Thread: Liability Insurance while Armed
I know it seems odd to say insurance is available should you have a defensive gun use, but if you can get say automobile insurance (and look at the death and destruction they cause by comparison to firearms), why not coverage for self defense?
You may already have it. Let's find out.
Go get your homeowners (or renters) policy, including all the fine print you never bothered to read before.
All policies have a policy form, or "standard" policy language that is included for everyone who bought that particular policy. It will probably be 22 to 25 pages of legal jargon. Section one is the property section, so go past that to section two, Liability. Go past the all theterms and conditions to the exclusions.
You are looking for the exclusion that says PersonalLiability and Medical Payments to others coverages do not apply to "bodily injury" or "property damage" a) that is expected or intended by the insured.It may go on to say something about criminal acts, directed by the insured, other people being hurt, ect. How this exclusion reads will vary from company to company.
What you want to see below this exclusion is a coverage grant that says something to the effect; "However, this exclusion does not apply to "bodily injury" or "property damage" that arises out of the use of reasonable force to protect persons or property". You may use REASONABLE force, up to and including, lethal force.
If there is otherwise Liability coverage available to you for a DGU, there is also money available to pay for your defense. An insurers duty to defend you is broader than their duty to pay damages on your behalf because although you maynot be guilty,you may still need to go through the trial.
Intentional acts of assault and battery are rightly excluded.Often however, coverage for self defense is brought back by way of the specific coverage grant. Either it is there or it isn't. The coverage grant can not be endorsed to your policy if it is notprinted in the policy form itself.
Some insurance agents will arguethat it is not possible to cover a defensive gun use (intentionally shooting someone). If you have one of those, it may be time to fire him/her because what they are really telling you is THEY can't do it. When I fired my old agent, not only did my new agentget me the coverage I needed, but myannual premiums dropped $700 besides. Your mileage may vary. I spent the savings and scheduled my guns sothey are fully insured, and purchased higher limits of liability.
Should your shot miss the perp and hit an innocent bystander, think how much money will you need besides what you have in savings?
I have the names of a couple agents who would be able to provide proper coverage if it turns out your agent can not do it for you. Just email me.
I am not offering professional advice,an insurance agentshould do that for you. I am not an insurance broker any longer and I don't play one on TV.
I am also not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.
As I have said, my firearms are scheduled on my homeowners policy. As scheduled property, there is no deductible and they are insured for their replacement.
After my attorney jumps through the required legal hoops, if my property is not rightly returned to me andhe can establish that a theft has taken place, I will file a claim with my insurer for it's replacement.
The circumstances will dictate what actions I may choose to take or not. Until I am faced with them, I really can not say what I may have to door may not have to do.
Everyone should have this discussion with their attorney and insurance agent before you go armed in public.At least understand what coverage you have and what coverage you do not have. Plan accordingly (like carry alessexpensive gun). Once you have met the wrong law enforcement personnel and they have your property, it is too late to think about this.
Until the resolutions are submitted and adopted, people who openly carry are understandably taking on some personal and financial risk. If you can not afford to give up even a $500 gun or have the money to hire yourself a good lawyer, you might want to keep your gunat home and put your effortsinto getting the petitions signed andthe county resolutions submitted to establish open carry as accepted and lawful.
Eliminating the problem is the most effective way to handle it.