Recreational consumption, growing and possession of cannabis was legalized in Canada back on October 17, 2018. Most likely, cannabis legalization will not have a large impact on your personal insurance policies, but you probably have questions about how pot could affect your premiums or your ability to secure coverage.
Let's go over some common questions about legalized cannabis.
If you are growing cannabis plants strictly for recreational use and adhere to federal and provincial laws about the size and number of plants permitted (four plants per household), you will not experience any impact on your premiums. As a general rule, stay within the law, and you will be fine.
However, if you are growing with the intent to sell cannabis, or if you go over the limit of plants permitted, it may affect your ability to secure or maintain home insurance. This can also bring about serious fines in terms of legality and grow-ops present serious fire and health risks.
As long as the equipment is for personal use and meets the legal definitions, it will fall under the contents section of your policies. Cannabis plants will be treated similarly to other plants or shrubs in your policy and are subject to the same special limits. There are also applicable deductibles on contents losses.
There are differences between policies for houses vs. policies for condos — residents and owners must comply with the by-laws established by the condo board, breaking these by-laws can lead to severe consequences such as dismissal from the condo. The effects of legalization on condo owners are an emerging issue that the courts have yet to decide on. As long as you're not breaking any human rights code or infringing on constitutional rights, condo boards are generally able to govern themselves, this includes rules against smoking indoors and whether the condo boards will attempt to limit growing cannabis plants indoors.
There are already accidental fires caused by smoking cigarettes — and this exposure applies equally to smoking cannabis. If these fires increase over time due to cannabis consumption, then home premiums could increase.
Driving while impaired is a serious criminal offence. If you are convicted of a high-driving offence, you will encounter similar obstacles as someone convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol — greatly increasing your premiums and making it considerably difficult to find an insurer willing to cover you. Apart from individuals convicted of high-driving offences, there is no expection that overall auto premiums in the province or country will increase due to cannabis legalization. However, if collisions do rise over time due to high drivers, there could be repercutions that will affect the price of premiums.