Will Legalized Marijuana Impact Home Insurance Policies?

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  • All across the country, a large and growing number of states is moving toward the legalization of marijuana, while a number of others have already crossed that bridge in some capacity. This means a lot of changes for many companies and government agencies in the states where pot is now legal, and that includes home insurance companies, who may have to figure out how, or indeed whether, they will cover claims related to marijuana. As the issue becomes more prevalent on a national scale, this is something that insurance agents may have to deal with more regularly, and that, in turn, might mean working closely with residents who have concerns about the new legalities.

    The fact of the matter is that while a number of states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana – medical or otherwise – in the last few years, it remains illegal under federal law, and as such, that could have a major impact on the way home insurers treat the drug, according to a report from Nerdwallet. That’s going to create a lot of headaches when it comes to figuring out how to approach insuring consumers in each state, because the laws from one will typically not apply to the next.

    Making decisions
    As a consequence of these facts, there’s no clear-cut way for consumers living where marijuana is legal to know whether any given policy is going to cover losses of the drug unless they ask, the report said. Some companies will cover it, others might not. as a result, checking in with an agent will likely be the best way for them to tell what any future claim might entail.

    “There’s nothing in state law that prohibits insurers from covering marijuana losses,” Kara Klotz, a spokesperson for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, told the site. “However, it’s also legal for property and casualty insurers to exclude marijuana losses, as long as the exclusion isn’t discriminatory.”

    Insurance agents who can do more to clarify the ins and outs of a client’s coverage may be the ones that also have the most success in engendering customer loyalty and satisfaction. High-quality customer service typically ranks above the ability to provide discounts when it comes to making sure consumers are content with their insurers, so anything that can crystallize the process will likely go a long way.