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Home insurance for legal indoor growing in Canada

OLAK

Member
Any one have experience with discussing with insurance company the ramifications on home insurance of the legal growing of the 4 plants we are allowed in British Columbia? (Or elsewhere) There was a supreme court ruling last year that nullified someone's home insurance because of undisclosed risk even though the fire loss was unrelated to indoor growing.
 

Old Salt

Member of the Year: 2019 - Member of the Month: Apr, Nov 2019
Any one have experience with discussing with insurance company the ramifications on home insurance of the legal growing of the 4 plants we are allowed in British Columbia? (Or elsewhere) There was a supreme court ruling last year that nullified someone's home insurance because of undisclosed risk even though the fire loss was unrelated to indoor growing.
:welcome: to the forum @OLAK


Yes. RBC / Aviva informed me they were cancelling my insurance when I asked about growing medical cannabis. I had not even told them I was growing, they cancelled just for asking about it. Before their cancellation took effect, I cancelled my insurance with them, and got insurance through another provider. This had an unintended, but welcome side effect. As I had cancelled the insurance, my name was not forwarded to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, where all insurers check for for your name, before issuing insurance. If my name had made the list, I would not have been able to purchase home or tenant's insurance.
 

OLAK

Member
Got a reply back from my insurance broker. Pretty simple. Just dont do anything illegal and will be ok. Also quoted verbatim what the Canadian and Provincial law allows:
"Thank you for your call today. To further our telephone conversation this morning, I have copy and pasting what our manual says about the growth of cannabis plants in the home. Please make sure that you are using the guidelines set out by the federal and provincial government to ensure you are not participating in illegal growth of these plants."
 

Akephalon

Active Member
For what it's worth, I've got insurance with TD/Meloche Monnex and gave them a call before I fired up my grow. The dude I spoke to told me that there should be any issue as long as I was in compliance with the law.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if a claim was turned down if there was evidence that you had a janky setup that was responsible for a house fire.
 

OLAK

Member
For what it's worth, I've got insurance with TD/Meloche Monnex and gave them a call before I fired up my grow. The dude I spoke to told me that there should be any issue as long as I was in compliance with the law.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if a claim was turned down if there was evidence that you had a janky setup that was responsible for a house fire.
This is the case that got me worried
 

Akephalon

Active Member
Yeah, those people made material changes to an outbuilding and a fire started. If you’re installing stuff and making changes to your construction you need to keep your insurance company in the loop. It doesn’t say specifically, but that link also implies that they may not have had valid permits for the electrical and other changes they made to the outbuilding.

It sucks, but I don’t think It would be the same as plunking a grow tent in yer basement and growing four plants. It sounds like these guys had a bit more of an operation going and didn't pull the right permits or have the right insurance.
 

irie lion

Nug of the Month: May 2019 - Member of the Month: June 2019
Interesting topic :nomo::51:
 

OLAK

Member
Yeah, those people made material changes to an outbuilding and a fire started. If you’re installing stuff and making changes to your construction you need to keep your insurance company in the loop. It doesn’t say specifically, but that link also implies that they may not have had valid permits for the electrical and other changes they made to the outbuilding.

It sucks, but I don’t think It would be the same as plunking a grow tent in yer basement and growing four plants. It sounds like these guys had a bit more of an operation going and didn't pull the right permits or have the right insurance.
The construction was 100% legitimate with proper permits for a legal medical grow. The only thing they didnt do was notify the insurance company that rhwy had nade the mods. Kinda got me scared so I got a letter from insurance company acknowledging rhat I had told them. At least they cant come back at me based on this ruling If I make a claim
 

irie lion

Nug of the Month: May 2019 - Member of the Month: June 2019
Seems you've got yourself covered @OLAK :bravo::Namaste:
 

Akephalon

Active Member
I've read the Reasons for Judgement for that case you linked @OLAK. The case is pretty clear that the victims (for lack of a better word) were not up front about their setup and made no attempt to let their insurance provider know what was going on. Indeed, part of their defence is that the insurance company should have been asking better questions, which is fucking bananas. In addition, the insurance company would not have covered grow operations and having one on the property probably would have voided the insurance contract anyway.

I know that blaming the victim isn't done these days, but this whole thing can be laid at the feet of the people who lost this court case. They weren't up front with their insurance and got burned. This isn't to defend insurance companies, who are wholly crooked and actively look for ways to avoid payouts, but when you're buying insurance you need to do your due diligence or you're fucked if something happens.

You've got the letter from your insurance company, you should be good.
 

PE636

Well-Known Member
People are famous for burning their homes down, careless smoking, frayed cords, dollar store power bars running beyond capacity, welding in the garage, fueling hot lawn mowers, piling junk on top of and around heaters, poorly maintained wood burning appliances, you name it. Dealt with dozens of such jobs doing the repairs. Insurance never seemed to have a problem with people's stupidity. And don't get me started about the many ways people flood their own homes. So I think any insurance company that uses growing legal cannabis as a reason to decline or cancel someone is not worthy of being licensed to operate. That is all.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
However, I wouldn't be surprised if a claim was turned down if there was evidence that you had a janky setup that was responsible for a house fire.
Be about like anything else. Don't let the drunken "electrician" brother-in-law wire the setup, et cetera. Wiring should be in line with current (when installed) National Electric Code, or whatever the Canadian equivalent is, so should plumbing and such. GFCI outlets or breakers, the other type (I forget what they're called) where applicable. ALL electrical devices should be approved by the Canadian equivalent of our UL certification and labeled to show this, outlets shouldn't be overloaded, blah blah blah. Follow proper build procedures for your location (building permit, work done is approved afterwards by city inspector, whatever the usual requirements for construction/renovation are there).

Probably a good idea to load-balance your electrical panel and not run your individual circuits or your system over 80% rated capacity. This probably wouldn't cause a claim to get denied, but might make it less likely that you'll ever have to file one, lol.

Something else y'all might want to think about: Down here, an insurer might make a distinction between a residential policy and a business one, and if someone ends up filing a claim and it turns out that they were running a business in the space, that could be grounds for denying the claim if they've only got standard residential coverage. Of course, if you happen to have a commercial grow operation in your house and the fire department has to come put out a fire, you've got other things to worry about at that point, anyway.
 

TorturedSoul

Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
This isn't to defend insurance companies, who are wholly crooked and actively look for ways to avoid payouts
It's not a nonprofit industry, LMAO. They - like everyone else running a for-profit business - are in business to make money, not lose it. And, if you take a good look at the industry like my friend did back in the late '80s in our business law class (he got caught burning one when he should have been in class, and was given the option of doing a class project or taking a two week suspension during mid-terms :19:), you'll probably find that they pay on a lot of claims that they could, legally, deny. I don't suppose it's because they are kind human beings (although there is undoubtedly some of that, occasionally); it's probably more because of the negative publicity aspects involved with refusing to pay out when an old lady's defective space heater gets kicked over onto a pile of newspapers during one of her many nightly trips to the bathroom and suchlike. I... had relations with a young lady for a while whose stepfather was pretty prominent in the insurance industry in my state, and he must have thought he might get lucky enough that she'd permanently become my problem at some point in the future, because he spent some effort trying to talk me into getting into that field. I heard a lot of stories - both good and bad. He has done a lot of things that he had no obligation to do, and this has served to make him "a pillar of the community," so to speak (which came in handy... many times when the police had to deal with his stepdaughter ;) ).

Hey, at least with insurance, you get everything in writing. This can end up being a figurative knife in the gut if you fail to read and fully understand your policy - but it can also be your shield, if you do. . . .
 
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