Florida Shootings May Complicate Homeowners Insurance for Gun Owners

02 Mar
Florida Gun Control for Homeowners Insurance Rights

Florida Gun Control for Homeowners Insurance Rights

Gun owners in Florida and across the country who are looking for specialized firearm insurance may have fewer options following the shooting massacre that occurred in Florida recently.

Chubb insurance company recently announced that they would no longer be offering an insurance policy for gun owners called NRA Carry Guard. This insurance product, which is National Rifle Association (NRA) branded, helps cover gun owners if they face legal repercussions or are sued due to a firearm incident.

According to Chubb, they notified the NRA of their intention to discontinue their participation in the NRA backed insurance program about three months ago. The decision was announced recently, following the Parkland shooting.

Carry Guard Details

The current line of Carry Guard insurance was introduced last year and is designed to help gun owners who use a firearm for self-defense to cover their legal costs. The policy starts at $13.95 a month and offers $250,000 in civil protection and $50,000 in criminal defense protection.

It is possible to up coverage levels to $1.5 million in civil protection and $250,000 in criminal defense protection. This bumps the price up to $49.95 a month or $549 a year.

According to the NRA website, the policy fills gaps that a typical homeowner policy will not cover which includes “unexpected procedures and costs associated with proving you acted in self defense.” It covers costs such as criminal legal defenses, bail payments, retainer fees, as well as replacement of firearms.

The NRA is not the only association that sells this type of coverage, The United States Concealed Carry Association, or USCCA also offers a similar policy to protect homeowners.

The USCCA policy is priced at $22 a month for $500,000 in civil suit defense and $100,000 in criminal defense protection. The highest level of coverage runs $47 a month and includes $2 million in civil suit protection and $250,000 in criminal defense coverage. There are currently 270,000 individual policies in force.

Opponents of these types of policies call them “murder insurance.”

Is This Coverage Necessary?

In most cases, gun owners are covered for liability issues under a standard homeowner or renters policy and this includes your own negligence if you injury another person or damage their property. The majority of homeowner policies do not exclude accidents that are related to firearms.

Coverage can vary by state though and in some cases policies may include an exclusion for gun related incidents. The state insurance regulator would usually have to approve such an exclusion. Check your policy for details regarding exclusions and firearms.

Obviously there is no coverage if you intentionally damage property or injure a person, this is especially true with a firearm.

Three states, Massachusetts, New York and Hawaii all tried to make liability insurance mandatory for gun owners back in 2013 but the efforts failed. One of the major reasons is that it is very difficult to assess the risk and price these types of policies.

It is possible for victims of a violent assault with a firearm to collect some compensation through a person’s homeowners insurance policy. Victims of the Sandy Hook shooting received $1.5 million from the estate of Nancy Lanza who was the mother of the shooter.

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