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New claims phone number — and assistance ’round the clock As of Aug. 1, Virginia Farm Bureau insurance policyholders have a new option for receiving live, 24-hour assistance when they need to report a claim. Calling 800-452-7714 will put you in touch with a trained customer service professional who can collect all pertinent information, forward it to Farm Bureau claims staff and notify your Farm Bureau insurance agent. For easy reference, the new toll-free number is at the bottom of every page of the Farm Bureau insurance website at FarmBureauAdvantage.com and is being added to all insurancerelated print communications. “Incidents that prompt an insurance claim don’t always happen during office hours, and we want our members to know we are there for them ‘round the clock,” said Bill Anderson, executive vice president and general manager of Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. “Of course, policyholders are always welcome to call their county Farm Bureaus when they have a claim, but because we take their business seriously, we want to make sure we are always there when they need us—regardless of the hour.” When members call the new number, they will be prompted to press 1 for auto glass claims and 2 for all other claims.

Insurance claim? Speak with a Farm Bureau service representative 24 hours a day at 800-452-7714.

Farm Bureau membership hits all-time high The Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has reached a record-high number of members. “I am ecstatic,” said VFBF President Wayne F. Pryor, who reported that as of Oct. 14 Farm Bureau had reached a record-setting 150,000 members. As of Nov. 1, that total was 150,830. “Not only are our membership numbers at a record level, but our retention is just over 93 percent,” Pryor said. “With the economy the way it is, that’s almost as good as the high membership numbers. “It’s not always about how many members you have, but to have a record number is the result of what we do for our members. They obviously see the value of their membership.” The new figures mean the organization exceeded its national membership goal of 149,902—two weeks ahead of the membership year-end. A total of 10,597 new members joined the organization this past year, and 93.05 percent of existing memberships were renewed, making this the ninth consecutive year the organization has held a retention percentage of more than 92.5 percent.

Membership in recent years 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132,719 2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136,424

Medicare election period runs through Dec. 7 Medicare’s Annual Election Period is the time of year in which you can join, switch or drop Medicare insurance plans. This year’s AEP began Oct. 15 and will end Dec. 7. If you enroll between those dates, your Medicare coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2012, and will continue for the entire year. Many insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service, or PFFS, plans have decided to cancel their Medicare Advantage PFFS insurance coverage. That means Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage PFFS plans with those companies will need to change their plans by enrolling in a new Medicare plan during the AEP or during a VirginiaFarmBureau.com

special enrollment period. You can enroll in another plan with the same company or choose a plan from another company offering coverage in your service area. If your plan has been dropped, Medicare gives you additional time to select a new Medicare plan. If you have questions or concerns regarding your Medicare coverage, an authorized independent agent at your county Farm Bureau office can help you review your options. Call Brooke Groth, sales and operations specialist at Virginia Farm Bureau, at 804-290-1124 if you need assistance locating the office closest to you.

2003 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143,069 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146,812 2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148,193 2006 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148,031 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146,934 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147,454 2009 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149,857 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149,901 2011 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150,830

Cultivate NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011

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November 2011 Cultivate  

Introduced in July 2008, Cultivate is published quarterly with a focus on safe, fresh and locally grown foods and the Virginia farms that pr...