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California gives insurer approval to lower cannabis rates

Posted On: Aug. 27, 2018 1:58 PM CST

California gives insurer approval to lower cannabis rates

Golden Bear Insurance Co. has received approval from the California Department of Insurance to lower rates on its coverage of the cannabis industry, in some cases by more than half, the commissioner’s office said in a statement Friday.

The Stockton, California-based insurer will also broaden available coverage, according to the statement.

The amount of any decreases will depend on the territory, size and type of business, according to an email from a department spokeswoman.

The average range of decreases for premises and operations will be 13% to 30% for a mercantile storefront, 17% to 42% for mercantile with grow operations, 2% to 19% for grow operations and 67% for manufacturing, the spokeswoman’s email said.

The average range of decreases for products liability will be mercantile 38%, mercantile with grow operations 40% to 50%, grow operations 50% and manufacturing 47%.

Not all businesses and operations will receive such decreases due to “the specifics of their operation and the additional coverages that they may need,” the spokeswoman said.

The company will also offer a new endorsement, according to the statement.

"We are very excited to roll out equipment breakdown coverage among other new coverages to our cannabis package policy," Michael Brown, vice president and underwriting property manager at Golden Bear, said in the statement. "This additional endorsement will provide our insureds with vital coverage for losses to inventory and income caused by the failure of refrigeration equipment, HVAC equipment, and manufacturing equipment so important to the cannabis industry.”

"Golden Bear continues to lead the industry by being the first to offer coverage for cannabis businesses and now by expanding their coverage choices at lower prices," Commissioner Dave Jones said in the statement. "Cannabis businesses and consumers will benefit from the new and expanding coverage options and lower rates."

Last November, Commissioner Jones approved a Golden Bear filing making the company the first admitted commercial insurer to file cannabis business insurance in the state, the statement said.