Although marijuana possession is legal in many states, that is not the final insurance answer. Insurance coverageis very much an open question for a variety of reasons including that policies typically do not mention or are ambiguous about marijuana, possession is illegal under federal law but the federal government has looked the other way, and the rules and science around marijuana intoxication are unclear. In the course of his presentation, Johnston asked and answered: is there coverage for marijuana plants stolen from a home, or for harvested products by a grower whose business policy excludes growing crops, or if an insureds live-in boyfriend burns down a house while toking up, or if an insured driver gets into an accident while using a controlled substance? Policy Language Most homeowners policies do not specifically mention marijuana but many do have applicable provisions The Basic Principles Concerning Insurance Claims Help that may limit an insurers liability in marijuana claims, according to Johnstons research report. In cases where marijuana is being distributed for profit, profit business exclusions or limits on business personal property loss could prevent claims for large quantities. Also the trees, shrubs, plants or lawn provision limits how much can be paid for a plant and it may apply to claims where there is distribution or growing of marijuana plants. Some states permit caregivers (often not a defined position) to grow a certain number of marijuana plants for their patients. This could be seen as business activity and thus excluded from liability coverage, although the home insurer is often nottold about the activity, according to the Texas lawyer. Unless specifically excluded, a harvested marijuana product may be covered just like alcohol or tobacco, Johnston cautioned. He said state regulators have generally not gotten involved in marijuana coverage. The general feeling is that marijuana is legal and that legal amounts should be covered unless a policy specifically excludes it, he wrote, adding that it remains to be seen if insurers will try to introduce exclusions.
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