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The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will establish a cannabis insurance working group, led by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
At the NAIC’s summer meeting in Boston, Mr. Jones proposed establishing the working group to enable state insurance regulators to understand the coverage gaps for the legalized cannabis industry and develop and share best practices to address those gaps, according to a statement released Wednesday by the California Insurance Department. The working group will consider insurance regulatory issues, including availability and scope of coverage, workers compensation issues and consumer information and protection, and will develop a white paper outlining the issues and making recommendations for the potential development of regulatory guidance.
“Cannabis businesses face insurance availability and insurance coverage gaps, which means that those who shop, those who work in, those who sell goods or services to or those who own, invest in or operate cannabis businesses may not have access to insurance to help them recover if there are accidents, injuries, property damage or any of the things insurance typically covers,” Mr. Jones said in the statement. “As state insurance regulators, one of our responsibilities is to understand new legal businesses and their insurance needs and then work to encourage the availability of insurance to meet these new risks and coverage needs.”
Last week, California approved three insurers to begin offering surety bonds to the state’s cannabis industry, after previously approving the first surety bond in February — the latest announcement in Mr. Jones’ efforts to ensure the cannabis industry has sufficient insurance options in the state.
Mr. Jones previously chaired the NAIC sharing economy working group, which developed a template for insurance coverage for ride-sharing and home-sharing companies, according to the statement.
California has approved the state’s first surety bond program for the cannabis industry, according to a statement Wednesday from the office of State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.