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Firearm Insurance for Concealed Carry & Firearms Instructors
With the increasing need to protect ourselves and our loved ones, many people have resorted to buying a firearm. But with owning a firearm comes a lot of responsibility. Being responsible means, keeping the firearm in a safe storage place, getting the proper training to know how to use the firearm and getting firearm and concealed weapon coverage in the unfortunate event that you have to use it.
But do you really need coverage? Most people have coverage for their health, their house, and their car — why not have coverage in case you ever have to fire your weapon? Having coverage can save you insurmountable legal fees, save you from jail time and keep you at home where you belong.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the different types of firearm insurance—including concealed carry insurance and firearms instructor insurance—read why it is important to be insured, and get invaluable tips for choosing the right firearms insurance for you.
What is Firearm Insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy will typically cover firearms that are stolen or damaged in a fire. However, if you are forced to use your firearm in self-defense, you may still face legal charges, the cost of which can add up fast. If you are charged with a crime due to an accident or incident involving your firearm, firearm and concealed weapons coverage is an insurance policy to pay your legal fees. By adding firearm & concealed weapons coverage, you are covered for civil and criminal liability should you need to use your gun in self-defense regardless of whether or not you have a concealed carry permit.
Individual insurance policies vary, but according to Concealednation.org, most policies cover the use of deadly force, self-defense, negligent discharge and personal firearm use. The policy helps to pay some of the costs related to the legal system like bail, court costs, and lawyers’ fees.
If you need to use your gun to defend yourself or your family but law enforcement doubts your use of deadly force was necessary, you might face serious charges. In situations like this, it’s not uncommon for judges to set initial bail in excess of $100,000. To mount a criminal defense, initial lawyers’ fees run upwards of $50,000. In this light, the annual cost of firearm and concealed weapon coverage is a prudent investment.
Concealed carry insurance is an insurance policy that fortifies your homeowner’s insurance and covers you when there is an accident or incident involving your firearm.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Gun Accidents?
Since guns are considered personal property, they are covered under your homeowners insurance policy in the same way as other valuables. Moreover, a standard homeowners insurance policy covers several liability issues including accidental discharge. This is true even if someone else is harmed.
However, under a standard homeowners policy, you are not covered if you intentionally harm or kill an intruder. Most homeowners policies have “intentional injury exclusions.” This means if you “intentionally cause damage or harm, you are on your own in any resulting liability claims.”
This is where adding firearm & concealed weapons coverage comes in. A standard homeowner’s policy caps liability at $100 thousand. If you’re charged in an intentional shooting, you could be looking at paying damages, medical bills, and attorney fees. This could cost well over $1 million. Firearm & concealed weapons policies usually start with a liability limit of $1 million, and these policies only cost between $150 and $300 per year.
If you are unsure whether you are already covered, check the “wrongful acts” clause of your homeowner’s policy. Specifically, research information noted as “intention of act”, self-defense” or “reasonable force.” In most cases, financial support is insufficient to protect your liberty and your property.
Firearm & concealed weapon coverage is broad and encompasses situations that seem unlikely. Yet, protection against such life events is imperative to those who carry firearms. Supplemental insurance provides protection and financial assistance in the following instances.
- Negligence due to careless firing or accidental discharge
- Accidents due to inadequate training or reckless handling
- Liability due to unsafe storage or theft
Firearms Instructor Insurance
Statistics show that gun ownership in the United States is at an all-time high. As a licensed firearm instructor, this makes your job more important than ever. By teaching new and inexperienced gun owners how to properly and safely handle their firearms, you greatly decrease the chance that they will be involved in a gun-related accident. It’s equally important, however, that you don’t leave yourself personally unprotected. Regardless of the countless precautions you take to stave off every potential mishap when working with firearms on a daily basis, there are certain factors that are out of your control.
Custom firearm instructor liability insurance coverage plans are available to protect yourself from a number of undesirable outcomes that are unfortunately possible in the firearm instruction field. It’s no secret that lawsuits are a legitimate concern for virtually every business in America (just ask the gun manufacturers), so it is in your best interest to seek out a suitable plan as soon as possible. With a custom firearm instructor insurance package, you can shape a plan that will specifically shaped to shelter you from all the various factors in your work that are out of your hands. Glasses and earplugs are mandatory safety precautions at the firing range, so view a custom firearm instructor liability plan as a kevlar vest for your lawsuit exposure.
Why is Firearms Liability Insurance Important?
Gun ownership comes armed with plenty of risks—from harmful usage to negligence to theft—yet very few insurance companies offer to insure firearms. The need for individuals to obtain firearm liability is becoming more and more imminent. Across the country, many states are proposing bills that would mandate all firearm owners to maintain a liability insurance coverage plan. Much like drivers need the proper insurance to lawfully operate a vehicle, with something as powerful and potentially dangerous as a gun, firearm owners need to be prepared for all possible scenarios.
It’s a fact that nobody likes to think about, but the number of injuries and deaths that are caused by guns each year is in the thousands and on the rise. No matter how responsible the owner of a firearm may be, accidents happen that can simply not be avoided, and like your mother has told you countless times before, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Whether you own just a single handgun or an entire firearm collection, you can rest assured that you’ll be covered if something unexpected happens. Just cross your fingers that it never does.
Firearm Safety Does Not Negate the Need for Coverage
There are various rules of gun safety that if followed diligently, should prevent an accidental discharge of a firearm. One well-known set of rules is Jeff Cooper’s four safety rules:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.
While rules 2-4 are explicitly clear, the unstated part of the first rule is that you should treat all guns – as if – they’re loaded. In any case, this tight set of rules has likely saved many lives. Even so, fatalities from accidental discharge occur on a regular basis. Discounting discharges caused by people who disregard the safety rules because of expedience, complacency, and other reasons, deaths from accidental shootings will continue regardless. The reason is human fallibility.
Two examples of human fallibility are locking yourself out of your car and losing your credit card. There are specific habits that you can commit to muscle memory that should guarantee you never lock yourself out of your car or lose a credit card. However, they don’t. The reason is that these only work when you’re in the right state of mind. If simple muscle memory fails to prevent you from losing a credit card when you’re in the wrong state of mind, the more complicated set of gun safety rules listed above will certainly fail to prevent an accidental discharge as well.
What is the wrong state of mind? A distracted mind is one example of this. If you’re busy conversing with someone, using your cell phone, emotionally distraught, multitasking, or simply thinking about something else while handling or using your gun, the four rules of gun safety will likely go out the window. The same is true when you’re extremely fatigued from lack of sleep or from physical exhaustion. In many ways, the same distractions that cause car accidents can cause accidental gun discharges.
This is why the four rules of gun safety do not negate the need for firearm and concealed weapon coverage. The legal fallout from an accidental discharge can devastate your life. The damages from a civil lawsuit can wipe out your savings, assets, and a good part of your future earnings. This can happen to anyone who lacks adequate coverage.
How to Choose a Firearm Insurance Plan
How do you choose the best coverage? Finding the best coverage for your needs is about as intense as choosing health insurance. Depending on where you live, the first thing you should do is study the firearm laws in that state. The second thing you should do is, if you own a home or have renter’s insurance, call your agent or look over your policy to see if you have coverage for self-defense on your property. Lastly, money shouldn’t be an issue when choosing coverage. The more you pay monthly or yearly will determine the amount of legal coverage you’re entitled to during a trial.
In the end, do your due diligence. As the saying goes, “it’s better to have coverage and not need it, than to not have coverage and need it”.
If you’d like to learn more about firearm & concealed weapons coverage, contact us. We can help fill in the gaps in your standard homeowners policy and ensure that you are protected.
Updated: June 5, 2020
Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.