Crop insurers have paid out $822 million in claims this year with much of the nation suffering a severe drought, although it is too early to provide precise estimates of the losses, said Thomas Zacharias, president of the National Crop Insurance Services Inc. (NCIS) in Overland Park, Kan., Business Insurance reported. Final losses will vary by state, crop and types of insurance purchased, he said. Under the federal crop insurance program's public-private partnership, 15 private companies are authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency to write multiple-peril crop insurance. Rates are set by the federal agency. The insurers cede about 20 percent of their premiums, and about 40 percent of their losses during most years, to the federal government.