top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarkis Shirinyan

What is Firearms Liability Insurance and do I need it?

A look at the financial exposures when a law-abiding citizen is actually forced to use a gun to protect his/her self, a loved one, or their personal property.

Yes, situations like these do happen: On November 25, 2016 a 75-year-old man shot and killed a home invader in Detroit, MI. According to police, the homeowner heard a noise at his back door and saw two teenagers break into his home near the kitchen. The homeowner then fired a few shots, and one of the suspects was hit. He was later found dead in the backyard, according to police.

On November 22, 2016 a Youngstown, OH homeowner told police she was in her bedroom when she heard her two children cry out with alarm. She then grabbed a gun and went to the kitchen where she was confronted by a man dressed in black. She then opened fire. The man ran from the house. A short time later, the police located a man in a parking lot with a gunshot wound to the stomach. Defensive Gun Use (DGU) refers to the use of a firearm in defense of oneself or others. While the estimates surrounding the frequency of such gun use vary widely, there are now more guns than people in the United States, and the potential use of a firearm for defense now exists for a very large number of homeowners and renters. Would my homeowners insurance cover me if I shot someone in self-defense? Unfortunately, most traditional homeowner’s insurance policies do not specifically address this type of loss, in many cases leaving the gun owner personally and financially liable. Homeowners, renters, and auto insurance policies may even specifically exclude firearm use – even in self-defense – as a covered exposure, deeming it to be an intentional act. That leaves the gun owner personally liable for criminal and/or civil legal expenses, bail bond costs, and any judgments awarded through a civil action. If I am a gun owner, what does this mean to me? Gun owners may also have some potential financial exposure in the event a gun is stolen from their home or auto, and is used in a criminal act. Even absent any criminal liability, civil lawsuits and the cost to defend them can arise from many situations stemming from a victim of gun use. Additionally, federal and state law makers are beginning to consider mandates that gun owners carry liability insurance. One proposed piece of legislation, known as the Firearms Risk Protection Act of 2013 (HR 1369), requires individuals to provide proof of coverage as a condition of purchasing a gun.

How much does Firearms Liability Insurance cost and how do I purchase it? Fortunately, self-defense insurance coverage is relatively affordable with annual premiums as little as $135 per year. Previously only available for purchase through gun-owner associations, like the National Rifle Association, your local independent SIAA member agent can now rate, quote and bind firearms liability insurance. SIAA member agents are also available to examine your current home, renters and auto policies and provide a professional assessment of any potential gaps due to gun ownership or other factors.

The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any policies, nor does it provide any guarantees. You should read your specific policy for a complete description of coverage.

19 views0 comments
bottom of page