Most Insurance Policies Don’t Actually Cover Firearms Claims

04 May
Home Insurance Claims and Firearms

 There are roughly 371 million firearms owned by private citizens and domestic law enforcement in the United States

We love our guns in America. According to statistics, there are roughly 371 million firearms owned by private citizens and domestic law enforcement in the United States.

When it comes to firearms and insurance there can be major gaps in your coverage, which can leave you holding the bag if your firearms are stolen, damaged or destroyed. Liability coverage can also be an issue when it comes to guns.

Guns can be expensive and can cause serious damage if they are accidentally discharged, in order to make sure you are fully protected you may need additional coverages above and beyond your homeowners insurance policy.

Guns are Covered, But Coverage is Limited

When it comes to guns, insurance companies simply look at them as property. Guns are covered by homeowners insurance just like any other personal property that you have in your home, but they are typically subject to policy sub-limits.

If your guns were damaged or stolen you could make a claim against your policy for the cost to repair or replace them. They would be subject to your policy deductible, which means you would need to pay the deductible before your insurance company would cover the balance of your loss.

Homeowner insurance deductibles will range anywhere from $500 up to $2,000 or more and it is up to you to choose your deductible amount. While a higher deductible will lower your premium, be sure to choose an amount that you can easily cover in the event you need to make a claim.

Unlike many other personal property categories, there are no discounts offered for firearms.

Firearms Are Subject to Sub Limits

Despite the fact that firearms are considered personal property and are covered by your homeowners policy, there are some serious restrictions, which can dramatically impact your coverage.

While it varies by insurance company, most policies have a $2,500 limit on guns and other valuable items such as artwork, collectibles, jewelry and furs. This means that your entire gun collection will be subject to the $2,500 limit.

If you only own one gun, this limit is usually not an issue. However if you own a number of high-value firearms or are a collector, this limit will quickly be exceeded.

If your gun collection is valued at more than $2,500 you will need to purchase an insurance rider, which ups your coverage levels for specific items. The cost for the rider will vary by insurance company and how much additional coverage you choose to purchase. Riders come in a variety of different coverage levels but common amounts range between $15,000 and $50,000.

Premiums will vary depending on your personal factors and the insurance company you choose, but expect to pay anywhere from $50 up to $500 for additional coverage.

It’s also possible to purchase a separate standalone policy, which covers your firearms. The National Rifle Association (NRA) partners with a company called ArmsCare Plus, which offers policies that protect all of your legal firearms as well as accessories such as mounts, scopes and slings. Coverage cost is fairly inexpensive with $10,000 in replacement value insurance costing roughly $110 per year.

Liability Issues and Firearms

In addition to replacing your lost or stolen firearms, homeowners insurance also provides liability coverage in the event a firearm is accidentally discharged. There are restrictions to this coverage as well, intentional shootings are obviously not covered.

While most accidental shootings would be covered, your liability protection doesn’t extend to you or members of your household. If you accidentally shoot yourself or a member of your household the liability protection in your homeowners policy would not apply. This means that any medical bills would fall to you or that particular member of your household.

In addition to injuries, the liability portion of your policy should cover damage to your property or other people’s property if the gun is accidentally discharged. This protection extends outside the home to shooting ranges and other places where you may be hunting or target shooting.

There are exceptions to coverage for accidental shootings. If drugs or alcohol are involved when the accidental shooting occurs there is a good chance that your policy will not cover damages. It should go without saying, if you are in the middle of committing a crime when you’re gun accidentally discharges, you will not be covered.

Professional Activities Are Not Covered

Professional activities are also not covered. If you are a professional guide or teaching somebody to hunt or shoot at a range, your homeowners policy will not provide any protection at all. Commercial activities involving guns are fully excluded from the majority of homeowner insurance policies.

In order to be fully protected you would need to purchase a commercial business policy that would fully protect you. Costs will vary but commercial coverage averages around $300 a year for $1 million in liability protection.

Next Steps on Firearm Insurance Coverage

We hope that you have found this article helpful. If you have any questions about your existing home insurance policy or would prefer to shop for better coverage or include a “Rider” on your new policy, then please click the link below to choose your state and start our free online quoting process today.

Click Here For More Affordable Homeowners Insurance Quotes and Coverage Options

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