Cannabis Is Changing the Market for Brokers – Here’s Why It’s Important
We haven’t seen a change like this since prohibition ended in 1920. Cannabis is now legal in Canada and insurance brokers, the trusted human connection between people and their insurance company, must get up to speed with how it affects their industry, their clients, and their product offerings. Here's a quick overview of what we’ve learned so far at Ratehub.ca concerning risks to your customers’ cars and homes.
We surveyed 1,200 Canadians and discovered 40% of them had no idea whether cannabis legalization would affect their home or car insurance premiums. Another 79% of Canadians said they didn’t know whether their renter’s, landlord's or homeowner’s insurance policy would cover damages related to growing cannabis at home.
The more you educate yourself about cannabis and its risks, the better service you can provide to your clients. A well-informed broker can use the legalization of cannabis as a way to reach out to clients and educate them. The last thing any broker wants for their clients is to have a claim denied. It’s an ideal time to sit down with your clients, review their policies and have a conversation about their needs and concerns as they relate to cannabis and insurance.
DISCUSSING CANNABIS AND CAR INSURANCE WITH YOUR CLIENTS
Take the opportunity to ask your clients about their views on cannabis when providing car insurance quotes. Your clients need to be aware of how it might affect their premiums regardless of their feelings toward the drug. There is little historical data in the Canadian market, so be vigilant and understand how it could affect them. After Colorado legalized, the increase in collision claim frequency was 14% higher than neighbouring states who had yet to legalize, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The auto insurance rates didn't just spike for cannabis users, but all drivers. Consumers hate seeing their rates increase and brokers have an essential job explaining the reasons behind rate increases and possible options a driver may have to mitigate a prospective rise in premiums.
However, car insurance rates are on the rise for reasons beyond cannabis. Most notably, distracted driving and fraud are at the forefront of the hikes. These price hikes can be frustrating to a client as they may not understand why the poor driving behaviour of others is causing their insurance to increase. Take the opportunity to educate the client about the current pricing landscape as you help them compare car insurance options. As a broker, when rates do up, you’re in a great position to shop the market to ensure that they’re in the best place.
DISCUSSING CANNABIS AND HOME INSURANCE WITH YOUR CLIENTS
Before legalization, consumers may not have considered home insurance quotes that included or excluded cannabis. Now that it's legal, it's important to know what types of cannabis coverage is and isn’t included in different policies, and the risk associated with it. Ensuring your customers have the proper endorsements is vital to protecting their home.
Brokers have a considerable role to play in helping Canadians understand their rights and responsibilities concerning cannabis and their insurance. A broker that can educate their clients on the ever-changing landscape of insurance ensures their customers have the right coverage and protection for their unique needs. Will you be reaching out to your clients to keep them informed of the new risks?
Alyssa Furtado is the Co-Founder of Ratehub Inc. and CEO of Ratehub.ca. Check out Ratehub.ca’s financial comparison tools, education centres and more by visiting their site here.