coverage between $1,500 and $6,000 per year for medical
Despite barriers in the United States — patients can obtain
coverage in certain states. In New York State, insurers must cover
any visit that involves getting a medical marijuana ‘card.’ However, it cannot be the primary reason for the visit.
Insurers are not responsible for covering the cost of the medical marijuana itself. Some states, like New Mexico, Maine, and
New Jersey, require workers’ compensation insurance providers
to cover the cost of future and past cannabis purchases.
Lisa Talley, ARM, assistant vice president — claims service at
the Graham Company thinks it would be wise for insurers to offer coverage for medical cannabis patients.
“If an organization covers the cost of medical marijuana treatments for employees, insurance policies will need to be adjusted
to ensure that the treated individual does not become a work-place safety hazard. This is especially important for states that
will house newly zoned medical marijuana dispensaries, where
increased treatment is inevitable,” Talley said.
“Considering the changing political landscape, some medical
costs could end up shifting from group health coverage to other
social programs, like workers compensation, also adding to the
uptick is the number of employees requesting coverage. Insurance brokers need to work closely with the organization to advise how to best adapt and adhere to these changes,” she added.
According to Hilary Rowen, senior counsel, Clyde & Co. US LLP,
the accident in March involving an autonomous Uber test vehicle in Arizona, likely heightened public safety concerns. Rowen
does not see it having a long-term impact on what she calls ‘
public acceptance of autonomous vehicles.’ Rowen further stated that
this is largely dependent on how consumers perceive the number
of accidents involving self-driving cars.
By 2021, autonomous vehicles are set to mass penetrate the
market. For now, there are trial periods, which act as tourist
attractions and means of transportation for locals in some areas.
Rowen believes, if this continues to go well, it may ‘offset the
surges in safety concerns’ surrounding autonomous vehicles.
In October, the National Highway Transportation and Safety
Administration (NHTSA) issued its Automated Vehicles 3.0
guide document to the public, although to date there remains no
uniform federal set of guidelines.
Steve Pritchard, founder of Cuuver.com, believes insurers will
need to develop highly-customized plans to meet the needs of
the public and those creating autonomous vehicle technology.
“In 2018, car insurance companies spent a lot of time considering how to react to the continued development of autonomous vehicles. Of course, autonomous vehicles aren’t set to be
introduced until 2021 at the earliest, but that means insurers
must begin planning now. Their introduction will mean fundamental changes in the way the car insurance industry operates,”
“The way people file claims will also be impacted, and what
they can claim in terms of the small details involving policies,
will have to be reconsidered. A full-scale rollout of autonomous
vehicles will even impact how insurers determine what to charge
customers for policies.
One of the more prominent ideas that have been proposed is
to sell are pre-insured, autonomous cars,” he predicted.
Pritchard continued, “This would likely mean that insurers
would need to adjust to a B2B model, as they’d have to sell policies to car manufacturers to be built into the car’s offering.”
Expect these factors to continue to affect insurance coverage
well into 2019 and beyond. If there is one constant in insurance,
Moshe Beauford ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a
freelance journalist, copywriter and blogger. Beauford’s
work has appeared in publications such as Geek Time
Israel, PasteMagazine, Times of Israel, Property Casualty
360 and Claims.