Cannabis Risk Management Group Plans to Offer Insurance Program

By | December 17, 2019

A national group offering risk management advice to the cannabis industry says it is creating a casualty insurance program to provide its members with insurance.

The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA) announced it is starting the process of registering Garnet Casualty Insurance Corp. in hopes of bringing “normalcy to the nation’s cannabis insurance market.”

According to NCRMA, Garnet will be wholly-owned by the policyholders and will operate separately from the NCRMA. The plan is to use a single managing general underwriter (MGU) and multiple managing general agents (MGAs) to serve the NCRMA membership. Appointed brokers will be able to work directly with the MGAs.

“Strong and consistent feedback from our members convinced us that an association owned insurance company was the appropriate solution for our members” said Rocco Petrilli, chairman of the NCRMA.

He said the group’s risk management platform will help members reduce their risks and resulting claims history.

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The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based nonprofit told Insurance Journal in September that it has 2,000 members and relies on funding from membership dues, and is not licensed to sell insurance.

Petrilli will serve on Garnet’s senior management team along with Brian Nelson, a 20-year veteran of the risk management and insurance industries. They said they intend to initiate relationships with an MGU as a first step in building the operating team as well as establishing the requisite carrier relationships.

Nelson’s LinkedIn page identifies him as chief underwriting officer for Garnet Underwriting Managers in Venetia, Pennsylvania. From 2016 until last November, he was vice president for partner development with Argo Insurance Group. His resume also includes eight years with PMA Group as Central regional manager for risk management. He is a licensed attorney.

“The association members deserve fair and affordable coverage to protect their investment,” Nelson said. “We are committed to inclusive programs and premiums that reflect the risks of cannabis businesses. This combined dedicated and innovative approach will assure that.”

The group plans to have more information at its March conference in Las Vegas.

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