounting for short samples and heterogeneous experience in rating crop insurance," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 73(1), pages 88-101, May.
    5. Jesse Tack & Ardian Harri & Keith Coble, 2012. "More than Mean Effects: Modeling the Effect of Climate on the Higher Order Moments of Crop Yields," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1037-1054.
    6. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Crop Insurance; Premium Rating; Weather Weighting; Agricultural and Food Policy; Risk and Uncertainty; G22; Q10; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • Q10 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - General
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaeaci:156825. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.