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Homeowners Insurance Pay For Stolen/damaged Plants?


eternity25_75
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I recently suffered a break in which led to many stolen and damaged plants along with some stolen equipment.  Will my homeowners insurance cover this?

 

I am legal.  I called the police and made a police report.

 

I have a feeling they are going to deny the claim.  24 plants, 12 for myself and 12 for my husband.

 

What recourse do I have if they deny the claim?

 

Any help or insight would be appreciated.

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I would not file a claim for a small loss,more than 1 or 2 claims within 5 years and they will raise your rates or cancel your policy.They may view your grow as a fire hazard,a home business or worse.

Did you really call the police? In my opinion do not call the police for anything related to a marijuana grow,legal or not.They are not your friend.

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Had a friend who had a fire and AAA paid for all the hardware, but not the plants.  The key seemed to be that he was able to identify the grow as a non-business.  They would not have covered his loss  if they could define it as a home based business.  The downside was that since it was a protracted discussion with AAA to get them to accept that it was not a business he decided to not force them to pay for the plants themselves.

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medical insurance is not paying for mmj, so no way you're going to get home owners to pay for it.

 

call it an indoor herb garden grow equip that got stolen.

take the loss on the plants. be happy if they reimburse your home garden equip.

 

if you want, you can probably sue the burglers , if they are caught, for the damaged plants.

not sure how far that will get you.

 

i agree with above people, its just not worth the hassle and court time. make some friends, get some clones, work it out.

Edited by t-pain
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Had a friend who had a fire and AAA paid for all the hardware, but not the plants.  The key seemed to be that he was able to identify the grow as a non-business.  They would not have covered his loss  if they could define it as a home based business.  The downside was that since it was a protracted discussion with AAA to get them to accept that it was not a business he decided to not force them to pay for the plants themselves.

I'd spoken with a "friend" who works for that company. At most, YOUR plants might be covered, any others would be seen as business equipment. Unless you paid extra, you are not covered for business expenses. There may also be a $500 max coverage on houseplants.

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Yes, I did call the police. I'm legal, and in genesee county which has taken a very liberal stance on the issue (unlike neighboring Saginaw county). They came in, looked around, asked if I was within my numbers, and when I told them I was and showed them our cards they said OK. The local police department has been asked to keep an eye on the building and to please check out ANY activity they see near it.

 

You are correct, they will keep coming back. We have continued to fortify the building and have an alarm system. There have been attempts b4 but this is the first time they got in and did damage. I knew I couldn't even make a claim without a police report, plus they also stole tools and grow equipment.

 

We are installing video surveillance now so when they try again (and we all know they will) I should have them on camera for prosecution. The local police tell me they will follow through if I have pictures/video.

 

My insurance company has paid for the damage to the building and the lost tools. My adjuster says he has never had a mmj claim, so he's not sure yet what main office will say. I'm giving him until Monday before I start pushing this issue.

 

It was 24 plants 2 weeks from harvest. That's a huge loss. I'm not a business, just two patients (my husband and I) trying to grow enough so we could shut down operations for a while.

 

The way I see it, they stole my harvest. It's in my property that is covered by my homeowners insurance. No, I had not informed them I was doing this, but they did not ask either when I added the building.

 

I will update as this plays out. If they don't pay, I will be searching for a new company that will. I will not be victimized twice, (First by the thieves and second by the company) and continue to give them money. I will instead find a different company that will cover me.

 

Any other thoughts or ideas from you all is appreciated.

 

The person who said their friend was paid for plants, could you please ask what company? Thanks.

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This is no story...This is a personal friend....She was paid $1,000 per plant for 4 plants...They covered the other items stolen also...The only reason I didnt say this before is I wanted to make sure what company she was insured with, and how much they paid.......HJ

Edited by Hydro Jack
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Did you insinuate I was lying? HJ

 

Why would you think that?  I was referring to people who have a preconceived and uninformed guess or who might generalize one experience of "no coverage" and assume that extends to all insurance companies.  You and I both posted actual experience - that some policies do cover MMJ, and we've seen it happen.  I thought our posts both communicated about the same thing. 

 

Some posts have completely dismissed the idea that insurance might cover MMJ. 

 

 

Example 1:   “so no way you're going to get home owners to pay for it.”

 

Example 2:  “I always advise people to be VERY careful of fire claims as a grower as well.......If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy.”

 

With regard to example 2.  This simply isn’t true.  I sat on a jury once for a fire insurance claim in Michigan.   The insurance company denied the claim and said it was a fire set by the homeowner.   It was made very clear to us jurors that the “test” was “Did the homeowner intentionally set the fire?”  If so, they had no coverage. 

 

If the fire was an accident – even if by stupidity, carelessness, law-breaking (other than arson)…(an example of law-breaking would be a grill on your deck, unauthorized electrical work,  etc.) then the insurance company must pay.  The ONLY way out for the insurance company to weasel out is if you set your own place ablaze.  Let me repeat that as it was repeated to us jurors.  THE ONLY WAY FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO INVALIDATE THE CLAIM WAS TO PROVE THAT THE FIRE WAS INTENTIONAL. 

Edited by Highlander
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This is no story...This is a personal friend....She was paid $1,000 per plant for 4 plants...They covered the other items stolen also...The only reason I didnt say this before is I wanted to make sure what company she was insured with, and how much they paid.......HJ

I remember this. Each company is different. It would not surprise me if Progressive is the most liberal.

 

 

Hello HJ, and please give IG a hello from me

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Why would you think that?  I was referring to people who have a preconceived and uninformed guess or who might generalize one experience of "no coverage" and assume that extends to all insurance companies.  You and I both posted actual experience - that some policies do cover MMJ, and we've seen it happen.  I thought our posts both communicated about the same thing. 

 

Some posts have completely dismissed the idea that insurance might cover MMJ. 

 

 

Example 1:   “so no way you're going to get home owners to pay for it.”

 

Example 2:  “I always advise people to be VERY careful of fire claims as a grower as well.......If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy.”

 

With regard to example 2.  This simply isn’t true.  I sat on a jury once for a fire insurance claim in Michigan.   The insurance company denied the claim and said it was a fire set by the homeowner.   It was made very clear to us jurors that the “test” was “Did the homeowner intentionally set the fire?”  If so, they had no coverage. 

 

If the fire was an accident – even if by stupidity, carelessness, law-breaking (other than arson)…(an example of law-breaking would be a grill on your deck, unauthorized electrical work,  etc.) then the insurance company must pay.  The ONLY way out for the insurance company to weasel out is if you set your own place ablaze.  Let me repeat that as it was repeated to us jurors.  THE ONLY WAY FOR THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO INVALIDATE THE CLAIM WAS TO PROVE THAT THE FIRE WAS INTENTIONAL. 

 

Highlander,

 

You sir are OFF BASE referring to my post.  I said that I HAD NEVER seen a claim win in court.  I didn't say that insurance companies WILL NOT pay out on a claim.  I also advised for one to be careful in a fire situation.  (example 2 in your post)

 

I can assure you I did not speak out of line as you insinuate.  I can assure you that example 2 IS TRUE!  They CAN invalidate a policy for those reasons.  That does not mean they will or that will indeed happen, but the option is there.  Do you work for an insurance company?  You have seen 1 case and you are basing your assumptions from that? 

 

I was actually basing my writing on what I have seen happen with my own two eyes AND by actual reported instances.  I did not say it happens in every case.  I was advising people to be careful.  You see wrong in that?

 

I was not speaking from 1 case that I seen go to court.  I was not speaking about EVERY claim filed.  I was speaking on what has and could happen.  I was advising people to be safe and protect themselves. 

 

If you see wrong in that.....I simply do not care!

 

I deleted my posts in this thread.  I am over it. 

 

I may share my opinions in posts but never as answers to ones questions and never as fact.  I base my answers to questions on fact, the law, history and experience.  I come here to HELP.  Typically, when my help is no longer needed, I move on.  Easy enough to do. 

 

You come looking to pick posts apart and criticize based on your opinion......Go for it.   

 

To the OP:  Good luck on your claim and I hope your situation improves!

Edited by northerngal
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NG I don't know why your brought up the court cases again.  I never said anything about them. 

 

I was specifically addressing this statement you made, "“I always advise people to be VERY careful of fire claims as a grower as well.......If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy."

 

What you should be doing is encouraging people to look at the existing policy and see if there is an exclusion for illegal activity that would invalidate the coverage.  If so, they should get a new policy.  I brought up a specific case I witnessed so that people can see that even if an insurance company tries to deny the claim due to illegal activity, the insurance company might be wrong. 

 

This was a case where a meth lab caused a fire.  In the example I cited, the insurance company was sued because they denied the claim.  In court, they flailed and argued that the fire was caused by careless and reckless activity, willful neglect, illegal activity, etc.  The jury was given very specific instruction - the only way the claim can be denied is if it is found that the fire was intentional.  It didn't matter if the meth chemicals caused an explosion.   In the end, the insurance company was forced to pay the claim.

 

Here is a good read for people regarding getting coverage even if the loss is caused by an illegal activity:  http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/insurance-company-pays-for-illegal-acts.html

 

5. Your meth lab blows up

Clearly you’re committing a crime if you’re operating a meth lab in your basement. If it accidentally blows up while you’re cooking drugs, you’ll face criminal charges.

But will your home insurance pay for the damages? Maybe. You could argue that while you knew you were committing a crime (just like with a DUI), the explosion was an accident. Two major home insurance companies have differing opinions on the matter.  One insurer says, “If the insured was the one who was involved in the meth lab, and a fire ensues when the lab explodes, there would be coverage for the peril of fire. If the lab exploded, explosion is a covered peril and again coverage would apply.” But another insurance company sees it differently: “The homeowner should not expect to be covered for damages resulting from his/her criminal act.” You could be on your own for this one.

 

My concern was with your statement, "If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy" because it doesn't give people any indication that SOME insurance companies have such exclusions and SOME don't.  So yes, your statement is true (but not not complete) in that they "could" invalidate your policy....SOME could...if they have such exclusions in the policy.  Some can't deny the coverage for the fire because  they don't have such exclusions in their policy.  and people need to know what their policy covers and what it doesn't.

 

I have had a lot of discussions on this board over the years.  I try to point out bad or incomplete information when I see it.  If  that gets you angry and you conclude that I just try to pick apart posts, then there isn't much I can do about that.  I've been wrong, inaccurate, and incomplete multiple times....and when it is pointed out to me, I also correct my own information.   

 

The advice I was trying to give....and am now hoping it didn't get lost, is Find out if your policy excludes coverage if a fire is caused by illegal activity.  If so, then find a new policy that covers you.  They are available. 

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NG I don't know why your brought up the court cases again.  I never said anything about them. 

 

I was specifically addressing this statement you made, "“I always advise people to be VERY careful of fire claims as a grower as well.......If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy."

 

What you should be doing is encouraging people to look at the existing policy and see if there is an exclusion for illegal activity that would invalidate the coverage.  If so, they should get a new policy.  I brought up a specific case I witnessed so that people can see that even if an insurance company tries to deny the claim due to illegal activity, the insurance company might be wrong. 

 

This was a case where a meth lab caused a fire.  In the example I cited, the insurance company was sued because they denied the claim.  In court, they flailed and argued that the fire was caused by careless and reckless activity, willful neglect, illegal activity, etc.  The jury was given very specific instruction - the only way the claim can be denied is if it is found that the fire was intentional.  It didn't matter if the meth chemicals caused an explosion.   In the end, the insurance company was forced to pay the claim.

 

Here is a good read for people regarding getting coverage even if the loss is caused by an illegal activity:  http://www.insure.co...legal-acts.html

 

5. Your meth lab blows up

Clearly you’re committing a crime if you’re operating a meth lab in your basement. If it accidentally blows up while you’re cooking drugs, you’ll face criminal charges.

But will your home insurance pay for the damages? Maybe. You could argue that while you knew you were committing a crime (just like with a DUI), the explosion was an accident. Two major home insurance companies have differing opinions on the matter.  One insurer says, “If the insured was the one who was involved in the meth lab, and a fire ensues when the lab explodes, there would be coverage for the peril of fire. If the lab exploded, explosion is a covered peril and again coverage would apply.” But another insurance company sees it differently: “The homeowner should not expect to be covered for damages resulting from his/her criminal act.” You could be on your own for this one.

 

My concern was with your statement, "If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy" because it doesn't give people any indication that SOME insurance companies have such exclusions and SOME don't.  So yes, your statement is true (but not not complete) in that they "could" invalidate your policy....SOME could...if they have such exclusions in the policy.  Some can't deny the coverage for the fire because  they don't have such exclusions in their policy.  and people need to know what their policy covers and what it doesn't.

 

I have had a lot of discussions on this board over the years.  I try to point out bad or incomplete information when I see it.  If  that gets you angry and you conclude that I just try to pick apart posts, then there isn't much I can do about that.  I've been wrong, inaccurate, and incomplete multiple times....and when it is pointed out to me, I also correct my own information.   

 

The advice I was trying to give....and am now hoping it didn't get lost, is Find out if your policy excludes coverage if a fire is caused by illegal activity.  If so, then find a new policy that covers you.  They are available. 

 

 

 

Ok so I can't resist responding.......

 

I told people to "be careful".   I did not go on to tell them how to go about it.   That is what you are finding fault with? 

 

There is NO misinformation on my part.  

 

Exclusions do not apply here.  Unless you have a rider/clause/wording/contract that specifically covers your medical marijuana plants, proof shows that the court is VERY unlikely to rule in your favor. 

 

I stand by my original posts.  I did not want to argue or spend half an hour "proving" what I know to be true, but I suppose you are correct, misinformation needs to be corrected.

 

 

 

 

http://www.roughnotes.com/rnmagazine/2013/june/2013_06p064.htm

 

" The court held that the cultivation of marijuana, even for state-authorized medical use, is still a violation of federal law. This meant that the enforcement of an insurance policy under the circumstances of this case was contrary to public policy. (Note the difference in how the state and federal laws respond to this situation.) "

 

The insurer also argued that Hawaii's medical marijuana laws do not purport to legalize medical use and do not require insurers to provide coverage for medical use. Even if Hawaii law did require such coverage, the insurer added, the coverage would conflict with and therefore be preempted by federal law that prohibits the use of medical marijuana.

 

The court assumed that, for purposes of this case, the "trees, shrubs and other plants" provision of the plaintiff's homeowners policy covered the loss of her medical marijuana plants. It stated, however, that even in light of this assumption, it could not enforce the provision because the plaintiff's possession and cultivation of marijuana, even for state-authorized medical use, clearly violated federal law.

 

To require the insurer to pay insurance proceeds for the replacement of medical marijuana plants, the court explained, would be contrary to federal law and public policy, as reflected in Gonzales and later cases. The court concluded that, as a matter of law, the insurer's refusal to pay the plaintiff's claim for loss of her medical marijuana plants did not constitute a breach of the insurance contract. The court also held that the insurer's denial of the claim did not constitute either a violation of applicable state law or bad faith.

 

Yet some more examples:

http://www.propertyinsurancecoveragelaw.com/2012/06/articles/insurance/marijuana-in-the-mainstream-how-courts-are-dealing-with-insurance-claims-of-loss-for-marijuana-plants-and-marijuana-plant-cleanup/

 

 

 

http://americansforsafeaccess.org/the-problem-with-insuring-medical-marijuana

 

"Dealing with insurance claims for medical marijuana plants, harvested marijuana or growing equipment “is uncharted territory,” Hermes says. Insurers aren’t obligated to cover such claims based on legal precedent — so many of them don’t. "

Edited by northerngal
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Yes - because many people seeking information would read your "be careful" post and conclude that they won't/don't have fire insurance protection....and probably many of them would give up hope before they even read their own policy....Your post comes across in a way that would make many people scared to file an insurance claim.....all because they don't understand their insurance policy coverages.

 

You could have said "check your policy to see if you're protected if your MMJ grow causes a fire.  If it does, then file a claim.  If it doesn't, then don't."  Instead, you said "If they prove your "illegal activity" caused the fire, they could invalidate your entire policy."    The former statement (mine) encourages people to find out what coverage they might have.  The latter statement (yours) would tend to make people fearful of insurance companies and not even try to get the coverage they may have paid for.

 

Note that the OP doesn't seem to have read her own policy to see what coverage she has, and instead she turned to internet advice.  Your internet advice would tend to lead people to believe that they don't have coverage for a fire caused by their grow...because you didn't expand the discussion to say that some insurance companies WILL cover the fire and some WON'T.

 

I told people to "be careful".   I did not go on to tell them how to go about it.   That is what you are finding fault with? 

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