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Thread: Firearms liability insurance..

  1. #1
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Are there any insurance companies who will underwrite a policy that insures gun owners against legal defense costs and civil judgement?

    You shoot an intruder in your home and are arrested and charged. You contact your insurer from jail and inform them of the situation. They dispatch a bondsman who will post your bail. You're insurer then contacts you to inform you that they have arranged for your legal representation who will defend you in criminal and civil court. You are responsible for paying a portion of the fees up to your deductible amount.

    Your lawyer successfully defends you in criminal court, but the meth addicted wife of the BG you killed has hired a lawyer to try to squeeze a settlement out of you so the crack head spouse can make a payday that will fund her drug habit for the next 10 years. By now your criminal case has accrued enough charges to reach your deductible. The attorney your insurer hired for you offers them a settlement of $50,000 and they accept.

    You're apartment complex owner and a neighbor have also sued you for damages resulting from one of the 14 rounds that didn't hit the BG, that penetrated a wall, hitting a watter line flooding the apartment below you. Your insurer pays these damages as well.

    Good idea, bad idea, no opinion?
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  2. #2
    Regular Member Sabotage70's Avatar
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    That would be nice if that was available. But I have no clue.

    As far as the tweakers family goes. It would be great if we can get a castle doctrine on the books.
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    Regular Member greengum's Avatar
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    Don't knock tweakers. I am an avid meth head which explains my slender build! :P

    I would hit up your homeowners insurance agent. In theory I don't think it would work because not a lot of people would buy it especially in this economy. How much would one be willing to pay for such a service?

    In a criminal case against you I'm pretty sure there would have to be a lot of evidence to even consider bringing up charges and even then you are entitled to a PD. In the matter of a civil case that would pretty much depend on if you had a lot of assets. If you are a younger single guy living in an apartment with a 4 year old honda and 500 bucks in the bank, you can be pretty sure a lawyer isn't going to work on a contingency for the tweaker because you can't get blood out of a turnip. On the other hand if you are worth a few bucks then there are multiple ways to avoid an unfortunate verdict against you. Just look at OJ. Assets are easy to transfer. So worst case you are out lawyer fee's in a civil matter.

    The odds must be pretty astronomical that 1. You kill an intruder in your home, 2. You get charged in a criminal case, 3. You have enough assets that the BG's family gets a lawyer to sue. 4. You lose.

    Of course anything is possible and in the land of gambling I don't see anyone paying more then like 10 bucks a month for such insurance.

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    I would focus my efforts on getting civil immunity legislation passed in my state before I'd go looking for insurance.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    The last person I would trust with my legal defense is a Public Defender, their goal is to make the quickest plea agreement they can so they can get back to their cases that can earn them an hourly fee.
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    Nevada carrier wrote:
    The last person I would trust with my legal defense is a Public Defender, their goal is to make the quickest plea agreement they can so they can get back to their cases that can earn them an hourly fee.
    Ditto!

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    Regular Member Sabotage70's Avatar
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    greengum wrote:
    Don't knock tweakers. I am an avid meth head which explains my slender build! :P
    I'm sure if I was taking a drink when I read that I would have spit on my laptop.
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    Criminally, no. Insurance thus far will not cover criminal activity. (Obviously in a SD shooting, you're not the criminal but insurance won't get involved in criminal matters)


    Civially, you might already have some coverage:


    Civil Liability can be addressed a couple different ways. Your homeowners and renter's insurance policies all have a provision in them called "Coverage X", which my company also calls Family Liability Protection. This is the insurance which covers the standard "someone fell on your cracked sidewalk" situations, but they cover you for any situation where you are responsible for damages to another person (medical bills, loss of income due to disability). The limits typically start around $100,000 but can be raised at your discretion for a higher annual premium.

    There is some protection there, but if its something really on your mind you want to look into a "Personal Umbrella Policy." The limits for these start around $1,000,000 and mine personally cost $210 a year, which will decrease after speeding tickets for my fiancee and I drop off.



    Why the need for $1,000,000? Pretend the BG you just shot ends up dead. His family, in court, will tell the judge/jury that he was a loving father who was just having trouble in this rough economy. He was desperate to support his family, wasn't thinking clearly. Then you, you bad bad evil gun owner, came out and shot him when he probablywasn't going to hurt you. If the jury finds sympathy with that family, you could be held liable for that family's loss of income. The way they'll calculate it is this: X =years lefthe could of worked, Y = his annual income, Z = his possible income the family has now lost. Say he was 30 years old, going to work for 30 more years and made $30,000

    30(x) * $30,000(y) = $900,000(z)

    Jury says you owe this guy's family $900,000 because that's what he could've earned for his family over his lifetime. Will you be paying with check, cash or charge?





    And I agree with Hef. We need a strong Castle Doctrine in this state. The above scenario can happen with car accidents and many other situations, but I don't think this should be a concern for people who are just trying to defend themselves from the criminal element.


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    You can check out "The Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network,LLC"PO Box 400 Onalaska, WA. 98570 (360) 978-5200www.armedcitizensnetwork.orgOR "Lethal Force Institute/Police Bookshelf" PO Box 122 Concord, NH. 03302-0122 (800) 624-9049 www.ayoob.com I also have gotten info on a good Defense Attorney from my "DrawFrom Concealment"Instructor here in Reno.Hope this helps.

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    Pre Pay Legal may be a place to start for an attorney to represent you on any numbers of matters. I had a coworker who was big on it said just one or two legal letters drafted by them would be enough to justify the monthly fee.

    Insurance is typically for accidents. I have asked and been told that shooting someone regardless of circumstance would be intentional. I'm not saying if you had a loaded gun on the table and the wind blows it off it discharges hits your friend over coffee blah blah blah they wouldn't step up BUT if I actually pull the trigger intentionally for what ever reason then it no longer is an accident. Umbrella I'm not sure of. I would say that most Ins. Co's dont like to pay out and they will try to use anything to assit them in squirming out of it. Look to Katrina to see how many tried to delay and not pay.

    This is not to say there may not be some Ins. Co. out there but I could imagine the cost to be prohibited. Loyds of London writes some pretty crazy policies. $$$$$$

    The NRA likes to sell insurance and I haven't see this type offered.:P

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    This seems to be the closest thing the NRA has.

    http://www.locktonrisk.com/nrains/defense.htm

  12. #12
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    This is exactly what I was looking for... Thanks for that.
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    Nevada carrier wrote:
    This is exactly what I was looking for... Thanks for that.
    You're welcome. Glad I could help.

  14. #14
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    I'd go with a prepaid legal service, as you not only get civil/criminal defense, but it covers a lot larger set of situations not exclusive to firearms. As to the umbrella insurance mentioned previously, this is also a good idea to protect you from a variety of situations and costs aren't too bad (mine for $1,000,000 is $175 a year with $40 for and additional $1,000,000)

  15. #15
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    No matter what kind of insurance you have be sure to read the fine print. My policy at work will not cover death in a car accident if you are not wearing your seat belt. The prepaid legal fees are good until you find that when you really need them the upfront fee will maybe cover the bond hearing. Also be sure to check out where it will cover you, it may cover you for a shooting while defending your home but not your neighbors. When you find a good one jump on it and let the rest of us know so we can too.

  16. #16
    Regular Member Phoenix David's Avatar
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    What would be better is to work with your stage legislators folks and get a law on the books that in a justified shooting you can not be held civilly liable. We had that law added to our books a while back.
    Freedom is a bit like sex, when your getting it you take it for granted, when you're not you want it bad, other people get mad at you for having it and others want to take it away from you so only they have it.

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