Pursuant to this section, the department may distribute money appropriated by the legislature to pay commercial crop damage caused by wild deer or elk in the amount of up to ten thousand dollars per claim, unless following an appeal the department is ordered to pay more (see RCW 77.36.130
(2)). The department shall develop claim procedures and application forms consistent with this section for cash compensation of commercial crop damage. Partnerships with other public and private organizations to assist with completion of applications, assessment of damage, and to provide funding for compensation are encouraged.
Filing a claim:
(1) Owners who have worked with the department to prevent deer or elk damage, yet who still experience loss and meet eligibility requirements, may file a claim for cash compensation.
(2) The claimant must notify the department within seventy-two hours of discovery of crop damage and at least seventy-two hours prior to harvest of the claimed crop.
(3) A complete, written claim must be submitted to the department within sixty days of when the damage stops.
(4) Owners may only file one claim per year. Multiple partners in a farming operation are considered one owner. Operations involving multiple partners must designate a "primary grower" to receive payment from the department.
(5) The claim form declaration must be signed, affirming that the information provided is factual and truthful per the certification set out in RCW 9A.72.085
, before the department will process the claim.
(6) In addition to a completed claim form, an applicant must provide:
(a) A copy of applicant's Schedule F of Form 1040, Form 1120, or other applicable forms filed with the Internal Revenue Service indicating the applicant's gross sales or harvested value of commercial crops for the previous tax year.
(b) The assessment method used consistent with WAC 232-36-120
, valuation of property damage.
(c) Applicant must provide proof of ownership of claimed commercial crops or contractual lease of claimed commercial crops consistent with department procedural requirements for submission of documents.
(d) Written documentation of approved methodology used to assess and determine final crop loss and value.
(e) Applicant must provide records documenting average yield on claimed crop and parcel, certified yield reports, production reports and weight certificates completed at the time weighed for claimed year, and other applicable documents that support yield loss and current market price. Current market price will be determined less transportation and cleaning costs when applicable.
(f) Declaration signed under penalty of perjury as provided in RCW 9A.72.085
, indicating that the applicant is eligible for the claim, meets eligibility requirements listed under this section, and that all claim evaluation and assessment information in the claim application is to the best knowledge of the claimant true and accurate.
(g) Copy of the insurance policy and payment on the commercial crop where loss is claimed.
(h) Copy of application for other sources of loss compensation and any payment or denial documentation.
Damage claim assessment:
(7) Damage claim assessment of amount and value of commercial crop loss is the primary responsibility of the claimant. A crop damage evaluation and assessment must be conducted by a licensed crop insurance adjustor:
(a) The owner must submit a damage claim assessment prepared by a crop insurance adjustor licensed by the state of Washington and certified by the federal crop insurance service.
(b) The department will provide the claimant with a list of approved adjustors. The owner must select an adjustor from the approved list and arrange for the completion of a crop damage assessment. Adjustor fees will be the shared responsibility of the owner and the department.
(c) The department or the owner may accept the damage claim assessment provided by the licensed adjuster or may hire a state licensed adjustor of their choosing and conduct a separate assessment or evaluation of the crop loss amount and value. The party hiring an adjustor to conduct a separate assessment or evaluation is responsible for payment of all fees.
(8) Disagreement between the claimant and the department over the crop loss value may be settled through an adjudicative proceeding.
Settlement of claims:
(9) Subject to money appropriated to pay commercial crop damage, undisputed claims will be paid, less one-half of the crop adjustor's fee or a maximum of six hundred dollars for the owner's share of the crop adjustor's fee. The crop adjustor's fee is not subject to the ten thousand dollar payment limit per owner.
(10) Compensation paid by the department, in addition to any other compensation received by the claimant, may not exceed the total value of the assessed crop loss.
(11) The owner will be notified by the department upon completion of the evaluation and has sixty days to accept or appeal the department's offer for settlement of the claim, or the claim is considered satisfied and not subject to appeal.
(12) The department shall prioritize payment for commercial crop damage in the order the claims were received or upon final adjudication of an appeal. If the department is unable to make a payment for commercial crop damage during the first fiscal year of a biennium, the claim shall be held over until the following fiscal year when funds become available. Claims that are carried over will take first priority and receive payment before any new claims are paid. Claims will not be carried from one biennium to the next.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.04.012, 77.04.020, and 77.04.055. 10-13-182 (Order 10-156), § 232-36-110, filed 6/23/10, effective 7/24/10.]