Article by Armina Ligaya, Toronto Star
Canadians looking to enjoy pot-infused edibles — soon to be legalized — could get hit with higher insurance premiums, depending on the size of their appetite.
Many insurers no longer treat cannabis users as cigarette smokers, who pay much higher premiums due to the high-risk activity, provided there is no tobacco or nicotine in the products they use.
The shift came in recent years as Canada moved to legalize pot for recreational use, starting with dried flower, oils, plants and seeds.
However, to avoid paying more, cannabis usage must stay below a set number per week and many insurers count all varieties of pot, whether it is smoked or sipped or chewed.
The threshold ranges from two to four cannabis usages per week, depending on the insurer, said Lorne Marr, LSM Insurance’s director of new business development.
“More than four, then you would still be treated as a non-smoker with most companies, but there would be an extra rating or extra premium attached to that marijuana use,” he said.
“And most companies treat the edibles as similar to smoking.”
But the approach among insurers varies, with some allowing for unlimited edibles consumption and others deeming a client a smoker after more than four weekly pot usages.
“You definitely want to shop around, because there could be a big difference,” Marr said.
While most insurers limit weekly consumption of cannabis, few stipulate how much can be consumed in one sitting, he added.