Insurance, Farm Policy Separate Issues
April was a difficult month for many residents of North Carolina due to the rash of severe storms and tornados that ripped through the state, claiming lives, homes and businesses.
On April 4 and 5, thunder and hail storms affected thousands of our members near or in Charlotte, Greensboro, Forest City and Hickory. Property damages alone were in the tens of millions of dollars. As if that weren’t enough, these same areas were again hit with a more severe storm on April 9 and 10.
Numerous tornadoes then shredded everything in their path through nearly two dozen counties in Eastern North Carolina on April 16 and 17. These tornadoes alone resulted in hundred of millions of dollars in damages to homes and businesses, not to mention the incalculable toll on the families who lost loved ones.
For those who have suffered from the storms and tornadoes, we offer our heartfelt sympathies. The employees working in North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, many of whom suffered tornado and storm damages themselves, have been working almost nonstop to help our policyholders get their lives back to normal as quickly as possible.
As a family of companies, we have also reached out and made donations to some of the many organizations that have been working to help clear debris and offer needed supplies and support to the victims of these natural disasters. We have also offered information about additional venues of assistance to those impacted.
While the difficult emotional and physical task of recovering from these storms continues, Farm Bureau’s mission remains clear.
North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation was established in 1936 to offer farmers a unified voice to protect their rights in the legislative arena, so they could provide the food and fiber required by the general population.
Having found its legislative voice, Farm Bureau branched out to further help its members in 1953 by establishing its most popular member service program—NCFB Mutual Insurance Company. The reason for this new member service was to help provide a safety net for the tens of thousands of farmers and rural residents who could not get insurance coverage because the companies that existed wouldn’t accept the risk.
Since that time, Farm Bureau’s agricultural advocacy mission has been a separate mission from its insurance operations. They are, in fact, two separate organizations with different responsibilities. Yet, they exist under the same family of companies.
As a non-profit organization, North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation is an advocacy organization with the mission of helping farmers and rural residents improve their quality of life through legislative representation and member services.
NCFB Federation is a grassroots, policy-driven organization with a presence in all of the state’s 100 counties. Our members develop policy on a wide range of issues. We closely follow legislative action in the General Assembly and Congress based on the guidance provided by those policy positions.
NCFB Insurance helps our members improve their quality of life by reducing their risk and helping them recover from devastating events, such as April’s natural disasters. But, our insurance agents are independent contractors with no connection to the federation’s policy making process. They sell and service insurance. They don’t make policy decisions.
The structure established by our founding members 75 years ago is still working. Over the years, it has been questioned, evaluated and examined by state and federal regulators and found to be in strict compliance with all laws and governing regulations.
Through the scrutiny, however, our mission remains unchanged—to help farmers and rural families. We remain committed to helping our 520,000 member families live better lives now, as well as plan appropriately for the future.