Concealed Carry – Do You Need A Self Defense Insurance Plan? ~ VIDEO

Tom McHale, reviews the best self defense insurance options, sometimes called concealed carry liability insurance.

Self Defense Insurance
Self Defense Insurance

USA –-( If you carry a gun for personal defense or keep one at home for the same reason, you really ought to consider investing in a paid self defense insurance or protection plan.

Here’s why. If you ever have to draw or use your gun (or another weapon) in self-defense, you can be legally right yet still lose everything. Unfortunately, there are far too many cases of armed citizens being ruined by unbearable costs of criminal charges and civil lawsuits. You might be tossed in jail and burdened with tens of thousands of bail. You might need to pay your attorney a hundred thousand dollars – or more – for your defense, even if you were right in the first place.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Jay Rodney Lewis. Attacked by drunks in a road rage incident, he spent 112 days in jail awaiting trial before he was exonerated because he couldn’t fork up the $225,000 bail. Or Harold Fish. After shooting a crazed attacker on a mountain trail, he was arrested, and a bad judge railroaded him through an unfair and arguably illegal trial. Before his wrongful conviction was overturned, he racked up nearly $500,000 in legal bills.

The bottom line is this. You can do everything in a self defense shooting right yet still lose everything, including your freedom. Over the past several years, a number of self-defense liability protection insurance plans have come onto the market.

While it’s important to study and understand all the details before choosing the coverage that’s right for your needs, we’ll review some of the high points of a few of the best concealed carry insurance plans here.

  • USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD Plan
  • Second Call Defense
  • Armed Citizens Network Insurance
  • NRA Carry Guard

USCCA Self-Defense SHIELD , Self Defense Insurance

USCCA Shield self defense insurance is a pro-active self-defense liability plan. Simply put, that means if you get in trouble even though you did the right thing, they pay up front to help you out with no deductible. Unlike other plans, you don’t need to find a hundred grand or so up front and hope to get reimbursed down the road if you’re found innocent. Here’s how it works.

Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans all do essentially the same thing but have different levels of benefit caps for things like bail amount, initial attorney retainers, legal fees, civil lawsuit defense and damages, and compensation while you’re in court and not working. If you find yourself in a bind, contact the USCCA 7x24x365 for immediate assistance with bail and to line up a local attorney. The USCCA Legal Advisory Board will work with your local attorney to make sure your defense plan is consistent with the proven self-defense legal strategies. If there are criminal charges, the plans will cover your attorney fees subject to plan level limits. If there is a civil case, the plan covers not only legal fees but judgments up to plan limits. The plan also coordinates expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. The protection isn’t firearm specific, it covers self-defense regardless of the weapon involved.

The self-defense insurance plan costs range from $13 per month for the Silver level to $30 for the Platinum level which provides up to $1,150,000 in total protection benefits.

Second Call Defense Insurance

Second Call Defense aims to provide “trigger to trial: protection for its members. That’s a great way to think about the coverage because if you’re ever in a life-changing situation, then the last thing you need to be worrying about are all the details related to retaining a lawyer, dealing with bonds and bail, and all the rest. If you go with the top-end plan, you’ll get up to $100,000 in criminal defense protection, $250,000 in  civil suit damages protection, and unlimited civil suit legal defense protection. A standout feature of Second Call Defense is that they cover accidental shootings as well with up to $250,000 in protection if you choose the top plan. As with other options, you also get $25,000 immediate bond benefits, $10,000 immediate funding for your attorney’s retainer and help with cleanup and psychological counseling. If you’re out of work as a result, you can get reimbursed up to $500 to help with lost wages.

Armed Citizens Network , Insurance Pool

Like the USCCA SHIELD programs, the Armed Citizens Defense Network provides help up front, when you need it. This program operates as a member co-op with contributions being pooled into a defense fund to benefit network members.

If you get in trouble, the network will help with bail fees up to $25,000 and pay legal fees subject to review by the Armed Citizens Network. That means right when your case is submitted, experts from the network will expect to see reasonable evidence that the incident in question was a legitimate self-defense scenario. Upon agreement that such evidence indicates you were acting in the right, then benefits are provided. The network is continuously accumulating a legal fund and plan terms specific that your maximum legal defense benefits can be up to half of the membership pool. So, if the pool is currently one million dollars, then a member might expect up to $500,000 in legal assistance if necessary.

The Armed Citizens Defense Network Advisory Board is comprised of some of the most knowledgeable and reputable people in the self-defense industry, so you’ll be in good company.

NRA Carry Guard, Concealed Carry Protection: (NO LONGER ACTIVE)

The National Rifle Association is making a lot of noise with their new Carry Guard offering. This plan contains a variety of training and post-incident protection benefits. The most important thing to know about Carry Guard is that it operates more like after the fact insurance. There are up front benefits limited to 20% of plan caps, but the big dollars are subject to a spend and reimburse model. In other words, you write the checks for your legal defense, and if you’re ultimately found innocent, you get reimbursed. The NRA states that this works fine in most cases as “Most criminal defense attorneys will not require payment of final bills until after your case ends…”

Call me skeptical, but I’ve not yet met a lawyer who was peachy with getting paid down the road. It’s something to check out in more detail if Carry Guard looks like the right solution for you.

There are currently four plans ranging from Silver to Gold Plus. Benefits range from $250,000 to $1,500,000 for civil damages and $50,000 to $250,000 for criminal defense fees. As with other plans, there are benefits for lost wages during trial, legal coordination assistance, and so on. NRA Carry Guard also has the program structured as individual insurance policies backed by Chubb, so there aren’t group policy limits that could come into play.

NRA Carry Guard is also making a big investment in associated training, although much of that is not yet released. From what we can tell, there will be training options both online and in person, but it’s not yet clear what the fee model will be for Carry Guard Members, so stay tuned as the program evolves.

Some Final Considerations On Self Defense Insurance:

The devil is in the details, and it’s up to you to understand exactly what your chosen plan provides. For example, most plans have a bail bond benefits. While the plan may pay your bondsman the 10% of bail amount to get you out of jail, you may still need to pledge assets to the bonding agent. If bail is $100,000, then you’ll have to pay a bail bondsman $10,000, and your plan may cover that.

However, if you skip town, the bondsman is on the hook for the additional $90,000, so they’ll likely want some assurance backing that money.

For plans that are insurance-backed, such as ones for civil damages, the insurance company will be the one responsible for any payments, so they’ll likely assume an active role in your defense strategy. You’ll be taking on a legal team partner whether you like it or not. These aren’t necessarily good or bad things, you just need to be aware of them up front. You’re the one ultimately responsible for everything, so be sure you understand the details before deciding on the best self defense insurance for you.


Tom McHale is the author of the Insanely Practical Guides book series that guides new and experienced shooters alike in a fun, approachable, and practical way. His books are available in print and eBook format on Amazon. You can also find him on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

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El Mac

This article did not even refer to CCW Safe, arguably the best plan out there. This article is therefore a joke.


I and my husband purchased guns and if someone broke into our home and had to defend ourselves and only injured the intruder can he sue us? Do we need to have insurance so we will won’t have legal problems?


The bad guy will likely sue you because the bad guy has nothing to lose. If he dies his family may sue you because they likely have little to lose. Insurance will only pay if it was a good shooting. Assuming that it was, there are 2 factors that need to be considered. Does your state have a Castle doctrine law? And more importantly to your question, does your state provide the clause “immunity from any civil lawsuits” to the Castle doctrine law. If you have immunity from any civil lawsuits and it was a good shooting, then you are… Read more »


I am curious, why didn’t Tom McHale include CCW Safe in the original content of this comparison. Just wondering if he thought no one would catch that glitch. Thanks Lance, for starting off with CCW Safe comments. I have had Second Call Defense, and USCCA. But now only CCW Safe.


CCW Safe is not an insurance….just total ” We have your back” coverage….I carry CCW Safe and another which is insurance….Can’t have enough when you need it,,


You are correct. CCW Safe is backed by insurance. They take care of you then if you win your case they can collect on the insurance to get some of the money back.

Mark G.

Thanks for all the great insights guys! I’m retired Army, been carrying concealed for years, and just now started hearing about and being concerned about “insurance”. Your posts helped me a lot. Still looking at options but will decide soon and get some coverage. Thanks again!

Dr. Strangelove

I subscribed to USCCA’s “newsletter” and they spammed me. I am a NRA life member and support NRA ILA, but they gave themselves a black eye with the implementation of Carry Guard. In the end I got CCW Safe and feel comfortable with their service. Their involvement in Steven Madox’s case from start to finish was exemplary.


+++CCW SAFE! Not insurance just soup to nuts coverage. All that is required of you is to call them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. You don’t lay out a penny beyond the yearly membership fee. They have instant response teams nation wide and are there from the start of the criminal trial and on through any civil trial. I looked around before I signed on with them and found nothing that even comes close.


I chose CCW Safe. Their prices were more acceptable; their approach to things was “We have your back from the first phone call”; found lots of positive reviews for them from both professional writers and subscribers. Fortunately, I have not needed the services of CCW Safe or any other such provider. Tried USCCA in the past; once they had my money, they provided promo after promo of “buy this”, “you need this”, “watch this video and be a prepper”. I didn’t think I had purchased a sales agent, but that seems to be USCCA – constant sales promotions and encouragement… Read more »


LDavis, Thanks for your comment. Although I do believe the NRA screwed Tim Schmidt, I am very cautious of buying USCCA from him. He has this ‘blast’ email way of doing business, which 95% of them we never read. I have attempted to contact them and also their attorneys listed in my area, but no one ever gets back. And, now your post tells us once you are a USCCA using at level X, they will bombard with more emails to go to level X+1. Thanks again, and am very serious about purchasing insurance and had Second Call, CarryGuard and… Read more »

Dr. Strangelove

I chose CCW Safe for the same reasons. They just completed their first murder trial successfully with no cost to the defendant.


People need to realize that a judge can throw a Million dollar bail at you with ease. That is a $80,000 to $100,000 fee. Even reducing that by half is beyond the benefits of many. An acquaintance got his $1,000,000 bail reduced to $100,000 after 6 weeks locked up. The good attorney that was willing to take the case wanted a $125,000 retainer. The Public Defender negotiated a involuntary manslaughter plea with a recommendation of probation to a year in prison max. But, the judge threw the book at him. 5 to 20 in prison. Otherwise, the trial would have… Read more »


They don’t list FLP (Firearms Legal Protection). In my research I found them to be number one in total protection.
Second place goes to USCCA


Is it LEGALLY possible to have two separate CCW insurance policies with two different and separate CCW insurance companies for ONE and the SAME individual ? ?

I am asking a serious question here.


@ Mike, you would have to read the policies to see if they would share the responsibility or say they are secondary to other insurance. If both say that you would sh!t out of luck.


Ammoland, you took down my reply to Mike that is factual and an important point of any insurance policy. With over twenty years experience in insurance I can assure you that I know what I am talking about..


Yes, but it likely won’t help you any. Most of them have a clause that they only pay for services that they agreed to and that are not paid by the other insurance policy. If you need $100,000 for your bail, defense, etc. each policy is not going to pay the $100,000. More than likely they would agree to split it. Point is you would be paying twice the money without getting twice the reward.


@ Brian,That is exactly what I was referring to in my post to Mike. If the policy says it is secondary to other insurance you could find yourself writing very bad posts about the companies. Always read your insurance policy BEFORE you need it or ask your agent to explain it to you. He gets paid for that!


CCW Safe is the best and most affordable.


Agreed ! and CCW Safe does not care if you had to resort to another means of defense other then your firearm…




NRA Carry Guard; they have your back… unless it is Friday night when their call center is closed (no 24/7 service)… unless you don’t have the money to fund your own defense (they only reimburse)…. unless you use another weapon besides a firearm… But never fear the NRA will be there to help on Monday morning.


I would not use the NRA CarryGurad if it was free. You may not have hear this before, but both USCCA and Second Call had contracted for booths to promote their product at this years NRA meeting in Atlanta. But, just prior to the meeting, they were both told that their contracts were null and void and they were not welcome to attend the NRA National meeting. One other little piece of skuddlebutt was that Tim Schmitt from USCCA worked with the NRA for a number of months late last year into early this year, while he was looking at… Read more »


We still don’t know who the cowards are at the NRA you made the decision to take a dump on USCCA and NRA members. What really gets me about the whole thing is the NRA declared war on its own members. Worst yet they then support anti-gun republicans in my home state.


Republicans? Seriously?