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Growing Cannabis & Your Home Insurance

Growing Cannabis & Your Home Insurance

April 9, 2022

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In Canada, recreational usage of cannabis was legalized in October 2018, making our country the second to regulate marijuana. In addition to recreational usage (for adults 18 and over), households are allowed to grow up to a maximum of four cannabis plants.

Following legalization, the usage of marijuana went up from 22% to 27%. Retail sales also boomed, reflecting over a 120 percent increase between 2020 and 2019. There are a lot of pros, cons, and uncertainties surrounding the increased use of marijuana, and among the “unknowns” is how your insurance policies might have been impacted by cannabis.

Life insurance denotes that smokers – whether smokers of cigarettes or marijuana – are higher-risk than non-smokers, so there’s that. But did you know that your home insurance may also be impacted if you grow cannabis at home? Here’s how.

Does growing cannabis at home pose an added risk?

Insurance is all about risk. The installation of a swimming pool may increase your liability risk because it is a hazard to guests and pets who might fall in and injure themselves – or worse. One might not consider the risk of growing pot plants in their home, or they see it very similar to cultivating any other houseplant, like a succulent or cactus. Unfortunately, your insurance provider won’t see it in the same light. Growing cannabis at home adds several additional risks, such as injury to a guest on your property who is under the influence of marijuana, water damage, growing lights malfunctioning and causing an electrical fire, and an increased risk of burglary targeting your marijuana plants.

Will growing cannabis at home increase my insurance premiums?

It’s important to be upfront with your insurance provider about your marijuana or cannabis cultivation at home. This way, you can avoid any unexpected surprises should you ever have to make a claim. Insurance providers are well within their rights to void a policy if you’re cultivating an entire marijuana operation of several hundred plants in an outbuilding on your property, and a fire breaks out.

But will growing cannabis at home, even within the legal limit, increase your home insurance premiums? Not directly , but if you fail to disclose any significant renovations that you have completed in order to assist you legal cultivation operation,  a future claim may be denied or your policy voided altogether.

That being said, if you have four or less plants on your property and are not utilizing illegal equipment, your coverage might not be impacted, and you may not see a change at all. It largely depends on your provider, and every policy is different, so be sure to confirm with your insurance company that you have the coverage you need if you are planning to grow cannabis.

Insurance and cannabis.

Cannabis is still relatively new to the insurance sphere, and there’s still quite a few unknowns that have yet to be figured out. You can expect that most standard home insurance policies will include four or fewer legal marijuana plants in your home, the same as any other property, and will be included in your coverage. However, if you exceed the permitted amount, you may be denied coverage.

Note that if your home insurance company supplies a non-smoker discount and you recreationally use cannabis, you won’t qualify. As far as insurance definitions go, so long as it’s being smoked it will still disqualify you from this reduction.

Discuss with your home insurance provider if you have any additional questions about how marijuana impacts your insurance.