Ing + McKee

Oh, Cannabis! Legalization And Your Insurance Policy

December 11, 2018

October 17th has been and gone; the excitement of legal cannabis has worn off; all that remains in its place are the difficult questions. One question that’s been leaving recreational cannabis consumers puzzled is how their insurance will be impacted by the change in legislation. Protect yourself in this budding industry. Be informed when it comes to your insurance.

Home Insurance

When it comes to your home insurance, most companies have similar requirements about owning, growing, and using recreational cannabis. They want to make sure you are following the rules in accordance with the new law.

You may find that when applying for or reviewing your home insurance policy you are asked about cannabis. Don’t be alarmed, Steve Kee of the Insurance Bureau of Canada says, “questions about home-grown marijuana will become routine when applying for or renewing policies.”

Following below is a brief preview of some of the topics that may arise during your next home insurance review.

Covered For Up To 4 Indoor Plants

As of October 17th, 2018, the legal amount of cannabis plants you may recreationally grow is four. On many policies, you’re only covered if you’re growing up to the legal amount and using legal equipment. Your policy may be cancelled if you are growing more than four plants or using illegal equipment.

Having a plant on your windowsill may not be a problem, but once you bring in lights, wiring, or do renovations to your home, your house has higher risk factors. At Ing & McKee, we think that homeowners should always check with us before making significant changes/modifications to their properties.

Special Limits – $125 per plant

A special limit on your insurance policy is a limitation within coverage that states the maximum payout for certain predefined item in the event of a claim. Most insurance companies have set a $125 limit per plant ($500 in total if you grow the maximum legal amount).

This means that if you’re growing for recreational use you will be covered for up to $125 per plant on Homeowner, Tenant, Condominium Unit Owner, Mobile Homeowner, Seasonal Homeowner, and Seasonal Dwelling policies.

Growing Cannabis Outside

Coverage for damage to, or theft of cannabis plants may be excluded or restricted if they are grown outside. The policy generally follows what is already being covered for Outdoor Trees and Shrubs in your property policy but could be excluded completely due to the special nature of these plants.

Warning To Renters

Renters should communicate with their landlord before choosing to grow marijuana. Although growing cannabis is legal, it could be risky if the landlord’s insurance does not cover legal marijuana plants. Tenants should discuss with their landlord their plans to grow recreational or medicinal marijuana in a rented property.

Cannabis On Our Roads

Drug-impaired driving has been a criminal offence since 1925; this has not changed with the legalization of cannabis. Cannabis-impaired driving can result in injury or death for you, your passengers and others. Consume cannabis wisely, and don’t get behind the wheel while you’re intoxicated.

In a crackdown against drug-impaired driving, the Justice Department has approved a roadside swab/saliva test. The test, which will be the first of its kind in Canada, will be used by police officers to instantly check saliva for traces of THC – the psychoactive component in marijuana.

Final Thoughts

If you choose to use, grow, or store cannabis it is your responsibility to make sure you do so correctly. Do your due diligence and contact your insurance broker for specific requirements and restrictions on your policy and how these changes may affect you. At Ing & McKee, we can help you navigate these changes.

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