In a new article published Sept. 20, 2013 on the Forbes website and titled “Five Reasons Why Gun Insurance Can Survive Political Indifference”, he advocated for insurance as the most effective and practical solution to gun violence in more detail than ever before. Wasik is a pioneer in pointing out the need for gun insurance starting well before the tragic incident at Sandy Hook. His prior articles include:
February 15, 2011 in Reuters: “Why gun insurance should be mandatory”
December 17, 2012: “Newtown’s New Reality: Using Liability Insurance to Reduce Gun Deaths”
December 29, 2012: “Gun Liability Insurance: Still a Viable Proposal”
April 4, 2013: “Gun Insurance: An Economic Argument”
His five reasons are:
1. Liability Coverage Addresses the Issue of Potential Future Harm Better than Any Gun-Control Legislation.
Wasik says the liability laws evaluate harm well and insurers will have an incentive to pressure gun owners for safety. He does not mention no-fault principles which would be needed for effective general coverage.
2. Liability insurance should be required of all sellers and manufacturers.
He points out the importance of their responsibilities in selling and distributing guns. He alludes to but does not explicitly state that their responsibility might continue to guns that were improperly sold and not insured by purchasers. This chain of continuing responsibility is the core of this blogs advocacy for getting insurance in place to cover all gun injuries.
3. Liability Insurance is good business.
Wasik points out that the additional business should be welcomed by insurers and agents. He does not point out that the insurance industry adamantly opposes any mandates for insurance in any area. As this blog has often stated, this is because insurers think that mandates will bring regulation and especially regulation of prices.
4. Insurance is an accepted economic vehicle that’s been around for more than 200 years.
This is certainly true. Over that long time every new form of risk that has appeared has resulted in innovative solutions from the insurance industry. Guns are the only important activity that has a substantial danger unaddressed by insurers.
5. The social costs are staggering and insurance can cover some of them.
Wasik mentions the medical costs which are only a part of what insurance should cover. Worker’s Compensation and some Motor Vehicle insurance covers many economic damages—loss of work and support of dependents. Even with these costs spreading them of the the huge number of guns to be covered would make insurance affordable. The existence of an insurance requirement would reduce the number of incidents through it effects on safety and reduce the cost further. It would also reduce the even greater costs of gun violence that are spread throughout society rather than concentrated on victims of shootings. Costs such as reduction of property value, avoidance of activity through fear and the cost of protective measures.
John Wasik recognizes that dealing with guns is a difficult task for our society and will take a long time, but that insurance is one of the best tools we have.