- Marijuana Topics
- October 30, 2020
Editor’s note: This part of a series of profiles on cannabis brokers, in which Insurance Journal explores why and how these folks got into the business, the ups and downs of insuring cannabis, as well as a few tips for those interested in a little professional development.
Jordan Koelewyn, a producer/account executive for Pacific AG Insurance Agency Inc. in Hanford, Calif., knows only the insurance and cannabis space. But that’s plenty for him.
Koelewyn has only been in insurance for four years, all of that time focused on cannabis and hemp insurance.
Koelewyn spoke with Insurance Journal about his experience as a cannabis broker.
Insurance Journal: Why did you get in the cannabis and insurance space?
Koelewyn: I got into the cannabis insurance space because we were one of the few agencies that had access to the correct programs.
I had an existing client that opened one of the first cannabis dispensaries in the area and has grown into having multiple stores.
IJ: Has this been a good financial decision so far?
Koelewyn: Yes, it has been great. We’ve grown over 20% constantly over the last few years, our portfolio consists of all kinds of cannabis operations.
Ranging from dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, and vertically integrated companies that do it all.
IJ: What’s the hardest thing about the cannabis industry to deal with?
Koelewyn: The hardest things are getting the clients to value the correct coverage. So many of the businesses were doing things below the surface long before it became legal in California. Getting them to do things by the book has been a struggle to say the least.
Banking was a big issue for my clients in the beginning, things have since gotten a lot better.
IJ: What insurance product is the most difficult to obtain for your cannabis industry clients? Why?
Koelewyn: EPLI/D&O, I thinks its so hard because there really isn’t any actuarial data for carriers that make them want to take a risk in this industry.
There are only a few carriers writing these lines of insurance and the retentions on the policies are very high
IJ: What two or three tips do you have for brokers entering the business of insuring cannabis?
Koelewyn: Tip 1: Know your markets and read the policies, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have sold policies to clients that were more expensive than other quotes. There are exclusions that your one off brokers don’t realize could be detrimental to cannabis companies.
Tip 2: Go all in, you aren’t going to get any traction in the space if you don’t market yourself as the cannabis go to person. Stay patient doing so, as getting clients in this industry takes time.
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