Medical marijuana or home insurance?

Medical marijuana or home insurance?

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Marijuana

Dan Walton
Oliver Chronicle

An Oliver family is facing life without home insurance, as the specific type of policy they needed to grow medical marijuana will not be renewed by the carrier. 

The family, who The Chronicle has chosen not to name, has only grown medical marijuana within the parameters of the law. Two years ago, upon discovering there were no carriers in Canada offering coverage for domestic pot production, they were only able to find proper coverage through Lloyd’s of London, and then began paying roughly double their previous rate. 

They paid the high cost, had no previous claims, made no new claims, yet their insurance carrier recently announced it will no longer cover medical marijuana production on domestic properties. 

Since legalization last October, anyone can grow up to four plants in their home. But for many who rely on medicinal marijuana, four plants can be “a drop on the bucket,” according to the family’s broker, Eric Lock from AC&D Insurance Services Ltd. in Kelowna.

“While legislation exists to allow it, we’re having challenges getting the insurance needed to protect their asset at the expense of not being able to grow their own medicine,” he said.

Lock theorizes that such coverage may have been profitable for the insurance company that offered it, but it may not have been lucrative enough to remain as part of the overall business model. 

He says that in his experience, medical pot growers are generally mindful people who have a greater interest in protecting their property.

“They have more to lose than most if they have to make a claim. They know their ailments may go untreated if a loss that impacts their ability to grow occurs.”

There is one other insurance company Lock knows of that can provide such coverage, but home replacement limits were lower, putting it out of the limit requirements of many homeowners.

“Now we’re (AC&D) having discussions with the company to see what can be done,” he said.

But until an insurer fills that void, soon at least one local family may be forced to choose between insurance and medicine. 

Lock guarantees discretion for anybody in need of such home insurance policies. He can be contacted through Commercial Insurance Advisor at 250-300-1234, or elock@acdinsurance.com.

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