Over the years, you’ve likely paid thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars for various types of insurance. You insure your health, your car, and your home. If you carry a concealed weapon, you may also be in the market for CCW insurance. Several states have “Stand Your Ground” laws, which protect citizens from being sued in civil court when they’ve lawfully engaged in a self-defense situation.
While we hope you never need to fire your weapon in self-defense, it’s important to look into your options for protecting your family’s financial assets in the event you’re ever involved in such an occurrence. Civil suits can drain your bank account quickly, so having an insurance policy in place can make a huge difference if you ever need it.
The Need for Protection Is Real … and Growing
With CCW permits passing the 16 million mark in 2018, the need for additional monetary protection is very real. Should you ever need to defend yourself in a criminal suit, even if you prove you acted lawfully, the possibility of someone bringing a civil suit against you remains high. And here’s where things get expensive. If the person you shot or his/her family chooses to pursue a civil suit, you’ll need a good attorney … one who sympathizes with gun owners and supports the Second Amendment, not just in theory, but in practice. Sadly, these services come with a high price tag, so it’s vital to decide early on whether or not you need additional coverage.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a policy:
Find Out What Coverage You Already Have, If Any
If you own a home and have a homeowner’s policy, it may have coverage for self-defense built in already. Then again, it may not. Chances are good that this wasn’t one of your primary concerns when you bought the original policy, so contact your insuring agent to see if you’re already covered. Coverage varies by company and by state.
Consider Your Potential Risk Level
Many insurers offer multiple policies because individuals have different needs. If you only carry occasionally, you may not need the highest level of coverage, but there’s a caveat to consider here: as with other types of insurance, the higher the premium, the more comprehensive the coverage. While you may pay more in the short-term, the more you pay for coverage, the more your insurance company will potentially pay if you’re ever in a trial situation. Weigh the cost against the likelihood of being sued in a civil suit. Consider the premiums, which range from $13 – $50 per month, as well as your own state’s position on self-defense lawsuits. If your state generally rules against CCW owners, then the premium may be worth paying.
Know What, When, and How Much Your Insurer Will Pay
This is a biggie. Standard protocol for many insurance payouts is to reimburse fees after a not-guilty verdict is handed down, but there are companies that offer advance payments, so be sure to consider all options within your price range. Check to see if the policy you’re considering will pay for bail, the upfront retainer for an attorney, expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, or psychological support (because a self-defense scenario will have a long-term impact on your life). You should also ask if the insuring company has a network of resources and legal experts that they can recommend if needed since you’re unlikely to have a qualified attorney in your own network.
Be Prepared to Carry Some of the Burden (aka the Debt)
If the ruling doesn’t end in your favor, and we hope this isn’t the case, be prepared to cover everything yourself. Even with a favorable outcome, your legal expenses could exceed your plan’s maximum payout, which means you’ll be responsible for payment.
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Even if you already have a CCW insurance policy, keep close tabs on your state’s laws, especially where Stand Your Ground laws are concerned. Laws are always in flux, so make a point of checking your coverage whenever you notice a change in the law.
Disclaimer: Cacharme assumes no responsibility for error, misuse, or misunderstanding of/in the above material, which is for informational purposes only.