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Daily Insurance Industry News
Saturday 21st of July 2018
March 15, 2011

Sharp rise in claims from residential cannabis farming

by Gill Montia

Story link: Sharp rise in claims from residential cannabis farming

Sharp rise in claims from residential cannabis farming

Aviva has reported a 30% year-on-year rise in claims resulting from residential cannabis farming and is warning landlords to be extra vigilant.

According to the insurer, there were 758,700 cannabis plants seized by the police in 2009/10, a rise of 18% on a year earlier.

Eighty-three per cent of seizures were for 50 plants or fewer and Aviva settled 92 cannabis-farming claims, the highest number since the group began collecting data in 2007.

The insurer’s underwriting manager, property owners, Matthew Gordon, comments: “Almost all of the properties were residential and we often find that it is part of a larger operation or that the policyholder has had a couple of properties affected.”

He adds: “Cannabis farming comes with serious risks for landlords; properties can be completely ruined inside to make space for plants, water damage can occur and fire poses a risk due to interference with electrics or strong lighting left on for a long time.”

The cannabis farming tenant will often line walls, ceilings and doors with plastic or polythene, and windows will normally have blinds or curtains closed to obscure any activity.

The plants are irrigated through pump spray guns and high-powered lighting is installed, meaning that the electricity supply will probably have been tampered with.

A considerable amount of condensation is produced and a pungent smell may be noticed through the walls of adjoining properties, although ducting and extractor fans are often used to prevent this.

Aviva says it is working with customers and brokers to raise awareness regarding tenants using domestic dwellings as cannabis farms, ensuring landlords have the right level of cover in place, rather than standard home insurance.

 

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