How growing or using recreational marijuana may impact your home insurance
The consumption, possession and growing of recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada in late 2018. While the legalization of recreational cannabis is still quite new, many Canadians are starting to wonder how this change may impact their home insurance premiums or their ability to secure coverage.
Here are five things you should know if you choose to use or grow recreational marijuana at home:
1. Follow the household limit for growing cannabis plants
Check the federal, provincial and local laws about the size and number of plants permitted per household. Not only is exceeding the limit against the law, but it also presents a serious fire risk. Breaking a law could result in charges from police as well as cancelled coverage, denied claims or an increase in your home insurance premiums. if you are unsure about household limits in your area contact your local by-law officer.
2. Inform your insurance broker of any new or modified appliances
Modifying or installing new appliances to help your cannabis plants grow could result in a fire or other damage to your home. Let your insurance broker know of any major changes to your home ahead of time so they can ensure you have the right coverage and advise you of any potential risks. Failure to do so could result in a denied claim or cancelled coverage by your insurer.
3. Your cannabis plants and paraphernalia may be covered under your home insurance policy
So long as your cannabis plants, home-growing equipment and other legal paraphernalia are for personal use and adhere to your local laws, they will fall under the contents section of your policy. Like other specialty belongings, coverage for these items may be subject to special limits established by your insurer. Contact your insurance broker for more information about coverage for your cannabis plants and equipment in the event of an emergency.
4. Smoking cannabis indoors could impact your home insurance premiums
Just like smoking cigarettes inside your home, smoking cannabis indoors puts your home and belongings at risk for accidental fires. Increased occurrences of accidental fires in your home could result in increased home insurance premiums. While smoking indoors is not recommended, if you do choose to smoke inside, take all appropriate fire safety precautions, such as using an ash tray, refraining from smoking near flammable products, keeping an eye out for dropped ashes and storing a fire extinguisher nearby.
5. If you share legal cannabis with guests at your home, you could be held liable in the event of an accident
You assume the same responsibility you would when serving alcohol at your home when sharing cannabis with your guests or hosting a party where recreational cannabis is consumed. If an accident were to happen involving one of your guests, you could be held legally responsible. It is your obligation as the homeowner to ensure your guests enjoy themselves responsibly and that nobody drives under the influence of marijuana.
Since the legalization of recreational marijuana is still fairly new for Canadians, it’s important to understand how your choice to use or grow it may impact your home insurance. If you’d like to discuss your current TW Insurance policy or get a quote for home insurance, chat with a TW Insurance broker today at 1-888-338-2685.