As time passes, our industry see shifts in research, conversations, views, and laws regarding controversial issues and subjects. For decades, marijuana has been a highly debated topic that has fueled both arguments and emotions. With the legalization of marijuana dispensaries there are significant challenges for this new business sector.

As we see insurance policies underwritten for marijuana retailers, those retailers face the challenges of a typical business owner and their need to protect their investments. In situations of loss, it is the job of the insurance adjuster to remain unbiased and continue to investigate claims professionally and ethically according to the laws. 

Susan Daniels and Mike Neroda of Northern Adjusters co-wrote an article in the March issue of Claims Magazine featuring a case example and insight of how claims professionals must be prepared to assess risks and exposures to these unique scenarios and address the exposures of this new insurance customer. A few of the ideas featured in the article are listed below on how to provide the highest standard of service as an insurance professional. 

Weigh the credibility of any witnesses or participants when investigating incidents. Given the marijuana industry has a negative perception from some people, credibility matters, and it is important that retailers conduct their business with the utmost professionalism. 

Know your jurisdiction. Claim professionals must follow the dictates of the law. Businesses should be knowledgeable of critical incident preparedness and risk management best practices.

Understand moral and ethical responsibilities. Claim professionals have a responsibility to remain unbiased and objective when weighting facts. 

Make sound claim decisions. Claim handlers need to produce solid investigations through cooperation of parties to the claim and even local authorities for the insurers to make sound claim decisions. 

Marijuana retailers face major hurdles they need to overcome in order to step out of the shadow of doubt caused by stereotypes regarding marijuana use. Claim professionals promote fair and objective outcomes by remaining unbiased, and ethical during the claims process. 

Read the full article featured in Claims Magazine here

Source: Claims Magazine​ March 2018, page 24-5

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