Canadian insurer wants of increased collisions after marijuana legalization

Published: February 14, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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The federal government will legalize marijuana for recreational use across summer this summer. Auto insurers and authorities have been debating how to best manage impaired driving, including how police can properly test for drug impairment. One of Canada’s leading property and casualty insurers says it is “concerned” about an increase in auto collisions from impaired drivers high on cannabis.

Intact Insurance suffered in its Q4 2017 financial report in its auto business. The company pegged losses on increasing cost of auto repairs after collisions. Now the insurance giant says it expects marijuana legalization to result in a “higher frequency and severity of auto insured losses as a result of impaired driving.”

Several states in the United States have already legalized cannabis and Intact says there has been “pressure” on auto insurance companies as auto claims increased through marijuana impairment. That was the assessment of Darren Godfrey, senior vice president of personal lines for Intact Insurance during a conference call last week.

 “To the extent that we start to see potential pressures around the rate of car accidents and so forth … we are very active with [the Insurance Bureau of Canada] in talking with governments around the policing and so forth of cannabis usage,” Godfrey said Feb. 7 during the Intact financial conference call.