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.
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.