Hemp Insurance Litigation: Oregon Federal Court Rules Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or Indemnify Hemp Farmer for Plant Loss

Insurance is a key part of any business, including cannabis businesses. As Jonathan Bench has explained:

Insurance in the cannabis industry is big business, and business owners need to know what policies are available and what those policies cover. Why? Because in insurance policies, like all other business contracts (e.g. leases), the risk of a business venture is divided between the contracting parties. Your insurance policies are contracts where you pay your insurer to take some of the risk of your business venture away from you – for a fee, of course.

Among the most important aspects of an insurance policy are the circumstances in which it requires an insurer to defend and indemnify the policyholder from a lawsuit by a third party. Disagreements between the insured and insurer may result in lawsuits between the insured and insurer, often over enormous sums of money.  The lawsuits typically arise from a simple set of facts: (1) the insured is sued or threatened with a lawsuit, (2) the insured notifies its insurer (“tenders the claim”) and asks for defense and indemnity, (3) the insurer informs the insurer of its coverage position, i.e. that it will not defend or indemnify,

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