On October 17, 2018, cannabis A.K.A, marijuana was made legal in Canada. However, a step as big as the legalization of marijuana isn’t a simple one. Not even after it has been approved and pasted. Now, the rest of the world must be able to accommodate or fall behind. Home insurance companies are no exception.
How much accommodating will a home insurance company be willing to offer is the big question. Home insurance policies may vary from company to company. Some companies may just flat out refuse to provide coverage at all due to the high risk of cannabis cultivation.
Canadian law allows for a household, household being the keyword to grow up to 4 marijuana plants legally. Therefore, home insurance companies will only cover up to 4 plants. Grow-ops or any other form of cultivation that exceeds the 4 plant maximum are typically not covered by most companies.
Growing cannabis affects your home insurance policy even more when insuring grow-ops or outbuildings. Home insurance companies will typically want to have numerous inspections performed before even considering you. Electrical, environmental, and engineering inspections are 3 of the major ones expected from most insurance companies.
Honesty is The Best Policy When Buying Home Insurance
The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled against a homeowner and sided with the insurance company in February of 2019. The homeowner failed to inform the insurance company about the multiple plants of marijuana being grown in his outbuilding. The outbuilding was insured, but once growing cannabis was reported as the cause of damage to the building, the insurance company backed out.
Home insurance companies have adjusted their policies to accommodate personal cannabis growth. These accommodations only stretch out to the 4 plants allowed by law when dealing with most companies. Companies may offer anywhere from $500-$1000 in coverage for your plants. However, some companies may cover the plants in their entirety.
The High Risks of Insuring a Grower
Growing marijuana comes with many risks regardless if you are growing 4 plants or 300. While the cannabis communities’ opinions may differ when speaking of risks accompanied by marijuana cultivation, insurance companies don’t. Cultivating any amount of cannabis plants in your home is considered a high risk of damage for all insurers.
Some of those possible risks include the usage of hazardous chemicals when growing. Electrical fires are caused by alterations made to the electrical system to accommodate cannabis growth. Grow lights blowing up can cause unexpected fires. Personal liability in the case that a guest is injured while under the influence of marijuana.
Not to mention the water damage and possible future mold problems caused by growing marijuana. Burglary also becomes more of a risk now that you have marijuana plants in your home. What is even more important to remember is the fact that home insurance policies do not cover mold. This is a problem that you will most likely have to deal with due to the humid conditions necessary for growth.
Read the Fine Print
Cannabis may have been made legal in Canada, but home insurance policies are still playing cautious with their policies. The terms of your policy may vary from company to company. Make sure to take your time and read through all the fine print before choosing the right home insurance for you.
Some companies may even make an exception for more than 4 plants when used for a medical purpose. This is rare but possible. Home insurance companies have only made minor changes to their policies as of today. Insurers are still trying to decide on the best and safest route to take when dealing with marijuana growing.
As time passes, home insurance companies will surely come up with bigger and better policies. For now, they are still wary of making too big of a commitment since damage risk is considered too high now.
Growing Cannabis Will Affect Your Home Insurance
So, if you were wondering, is growing cannabis at home now that it’s legalized disagreeable for my home insurance? I would have to say it’s still a toss-up. It will affect your home insurance policy, but it may not be all that bad.
The possibility of mold, which is almost unavoidable, is a big issue since insurance companies don’t cover mold. But if you are willing to deal with that issue on your own, then home insurance can still be a lifesaver. Yes, even for homeowners who decide to go into the cultivation of marijuana. Homeowners who are growing 4 plants or less, of course.
While grow-ops can be insured, they are harder to do so and involve an in-depth process. The effect that growing your cannabis at home has on your home insurance in all reality is minimal. Home insurance companies understand that with the legalization of marijuana, a new normal was established. A new norm that they must now adapt to keep their customers happy. While simultaneously ensuring the companies best interest as well.
“You can set up a nice indoor grow system without affecting your house; you just need the right equipment,” according to Karen Miller of Canada Grows Indoors, an online company that sells indoor growing equipment.
“To ensure your insurance company is happy, make sure you have a grow system in place that deals with heat, humidity, moisture, and odor. These all affect your house and, if not dealt with, can lead to long-term and costly damage.” Says Miller
Most policies that cover plants will also cover most tools and items used for the growing of cannabis. The key is to follow the law accordingly when growing marijuana at home. Insurance companies are trying their best to accommodate the new law but nothing more. Again, stressing how possessing anything over four plants at home is illegal but may also void your policy.
In some cases, the insurance company may not cancel your policy but will increase your premium. Home insurance is a principal part of owning a home. Insurers are beginning to adjust, accommodate the homeowner. Meaning, that in due time insurance companies will be able to give better policies to those who choose to grow cannabis at home.
For now, make sure to read the fine print before signing any home insurance papers. Be as honest as possible with the insurance company to avoid voiding the policy when you need it most. Home insurance may not be as easy to get when you decide on growing marijuana at home, but possible.