Hurricane Irma devastated 50% to 90% of Florida's citrus fruit —oranges, grapefruits and tangerines — and Florida is facing itslowest citrus forecast in more than 70 years. Shortly after thestorm, the state estimated that its citrus industry lost more than$750 million. Lawmakers and the Florida Agriculture Commissionerhave stated that the damage estimate may exceed $1 billion, asfruit continued to fall well after the storm passed. In addition tocitrus losses, the state estimated that Irma inflicted $180 million in damage tovegetable 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 fromthe government. But the citrus industry and others affected by thestorms should not overlook the significant assets that may be foundin their insurance portfolios. Companies should consider coveragefor the destroyed fruit and for lost business income — both forgrowers and those whose business relies on the growers.

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