As insurance carriers begin to examine the industry, several “have indicated a willingness to provide a broad array of property and casualty coverages to those in the marijuana business, albeit with robust pricing,” Finley said. Risk factors associated with the legal cannabis industry include theft because many businesses deal mainly in cash, he said, as well as potential pollution if the customer is a grower/processor, and neighbor complaints.
Health insurers seem to be treating marijuana use the same whether it is legal or not. Frequency of use and impairment most concern insurers according to Bill Moore, Vice President of Underwriting and Medical for Munich American Reassurance Company, a unit of Munich Re. If the use is medical he said, the insurer would be concerned about “the risks of the underlying disease or condition.” In that case, “medical marijuana usage becomes the treatment and as such is not that significant.” he said.
A recent poll paints a more complete picture. Of insurance underwriters surveyed recently at the Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU) Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., 43 percent of respondents said frequency of use was the most important factor when underwriting marijuana users, followed by an individual’s medical history (37 percent), age (14 percent), and current state of health (6 percent). Forty-three percent felt smoking marijuana presented more risks than ingesting it, while only 8 percent viewed ingesting marijuana as more risky. Most insurers had policies regarding marijuana and many of those that didn’t, planned on adding them soon.