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Ask Me Anything with Mark and Gerry from Cannabis Insurance Solutions


We’re hosting an Ask Me Anything event on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 at 11am MDT with Mark McNeely and Gerry Jones from Cannabis Insurance Solutions. They recently did a Growers Spotlight article and are now here to answer your questions about properly insuring your business.

About Mark and Gerry:

Mark brings a long career in sales with a rich and diverse background to CIS. Having spent 20 +years in the financial industry, but has spent the last 4 years Mark has been deeply involved in the cannabis space, worked for one of the larger vertically integrated marijuana operator in Colorado for 3 + years gaining extremely valuable insight into the daily operations of cultivation and extraction facilities, labs as well as dispensary operations. In addition, Mark provided consulting in the cannabis space to individual entrepreneurs as well as governmental agencies in states recently enacting marijuana legislation. Mark’s working relationships exist in all the states where marijuana is currently legal and extends across the entire country.

Gerry brings an incredible history in growing and developing companies in the B2B and commercial marketplace. He has led several startup companies to tremendous growth and successful exits strategies, including winning the Colorado Companies to watch in 2011.

  • As a senior executive at DIRECTV overseeing the Commercial Division, he was responsible for the roll out of new products, pricing and marketing. Working with and training more than 2,000 commercial sales and installation partners. The new products resulted in an increase in commercial sales of 26%, over $60 million in new annualized revenue.
  • 11 years of executive B2B Fortune 500 sales experience as President, EVP and VP.
  • Senior Business Executive with 21 years of overall experience in the media and advertising industries.
  • Led a division of a $19.7 billion global satellite broadcaster.
  • Expert at executing new sales strategies, developing compensation plans, revenue models, new business development and new product launches.
  • Skilled at managing M&A, cultural turnarounds, enhancing performance, improving morale and generating consistent revenue and EBITDA growth.
  • Started two new advertising media companies, and led them to successful mergers.
  • Have led teams of up to 12 direct reports with over 3,000 indirect reports.
  • Launched a SaaS company using existing IP infrastructure that managed sales, proposals, inventory and pricing for the airline industry.

His passion for business to business products has brought him to this highly specialized insurance segment. “Protecting the Industry and the People in It” of our Cannabis clients, partners and investors in this complex business is his driving goal. He is a proud Colorado Buffalo with a passion for sports, coaches high school football and is a fun but less than average golfer. Gerry (pronounced Garry, it’s a West Texas thing) is lucky to have a great family with two tremendous high school and college aged boys.

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Hey hey!

I am in the office today so I gotta drop a few quick questions while I can,

A) How common are break in’s/robberies at licensed, insured facilities? How are they handled from an insurance standpoint? How do you confirm losses and estimate damages?

B) Do you insure extraction facilities? If so, what codes do people need to build to to get insured?

C) Do you insure against catastrophic crop loss from natural causes (such as extreme mold or pest issues, random HVAC failures, power outages, etc.)

D) How common are backup generators at grows you insure and does having one reduce the liability and lower insurance rates?

E) What is the most common claim you have seen in dealing with commercail cannabis grows?

Thanks for taking the time to do this! Sorry for the list, just a few things I have been wondering for a while.
Casey

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Hello Everyone, Mark and Gerry are here for all you exciting insurance questions!

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How do you protect your company against fraudsters?

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Hi Casey, We’ll do these in order.
A. Not that common, we see more in the grow/cultivation than a dispensary only. Notify police first, get a police report, file a claim, a claims adjuster will come out and review the property, claims are usually paid between 30-45 days. If the loss is around crop, the seed to sale system is used.

B. Yes, they need to follow the state/local codes for the type of extraction used.

C. That is a more complicated question, not usually with mold/pest, but yes on HVAC and some power outages.

D. Common and depending on the policy, they can lower premiums…it’s all part of a risk management program.

E. Theft.

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Hi Hunter, so Fraudster? In what part of the business?

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I had a grower tell me of a situation where they were scammed during a cash transaction. The buyer of the product wrapped a wad of 1s in a 20 bill and then left before that could be discovered. The police refused to do anything about it and the grower’s lawyer said it wasn’t worth trying to sue in small claims court. Is that loss something that could be covered by an insurance policy?

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Fake claims are pretty easy to identify, with seed to sale tracking software, security cameras, average monthly revenue, etc.

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Someone who goes through the insurance process only for an “accident” to occur not long after the policy is set up?

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Have you encountered any fake claims like that in your time in the industry? What happened to the people submitting the claim?

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Hi Nicholas, maybe, but a lot of variables…falls under a few options, money & securities or theft…it also depends on the deductible as to whether or not to file a claim…on a side note, I would have a policy against accepting wads of anything:)

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If it’s after the policy inception date, it would go through the same review process with the adjuster.

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Makes sense, and yes the grower learned a lesson the hard way. I believe the loss was around $7,000 of product.

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Deductibles typically start at $2500…so you’re getting close.

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Do you have any clients affected by the recent hurricanes and wildfires? How bad were the damages to their property?

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They are just getting going in Florida and Hurricane coverage is tough to get in that part of the world, Texas doesn’t have any Medical or Adult use yet, so no losses for insurance. We haven’t seen any claims in Washington yet due to the fires…fires typically kill the entire crop due to smoke.

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What types of risk management options will save you the most money on your policy?

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What’s the strangest or most bizarre claim you’ve received?

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Is a grower or dispensary owner covered if they are renting and their landlord’s building burns down?

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Hunter, it all about security, particularly around the grow, 5-Point exterior door locks, Cameras, vault rooms, seed to sale and membership discounts, vault rooms and how you manage harvested crop.

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