Shellfish Crop Insurance Program

General Information
The Shellfish Crop Insurance Program is a limited-peril pilot program that provides shellfish producers with a means to insure production against specified named perils. The program insures containerized oysters commercially produced for the half-shell market.
Shellfish is available in select counties in Alabama, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia.
Insured Commodity

Shellfish is available in all counties where a premium rate is provided in the actuarial documents:

  • In which you have a share;
  • That is listed on your application submitted by you and is accepted;
  • That is a type designated in the Special Provisions;
  • That is grown in containers;
  • That meets the minimum seed size contained in the Special Provisions and is supported by your seed purchase receipts;
  • That is grown by a person who has grown the commodity or participated in managing an operation of the same commodity for at least four crop years in the county in which the commodity will be insured, unless otherwise specified in the Special Provisions;
  • That is produced using generally acceptable production methods for the commodity; and
  • That is produced in an operation that, if inspected, is considered acceptable.

Shellfish grown in nurseries and hatcheries is not insurable.

Causes of Loss

You are protected against the following when the county loss trigger is met:

  • Named Storms;
    • Hurricanes
    • Nor’easters
  • Excessive heat during a low tide event;
  • Freeze during a low tide event; or
  • Low salinity caused by excessive rainfall.

In addition to the causes of loss excluded in section 12 of the Basic Provisions, damage or loss of production due to your inability to harvest the commodity for any reason other than actual physical damage from an insurable cause is not covered.

Coverage Levels and Premium Subsidies
50 55 60 65 70 75
67 64 64 59 59 55
Your Premium
33 36 36 41 41 45
For example, if you selected the 75 percent coverage level, your premium share would be 45 percent of the base premium. The catastrophic coverage level is fixed at 50 percent of your approved yield and 55 percent of the price election. The only cost for the catastrophic coverage level is an administrative fee of $655.
Insurance Units
Basic units are the only unit division available for Shellfish.
Producer Price Option

The Producer Price Option is the average price received by you for each year in the most recent four crop years. Your average will be determined by your total dollar sales of mature oysters divided by the total number of mature oysters sold for each crop year. The Producer Price Option is capped at the maximum over established price for your county in the actuarial documents.


2020 73,700
$48,640 $0.80
$59,870 $0.67
$55,550 $0.72
4-Year Average Price

Maximum over established price published in the actuarial documents is $0.77.

The Producer Price Option will be $0.73.

Duties in the Event of Damage or Loss

You must:

  • Protect the commodity from further damage by providing sufficient care;
  • Establish that damage to the insured commodity occurred during the insurance period;
  • Provide notice to your approved insurance provider within 72 hours of your initial discovery of damage or loss (but not later than 15 days after the end of the insurance period). Such notices must be given without regard to the insured county meeting the county loss trigger; and
  • Submit a claim not later than 60 days after the date the insurance period ends.
County Loss Trigger
A county loss trigger is an occurrence of an insurable cause of loss as determined in accordance with the Shellfish Data Provisions. A county meeting the county loss trigger will be specified in the actuarial documents.

An indemnity will be payable when:

  • Your county meets the county loss trigger determined in accordance with the Shellfish Data Provisions; and
  • You have an insurable loss of production.
Loss Example

Your share = 1.000

Coverage level = 75%

Approved yield = 100,000

Percent of price = 100%

Price election = $0.60

Production guarantee = 75,000
(100,000 approved yield × 75% coverage level)

Value of production guarantee = $45,000
(75,000 × $0.60)

In the Event of a Loss

County loss trigger occurred.

Value of production to count = $19,320
(32,000 oysters × $0.60 price election)

Loss = $25,680 ($45,000 - $19,320)

Indemnity = $25,680 ($25,680 × 1.000 share)

Important Dates

Sales Closing/Cancellation
November 30

Contract Change Date
August 31

Insurance Period Begins
January 1

Where to Buy Crop Insurance

All multi-peril crop insurance, including CAT policies, are available from private crop insurance agents.

A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA service centers and on the RMA website.

  National Office

  • USDA/RMA/Stop 0801/Room 2004-South
    1400 Independence Ave. SW
    Washington, DC 20250
  • Email:

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This fact sheet gives only a general overview of the crop insurance program and is not a complete policy. For further information and an evaluation of your risk management needs, contact a crop insurance agent.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, complete, sign and mail a program discrimination complaint form, (available at any USDA office location or online at, to: United States Department of Agriculture; Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights; 1400 Independence Ave., SW; Washington, DC 20250-9410. Or call toll free at (866) 632- 9992 (voice) to obtain additional information, the appropriate office or to request documents. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136.