There are many unintended consequences when it comes to owning a firearm. According to one analysis, 23% of unintended gun deaths are reported as accidents. Every year, 500 people die from unintentional firearm injuries; that’s more than 1 a day. Americans are 4 times more likely to die from an unintentional gun injury than any other high-income country. Additionally, 37% of nonfatal firearm injuries are unintentional.
While insurance alone may not make guns safer, it does provide a domino effect to fewer deaths. Most unintended injuries or deaths can be prevented by storing firearms securely. Safely securing firearms requires practices like installing a trigger lock, taking a gun safety course, using a gun safe, and using a loaded chamber indicator. On top of increased safety, insurers reward good gun safety practices with lower premiums.
Homeowner’s insurance may offer some coverage for firearms. Guns are a high-value target for theft, so stolen and lost guns are typically covered. Accidental shootings where the victim is not a member of the insured household should be covered, but most policies exclude intentional acts like self-defense. Property damage from intentionally firing a gun is not covered as well as crimes committed with unreported stolen firearms.
Stand-alone gun insurance policies cover damages associated with negligence and unintended shootings. Some policies cover acts of self-defense if determined to be “reasonable force”. There are separate policies that cover costs associated with acts of self-defense, which typically include civil and criminal defense expenses as well as civil damages.
We all want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, so it’s understandable why legal gun ownership is important for your peace of mind. If you own a firearm, it’s important to consider if gun insurance coverage is the right option for you. It’s important to know all of your insurance options and whether or not you have existing coverage. It’s best to be prepared and consider all of your options to make the best decision for you.