Self-Defense Gun Insurance

Persons who carry guns for self defense or who keep guns in their homes often worry about the liability should they shoot someone.  This motivates the drive by the NRA and other pro-gun organizations to adopt laws that immunize shooters, but it is also makes a substantial market for legal protection. It’s likely that steady publicity given to dubious claims of millions of defensive uses of guns make many people think that such protection is needed.  There have sprung up a number of organizations which attempt to fill this market with products which may contain an insurance component or, if not claimed to be insurance, are similar to it in most respects.

An example of this is Second Defense Alliance which is a membership organization.  It specifically states that it is not an insurance company and it’s benefits are not insurance, but the benefits and terms offered are so similar to insurance that most members would consider it to be insurance.  It only covers use of firearms in the home against a person who has made an illegal entry.  There are benefits up to $50,000 but most of this is in the form of legal defense costs.  The cost is about ten dollars a month.  Since there are about 30 million homes with guns and only a couple of hundred justified non-law enforcement homicides a year most of which are not based on unlawful entry, the number of times this organization will have to pay must be very small.  It’s a profit making business, but it may give a feeling of protection to its customers.

Another example which, while it’s actually a for-profit business, is organized with member protection as a primary goal is the United States Concealed Carry Association.  Its insurance is as a membership organization with a group policy from an actual Insurance company.  With the basic membership with an insurance limit of $75,000 it costs $12 a month or less and comes with their magazine.   Its terms cover self-defense and are not limited to in-home incidents.  It seems to be a bit broader and cheaper that the NRA sponsored self-defense insurance.

A few additional sources of self-defense insurance include SecondCall Defense, Texas Law Shield Program and the NRA sponsored Lockton Affinity Insurance.

None of these insurance plans are designed to give any help to victims, but they may provide a source of funds and a possibility of settlement in some cases.  They do work to show that insuring guns is feasible.  Their costs are not large but they cover such a minority of shootings and have such small loss ratios that they cannot be a model for potential costs of insurance designed to protect victims.

3 thoughts on “Self-Defense Gun Insurance

  1. “None of these insurance plans are designed to give any help to victims,”… OK, I’m missing something here. If someone breaks into MY home, and I shoot them in self defense, I’M the victim (home invasion / burglary / attempted robbery / attempted rape / whatever), and it HELPS ME. THEY are not a “victim of gun violence” to have sympathy for, they are a criminal with a karma-wheel on high RPM. Why should *I* pay to cover THEIR medical costs? If I don’t defend myself, and they injure me, with their insurance cover MY injuries? Why not just say “medical personnel are not required to render aid to criminal perpetrators unless they are able to pay the associated costs”?
    Telling a gang-banger that their stupidity will let them bleed out, no matter how close the ER is, will change their behavior a LOT faster than telling them they are covered no matter what. I don’t care how that sounds – I care about ,what works.

  2. Good observation. This is actually a touchy subject. I think even if such an insurance company makes profit it is still good to be covered by a plan. After all, that will be your best protection if in case you use your gun for self-defense. It is always a good idea to be prepared in advance. Carrydefense has some good examples on this.

  3. I am an NRA Firearms Instructor and teach a weekly self defense class.

    This question constantly comes up about insurance. First, in Alabama the protection for civil suits is about worthless as if you are found not guilty in a criminal case, there is immunity from a civil suit. The money needs to be in the criminal defense and $50,000-$75,000 will buy you an A+ defense (assuming you don’t pick one of the “great” criminal defense lawyers, who know nothing about firearms). The problem is that ALL these plans put up $5,000-$10,000 as a retainer, then reimburse you if you are found not guilty. That does not help me one bit. What happens when it is then week before trial and the lawyer bills you $39,000 plus want a $5000 retainer for an expert? They use as an excuse, “public policy” which is nonsense. I can buy liability Ins. that defends and indemnifies me if I get drunk and run into another car causing it to explode, cooking the occupants. I may be found civilly and criminally liable but my civil liability insurance will defend and indemnify me up to the limits not just if I win as to the civil suit.. That would be a lot of stress to have on you.

    So if anyone comes across a plan that that is more traditional, that is pays regardless of guilt I can send 10 people a week to the company.

    I love the articles that say “It looks bad”, how bad does it look for a tavern to buy “Dram Shop Insurance?” It is a fact of life. You serve someody too much booze and they go out and kill somebody you are covered. That is just good sense.

    Barry

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