June 22, 2018 by Jason Contant
Independent adjusting company ClaimsPro announced this week that it has prepared a dedicated adjuster team for the cannabis industry, just as Canada moves to legalize marijuana in October.
The team will exclusively handle first- and third-party cannabis claims, such as those related to residential and commercial theft, plant and crop damage, equipment breakdown, retail and dispensary operations, distribution, social host liability, dispensing liability, product liability and product recall.
Sean Forgie, senior vice president of ClaimsPro’s Speciality Risk Division, told Canadian Underwriter in an interview Thursday that third-party claims may arise from cannabis use such as social host liability, mistakes that were made by a dispensary or a product recall claim.
First-party claims may arise out of property damage associated with cannabis use inside a residential unit. For example, there may be an odour in the unit – smoke seeping into a carpet, for example – that prevented the rental or sale of a unit, Forgie said. “It’s possible they [a unit owners or renters] would attempt to make a claim under the first-party coverage.”
In essence, first-party claims would be property damage claims, but could also include things like equipment issues from a commercial operation.
ClaimsPro says its “dedicated team of adjusters has been purposefully selected to handle these types of claims because of their demonstrated aptitude to thoroughly manage claims. This new service is supported by a national team of dedicated adjusters having specialized skills and experience to best understand the associated risks within this industry.”
Forgie added that there will be one practice lead – with associated adjusters – per province.
ClaimsPro said it will continue to work with legal partners to understand any newly introduced regulations. The company has already looked at what jurisdictions in the United States (such as Colorado) have done and reviewed acts such as the Occupiers’ Liability Act and Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.