Responsible gun ownership goes beyond trigger etiquette. Discover how locking down the right firearms insurance can be another powerful way to protect your family.
In the right hands, firearms can mean safety for you and the ones you care about. Proper form, awareness of the law, and weapon maintenance are three of the four hallmarks of a responsible gun owner. The last is realizing that a gun can also become a liability in a number of ways even for the most conscientious person. This applies whether you’re outside or protecting your home.
This is where having some form of firearms insurance can be invaluable. Coverage can come from existing property policies or dedicated firearms insurance, which offer different types of protection. This guide will explain what those policies provide for firearms protection, what they shield you against, and how you can add them to your protective arsenal.
Home and rental insurance policies
Homeowners and renters need to protect their possessions against the unforeseen, which can be done by having the proper insurance. In each case, everything the person owns is protected whether it’s under their roof or a landlord’s. Most policies also cover personal items that are in adjoining structures (such as a garage) or a car.
These policies provide limited firearms liability coverage. This means the insurance will pay towards the cost of an incident such as accidentally discharging a firearm and causing harm to a person or property. Always inform your insurance provider that you own a gun or guns regardless of your residential status, otherwise you may not be covered if you have to use it in defense against a burglar or home invader.
Intent and liability are closely connected. Gun owners have to be aware of that relationship as well as the limitations of residence-related coverage.
Homeowners and renters policies don’t cover everything
Using a firearm in self-defense can easily become a legal gray area and a potential financial disaster. Homeowner/renter policies won’t protect you in such incidents, but there is another way to cover yourself. This is where having an umbrella policy comes in.
As the name suggests, an umbrella policy provides wider coverage for you in the event of a particularly expensive liability incident, firearms included. Most plans start at $1 million in coverage, and this can go a long way to recovering from expenses like medical bills or lawsuits. A very important point to remember is that umbrella coverage won’t protect you against intentional criminal acts with a firearm.
Specialized firearms insurance policies
For firearm owners who want more financial protection, dedicated firearms liability policies are offered by some insurance companies. A couple examples are the policies offered by Lockton and through the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) — the latter coverage requires you to be a member.
Lockton’s coverage protects you against incidents of accidental firearms discharge, hunting-related accidents, and in scenarios of lawful self-defense where you are acquitted and all charges are dropped. Packages start at $75 a year up to $265 with a related increase in coverage amounts.
USCCA coverage protects you before, during, and after an incident of lawful self-defense. A solid review from insurance watchdogs ValuePenguin shows that USCCA policyholders receive protection from a reputable company that provides easy-to-understand coverage, offers higher financial protection than their competition, and pays claims upfront rather than after the case is concluded.
Whatever insurance you decide to get, make sure the provider can answer questions regarding your status as a firearms owner. Be sure you understand how much coverage is provided and for what types of incidents. Also, make sure any precautionary steps they require align with your firearms usage. For example, if your policy requires firearms to be stored unloaded and/or in a gun safe, make sure you understand how that impacts your home- and self-defense strategy.
Protecting the weapon itself
Your firearm is a valuable possession, and it’s not invulnerable to any of the other threats that could harm things around your home, such as fire, water damage, and theft. The same risks apply if you carry a gun in your car, where it could also be stolen or lost when you’re out on foot.
Investing in a gun safe provides practical insurance against accidental injury around the home and powerful protection against thieves. Some safes are also specially built to withstand fire damage. Firearms insurance will help recoup the cost to repair or replace a weapon if you’re not able to budget for this kind of storage.
Remember to ask your insurer if a certain degree of firearms storage is necessary under your policy and talk to them about sub-limits (caps on how much of a payout you get on your gun/guns if they’re damaged or lost). The standard payout may not be high enough to cover your weapon, which means you might want to purchase a rider to provide additional financial coverage for particularly valuable items.
Keep you and your family safe with Ammunition Depot
Every firearm owner knows you can never be too prepared, whether that’s through insurance, hardware, or know-how. This is why our store offers the very best in weapons, ammunition, accessories, and ownership insight, so you can enjoy maximum peace of mind.
The Ammunition Depot team is dedicated to supporting our customers in securely and confidently exercising their constitutional right of self-defense. Drop by our contact page to get in touch.