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How to Choose Concealed Carry Insurance

by Chris Hendrix   |  February 12th, 2014 33

Most of us carry at least one insurance policy. Whether that policy covers your home, your car, your health or your life, in most cases you choose to protect yourself against the unexpected.

Most gun owners view our possession of firearms as an insurance policy in itself. A firearm in the nightstand or carried concealed is self-administered insurance against those who could harm us.

But what if the unthinkable happens? If you’re forced to use your firearm in self-defense, what happens in the aftermath of the incident?

We see this scenario play out regularly across the country. A legally armed citizen uses a gun in self-defense, then appears in court to prove that the legal requirements were met to justify using deadly force. When the court rules that the citizen complied with the law and is not guilty of any crime, life just goes on, right?

It’s not always that simple. Any court case could result in you spending tens of thousands of dollars to protect your freedom and clear your name. Even once you’re cleared of all criminal charges, the family of the deceased might take further action to sue you in civil court for wrongful death. Once a civil trial determines you are not liable for damages, you could still face a pile of legal bills in the process.

With the expansion of concealed carry in the United States, insurance providers are now offering concealed carry and self-defense insurance policies. Since several coverage options are now available from a number of providers, there’s an abundance of factors to consider when choosing a self-defense insurance plan.

How to Choose the Best Plan
First, consider any coverage you may already be entitled to through your homeowner’s insurance. Most homeowner’s insurance policies have clauses that may either enable or prevent your current plan from covering you in a self-defense scenario on your own property. It is worth speaking with your insurance agent to figure out what kind of coverage—if any—is included in your current plan.

Second, study the state laws where you reside. Many states have Stand Your Ground laws that protect individuals against civil suits in lawful self-defense scenarios. Generally, these laws make it unlikely that you will face a civil suit when rightfully defending yourself.

If you’re not likely to face a civil suit due to state laws, then it may not make sense to pay a premium for insurance coverage. However, if your state’s laws don’t favor self-defense scenarios, you may want to consider an insurance plan that covers the costs of civil lawsuits.

Please note that it’s very important to stay abreast of the laws in your state. Legislation is ever-changing, and it bears noting that in the current political climate, there is significant push-back against established Stand Your Ground laws.

Next, consider the varying levels of insurance coverage provided. Most policies offer more than one level of protection. The more you pay monthly or yearly, the greater amount of civil and criminal coverage you may be entitled to during a trial.

It is important to note that, for criminal trials, most plans only offer reimbursement for money spent defending yourself. Several insurance plans will not provide money upfront for a criminal proceeding and will only pay out if you are found not guilty.

However, many plans will cover your legal bills for civil cases up to the plan limit. It’s also recommended to carefully consider how much coverage you feel you might need based upon where you live. Going to court in one jurisdiction versus another can be a much different experience, and this can lead to vastly different costs.

It’s likely that if you were ever caught up in a high-profile self-defense case, any of the plans mentioned later in this article would only cover a fraction of your criminal proceedings costs.

Additional Considerations
The final things to consider when choosing self-defense insurance are any additional features included in the plan. For example, find out whether a plan will cover fees for an expert witness and whether those fees are provided upfront or reimbursed later.

Also, always find out if the plan provides an attorney for you or if it allows you to pick an attorney whom you feel will represent you best. Likewise, determine if the plan covers your family members during a self-defense incident within your home using your firearm.

Some plans may also provide access to networks of resources, such as expert witnesses, for use in your trial.

Do Your Homework
When choosing self-defense insurance, it’s important to research the different plans available and choose one you’re comfortable with that closely fits your needs.

Due to the unique nature of these plans and the sensitive subject matter, there’s not much in the way of readily accessible information detailing customers’ individual experiences with the various insurance providers.

If you have suggestions for choosing concealed carry insurance, please comment below to help others with this process.

To guide you toward the best coverage options for you, here’s an overview of several common concealed carry insurance providers:

  • RickBenz

    I have a plan available in the state of Missouri through West Bend, $50,000 coverage for $100 a year. $100,000 coverage for $175 per year. Rick Benz 314.517.9633

  • needful

    what a country,some scumbag breaks into my house,i shoot him and his scumbag family takes me to court and robs me again,what a joke,only in america!!!

    • Chris Dotson

      In Colorado we have two laws that would protect you. But one is limited to what you can do. The other is clearly to protect the home owner that is protecting his place. Colorado law on stand your ground clearly states that you can only use deadly force that both parties have. In Colorado you can not use an firearm against someone with only an knife unless your 75 years old and the bad guy is 20 or less. If the bad guy has an firearm then you can use yours to stop him. The other law in Colorado has no limits except it only protects you when your in your house. If some drunk tries to get into the wrong house after you tell that person it is the wrong house. You have the legal right to shot and possible kill that person. But make it clear that he/she is at the wrong house. Say it loud enough that someone a mile away can hear you. Both laws protect the gun owner completely from any law suit.

      • needful

        who was the jackass that came up with that law!!!so when some guy has a knife sticking in my loved one’s neck,i’m supposed ro ask for id to make sure he’s over 20 yrs old!!!with all the little cycos running around i have to card the guy???what’s he buying a six pack of beer?HE”S TRYING TO KILL MY FAMILY!!!what a joke this country is becoming!

        • Chris Dotson

          The law is complex. If your loved one is being attacked yes you can use an firearm. But if it is only you and The bad guy has an knife. You can not shot him. pull out your own knife to defend yourself. Or you can not care and just shot the guy and go to trail for murder one. In Colorado that would not be in your favor. The law clearly states one on one combat has to be equal. Both laws have been on the books for over 20 years now. They work just fine. Unless your an jackass that just wants to go around shooting people. (like most cops do). I said under 20 years old. In Colorado there has been a couple of knife robber VS clerk that own an gun. The clerk was over 70 years old. The robber was 17. No charges filed against the 70 year old for murder. If I did that. I would be charged with first degree murder. For protection I carry two guns, sometimes three, two knifes, two pepper spray. You properly just carry one pistol and call it good. Like I said the laws work fine if you follow them. Do you even own an knife??

          • Troy Reed

            Chris, could you please cite this law that you are referring to?

          • Chris Dotson

            The Colorado Amendment 13. That chickenlooper wants to hide from every body. No law, it is written when Colorado was first started has an state. It is your right. But everything has to be equal in a gunfight. If you can not defend your self against a knife(hand to hand) then you need to move to Florida were they kill unarmed men just for the fun of it with an firearm. Or be in law enforcement.

          • Peter Field

            What if you are 70 and disabled, does that count?

          • Chris Dotson

            Peter yes in a big way. If your in the shape that you state. You can defend yourself at any time. No cop will even question your right to kill. No handcuffs, no jail time, you can keep your firearm. The cops will just call the meat wagon and wish you a good day in the state I live in. Unless you shoot another 70 year old man.

      • Troy Reed

        Chris, normally self-defense is based on force vs force +1. This
        means that you can use the same amount of force plus one level higher of force to defend yourself. I have never seen a statute based on age, especially when a knife is involved. The Tueller drill shows us that a normal person armed with a knife can cover 21 feet in about 3 seconds. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to ask somebody their age.

        All I can find says that the person can use what force he/she feels is needed for self-defense. Here is a snippet from CRS 18-1-704:

        18-1-704. Use of physical force in defense of a person

        (1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a
        person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he may use a degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for that purpose.

        (2) Deadly physical force may be used only if a person reasonably
        believes a lesser degree of force is inadequate

        Could you please show me where you got your information? I am curious as to which statute you are referring to?

        Thank you…..

        • Chris Dotson

          Have you used this law for defense in criminal and/or civil court. Unless you have and have first hand knowledge that it will hold up in both courts in the state of Colorado. Go right ahead shoot bad guys with a knife when you are only defending yourself. I have been carrying concealed for over 26 years now. In the state of Colorado. 20 years legally. I have watched court case after court case in that length of time. When you defend yourself on an equal plane with the bad guy. No jail time is ever given not even handcuffed in Colorado (except Denver). When you defend yourself equally with the bad guy no civil case makes it to trail. So let me know how well this statue works. If you already have used it in the state of Colorado. Experience is the best teacher.

          • Troy Reed

            Why so hostile & defensive? I asked where you were getting your info. Now I know that it comes from your own opinion & experience.

            Experience isn’t always the best teacher. Experience & opinions are alike, everybody has some.

            Can you cite any of these court cases you have watched? In what capacity have you watched them? As a court member, jury member, expert witness, or just an observer? Did you watch these in court or on tv?

            Are there any facts that you can post, aside from experience, which is always subjective at best?

            Personally, I’ll stick to the written law that the proscuter will be using. That is what a judge & jury are required to follow.

            I will stick to actual, factual law & take my chances with the court prosecuting me under those laws.

            As a concealed carrier, it is our responsiblity to know what laws govern us & be able to articulate why we did what we did to defend ourselves.

            Self-defense is comprised of Intent, Means, Opportunity & Preclusion. If all of these are met simultaneously, then it’s self-defense & you can use whatever amount of physical force you deem is reasonable & necessary at that time.

            It is our responsibility to talk about this with a lawyer before anything happens, and not just take internet opinions as facts.
            Best of luck to you….

          • John Paschke

            “Why so hostile & defensive?”

            because he is full of feces

    • dstudie

      Only in Fascist Democrats and mooslim Obummer’s America. We need to get back to the Constitution and start sending Senators, Congressmen, Judges and High Gov’t officials at State and Federal levels to prison for their corruption.

    • Chris Dotson

      A person that does not use their real name for comments has something to hide. So either Your an Cop or one of the bad guys. Both are the same to me. If you really want someone to believe the crap you comment out. Use your real name.

      • needful

        no chris ,i’m no cop.but one thing that stands out in your post is that you you do have a real problem with cops,and yes i could post my real name,but like many people here i chose not to.how would posting my name tell anything about me,like if i was a cop or bad guy,i don’t follow your logic.

  • RPav

    Do these insurance policies cover THIS scenario:
    Angry jerk comes into restaurant and starts shooting innocent diners. Concealed carry patron (me) returns fire, hitting perpetrator, but also hitting innocent diner cowering in the corner directly behind the perpetrator. Innocent bystander’s family SUES concealed carry patron for injuries. Do CCP policies cover legal costs in THIS instance? Thank you.

    • RC

      Pure negligence is different. You have no business discharging a firearm if you if you might hit someone you don’t intend to. Yes the cops get away with it in our current corrupt system, but you will fry for it as you and they should.

    • DH

      Depends on the insurance policy and the state of course. Criminally, in most states, the “angry jerk” would be charged with murder for the death YOU caused (this is where cops often get away with it, but it would normally apply to individuals as well). The reasoning is that the death only happened due to the angry jerk’s actions, so the angry jerk is criminally liable, even though the angry jerk didn’t actually kill that person. Also, you would normally not be criminally charged due to “Necessity” (per IL law: “Conduct which would otherwise be an offense is justifiable by reason of necessity if the accused was without blame in occasioning or developing the situation and reasonably believed such conduct was necessary to avoid a public or private injury greater than the injury which might reasonably result from his own conduct.”…i.e.: the death you caused still saved more lives by stopping the angry jerk.) For a civil lawsuit, hopefully it happened in a state where you would be immune from your lawful use of deadly force. If not, read the terms of the insurance policy very very carefully.

    • Chris Dotson

      Can I suggest taking some firearm classes and joining an shooting range. Even an CO2 BB gun in your back yard if it is big. The BB gun would teach you basic skills. Sounds like your shooting skills are not what you would like them to be. Yes it is not good if you shoot any body but the bad guy. An semi auto is harder to master (moving parts) than an wheel pistol (less moving parts). In a real life shoot out no more than 3 or 4 shots per person are ever fired. Most of the time 1 to 2. only the police need 17 rounds. It takes that many for a cop to hit anything. I wish that the cops had to account for every bullet leaving their firearm.

    • CaptainGary

      One of this first things you learn in combat situations is to be aware of the path and trajectory of your shots beyond your intended targets. If there is a risk of collateral damage than you do not shoot. This requires practice, practice and more practice. Carrying a concealed firearm requires a lot of responsibility and training should be one of the key responsibilities. There is too much room for error from the time you reach for your concealed weapon and the time you fire it. Making the wrong firing decision is one of the key errors that can take place. You wouldn’t want to risk having a missed round gong through a wall only to strike a family member. You must be constantly thinking and evaluating the situation and making immediate decisions. Again this does not happen without training. I train at least twice a month and most times more for various situations. After seeing the lack of discipline and accuracy I wish other concealed carry members would do the same.

      • Tran Quilize

        Bla, bla. Listen.. If you’re at a booth eating, and a perp turns to you, makes eye contact and raises his gun at you to shoot, then unfortunately the people behind [if any] are collateral damage. Theres no time to reposition. EVERY incident is unique and there are times the rule of thumb cant be exercised.

    • Randy Adams

      I believe my policy with USCCA covers both defense and civil suits up to my agreed limit.I have the gold plus coverage.It also includes helpful advice and lawyer contacts.

    • Troy Reed

      Maybe, but probably not. It would all depend on a variety of factors.

      Contact & discuss this sort of thing with a local lawyer ahead of time.

      Contact these companies & ask. Many of them have Facebook groups or forums that you can ask questions on.

      Sometimes insurance can be a double edged sword. If somebody decides to sue you & sees that you have a sizeable insurance policy, they may sue for an increased amount. On the other hand, they may sue you anyway & you don’t have any insurance….

      Do your homework & ask lots of questions. Follow these up with a local attorney. I say local because, the District Attorney in your county may read the law differently & be biased in a certain way. A local lawyer would know this….

  • William Broome

    law abiding citizens with training to carry a firearm are made by law to be responsible for their actions ,but anyone who is considered a criminal in the act of being a criminal with a firearm can sue me for stopping him/her ….Indeed Not what the founding fathers had in mind !

  • RPav

    Very helpful. Thanks to all, especially DH and Chris.

  • Jim E.

    For Texans – Texas Law Shield provides prepaid legal coverage for both civil and criminal court cases for CHL carriers and optionally their non-CHL family members. Coverage starts around $150 for a single CHL carrier for unlimited legal services in case of an incident. My plan covers me in most of the Southern Tier of the US.

  • RPav

    Chris,
    You bet. Believe me, I go to the range now. And I (and my grown children) understand the the awesome (and potentially devastating) power of firearms, and even more, the RESPONSIBILITY. I would rarely even carry one. So frankly, I would be defenseless in most situations, just like everyone else…and that’s why these “supposedly” mentally incompetent people pick such public places to kill.

    I’m not some crazy gun nut itching to pop off 17 rounds. That said, I was thinking ahead with a “what if this happened?” scenario. I ask (now rather than later) because we can all go to the range and practice all day, but things are MUCH different if you were surprised (and shocked) by a mass killer firing and had to decide to return fire under pressure, with the potential of killing someone. To say one could respond with perfect precision, hitting the target with 2 perfect shots means we’ve watched too many Hollywood movies where that’s always the case…

  • turkeyneck

    Check out http://www.texaslawshield.com Available in other states also. Unlimited coverage for the price of insuring a smart phone.

  • RPav

    Captain Gary,
    First, thank you for your service. Secondly, I couldn’t agree more. I wrestle with this question/fact: Would I rather be shot OR risk living with accidentally hitting an innocent in a return-fire scenario. Probably the former. Hence, my thought that I am much more likely to be among the unarmed masses rather than the vigilant CCP protector…
    By the way, my Dad is a Marine.

  • rarebreed

    um.. I would worry that this would look horrible for me in court..

  • BlackDog

    I’m afraid you’re not clear on this subject. Concealed Carry Insurance means you shoot first. The Judge only wants to hear one side. Dead guys don’t talk. If it’s a bad shoot, throw the gun away. And how dumb do you have to be to wait around for Law Enforcement after a shooting?! Is it that important that they see your side of things? THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR SIDE OF THINGS!!! If they don’t have to actually investigate, YOU WILL BE CHARGED.

    Please get off your high horse with all this politically correct ‘advice.’ We are not all law-abiding citizens. In fact, we are ALL just a pen stroke away from being felons! Just ask the folks in Connecticut.

  • BlackDog

    I’m afraid you’re not clear on this subject. Concealed Carry Insurance means you shoot first. The Judge only wants to hear one side. Dead guys don’t talk. If it’s a bad shoot, throw the gun away. And how dumb do you have to be to wait around for Law Enforcement after a shooting?! Is it that important that they see your side of things? THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOUR SIDE OF THINGS!!! If they don’t have to actually investigate, YOU WILL BE CHARGED.

    Please get off your high horse with all this politically correct ‘advice.’ We are not all law-abiding citizens. In fact, we are ALL just a pen stroke away from being felons! Just ask the folks in Connecticut.

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