Home-based legal medicinal marijuana growers might want to check their house insurance (Citizen file)

Home-based legal medicinal marijuana growers might want to check their house insurance (Citizen file)

Legal pot growers might want to check their house insurance

Most house insurance policies won’t cover damage to homes with grow-ops, even legal ones

Anyone in the Cowichan Valley, and across Canada, who is legally growing medical marijuana in their homes should check their house insurance policy to see if they are covered in the event of an emergency.

Isaac Greenwood is an account executive with the medical marijuana insurance program with Duncan B.C.’s LMG Insurance Brokers Ltd.

He said, even though it’s perfectly legal for licensed marijuana growers to grow pot for medical purposes, it’s a fact that most home insurance policies have a clause that states that the insurance company won’t cover damage to homes that have marijuana-growing operations in them, even if the grow-op was not the cause of the damage.

In fact, Greenwood said having marijuana growing anywhere on a property is enough for any standard insurer to deny coverage or terminate a home insurance policy, even if growers just have one or two pot plants growing in their tool shed at the back of their property.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT

“Some insurance companies are uncomfortable with this industry, mainly because they don’t understand it,” Greenwood said.

“The most important thing is that for people who are legally growing at home to know that it’s OK to reach out and talk to your insurance company about this and get the information they need.”

Greenwood said that in most cases, growers who find themselves caught out with their insurance when tragedy strikes fall into four basic categories.

He said they’re either unaware of their contractual obligation to notify their insurer of their legal grow-op, they don’t understand that their home insurance policy is voided by growing marijuana, they think the insurance companies will cancel them or hike their rate to levels where they can’t afford the insurance, or they think that if something does happen while they withhold material information, they’ll just take the insurance company to court and sue them.

“If even 80 per cent of the approximately 200,000 people in Canada who are currently licensed to grow do grow their own cannabis at home, it’s terrifying to think of how many people simply do not have current information, are misinformed or are sincerely unaware of the reality that should something happen, they will be left without insurance at the time they needed it, and are risking absolutely everything,” Greenwood said.

Greenwood said that while getting the right house insurance to properly insure homes with licensed medical marijuana operations may be more expensive, it will likely grow cheaper as more growers sign up for the insurance.

He said it’s still unknown how the insurance industry will react after July 1, when marijuana is scheduled to be legalized in Canada and people will be allowed to grow up to four pot plants per household for recreational use.

“We’ll see what shakes out, but there is no mechanism in play right now and a number of the insurance companies are terrified,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shopping locally for the holidays has never been so important. (Submitted)
Editorial: Buying local for holidays never so important

It’s an important thing to consider when you go to do both your in person and online shopping

Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples encourages groups and organizations in the city to take advantage of Duncan’s DOVID-19 grants program. (File photo)
Still lots of money left in Duncan’s COVID-19 grant program

Council has approved just three applications so far

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Six days on the Cowichan Sportsplex track for ultramarathoner

Record bid misses, but fundraiser a success

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley was passed up for a cabinet position by Premier John Horgan. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Routley left off the list of NDP cabinet ministers again

Premier Horgan opts for some newcomers in key positions over experienced MLA

Protesters stand in front of a truck carrying logs to the WFP Ladysmith log sort. (Cole Schisler photo)
Protesters block entrance to Western Forest Products in Ladysmith

Blockade cleared by Ladysmith RCMP around noon, December 2

Janet Austin, the lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, not seen, swears in Premier John Horgan during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. Horgan says he will look to fill gaps in the federal government’s sick-pay benefits program aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. premier says province prepared to patch holes in new federal sick-pay benefits

Horgan said workers should not be denied pay when they are preventing COVID-19’s spread

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Most Read