Article by Dan Walton, Oliver Chronicle
Canadian insurers only have bunk deals for anybody who grows pot at home.
Growing medical marijuana at home is already within the confines of the Canadian law, and soon it will be legal to grow it for recreational use as well. And while the practice of domestic marijuana production is proliferating in Canada, those exercising the newfound freedom have no option to cover their homes through any domestic insurance agency.
Insurance companies are lagging behind what’s happening in the market, according to Eric Lock, broker with AC&D Insurance in Kelowna.
One resident of Oliver, whose identity the Chronicle is keeping private, has been legally growing medical marijuana at home for months. In the event of a claim, she was originally under the impression that her insurance policy would be valid so long as the marijuana didn’t cause the accident.
Even if a strike of lightning caused the family home to go up in flames, the insurance company would not pay the claim if it was discovered that marijuana was being grown on site, even if it’s been legally sanctioned. And she has a mortgage on her house which stipulates that she insures the property – so in order to legally grow medicine for her family, she was paying for a void insurance policy for years.
Earlier this year when the local woman discovered how vulnerable her family was, she began shopping around for an insurance policy that covers marijuana production.
The local woman explained her situation to Kelowna broker Eric Lock with AC&D Insurance, and he was unable to find a Canadian insurance company that would offer any sort of coverage for domestic pot production.
Since shopping local isn’t an option, Lock connected with an insurance broker in England called Lloyd’s of London, which has a reputation for offering versatile coverage. Lloyd’s offered to underwrite the local woman for roughly double her previous rate – she has no history of making claims and she isn’t presenting any other extraordinary liabilities.
“The insurance industry is lagging behind what’s happening in the market,” Lock said. “I know people of all walks of life who use medical marijuana. It’s unfortunate that people are putting their futures at risk just to medicate themselves.”