USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Welcome back to The Legal Brief, the show where we CRUSH the various legal myths and misinformation surrounding various areas of the gun world. I’m your host Adam Kraut and today we are tackling the question whether or not you need self defense insurance and if you do what to look for.
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Self defense insurance is a topic that has come to the forefront of discussion amongst firearms owners in recent years. Things like do I need, what is it, and how much should I pay for it? Those who choose to carry a firearm for self defense are usually cognizant of the fact that if they use that gun to defend themselves, there is likely going to some lawyers involved. And as you all know, lawyers cost money….blood suckers. Depending on the circumstances, being involved in a self defense shooting may result in a brief investigation and a determination that it was justified with no further action or may result in criminal charging, which is every gun owner's worst nightmare. And guys…that has happened more than once.
Self Defense Insurance
Let me preface this with saying that I don’t endorse any one program that exists. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when looking at the various programs that are available. As everyone’s circumstances and needs differ, there is no one size fits all approach. Some of the more popular programs that exist are USCCA, Second Call Defense, CCW Safe, Firearms Legal Protection, and now the NRA’s CarryGuard.
It is also important to differentiate that some of the services are insurance and others are prepaid legal services. Insurance typically requires that an individual either pay a deductible or possibly out of pocket for the entire endeavor with the ability to be reimbursed on the backend, provided you are found not guilty, charges dropped, etc. Prepaid legal services pay the attorney up front for you but likely won’t cover damages if you find yourself in a civil suit.
A number of providers offer tiered pricing for various plans. Depending upon which level you choose, you receive more services and coverage but for a greater monthly rate. You pay more, you get more, very simple.
So what are things you should look for in a plan? First, it would be wise to determine what the policy includes as far as financial limits and whether it fits your needs. Are you able to foot the bill for any expenses that go beyond the coverage? You’ll want to examine the policy to see if it provides for both criminal and civil coverage. Depending on your state’s law, it may still be possible to be sued in civil court regardless of the outcome in the criminal proceedings. Remember, OJ Simpson was found not guilty in his criminal trial but was found guilty in the civil suit brought against him. If the plan does provide coverage, is it only in the form of attorney’s fees or does it include money for any judgment that might be rendered against you in a civil suit?
Does the policy provide for an attorney up front all expenses paid? If not, does it only provide for money to pay for a retainer? Some policies state that they will give you a certain amount of money, let’s say $250,000 for an attorney, but only actually provide a small percentage up front for a retainer with the balance being contingent upon acquittal or charges being dropped? If it is only a small percentage up front for a retainer, do you have the financial means to pay for things in the interim? Perhaps even more important, do you get to choose your attorney or is one provided for you? If you get to choose, is it carte blanche or is it from a network of vetted attorneys? All of these things matter.
Does the plan cover more than the use of just a firearm in self defense? This is one that I think a lot of people overlook. Some plans limit their coverage to only the use of a firearm, where other plans allow for other items such as knives and even fists to be used in self defense and still provide coverage.
Are you married or living with a significant other? Do you have children who live with you? Does the plan cover them in the event they utilize force in a self defense situation? If so, in what instances? If not, is a plan available from that company that does?
Are you able to seek medical treatment (such as counseling) after being involved in a self defense situation under the plan? Does the plan provide money to replace your firearm if it is used in self defense and confiscated?
While there is no clear cut answer as to the best program out there, there are a variety of factors you need to consider. I would certainly tell you to not rely on the endorsement of any gun celebrity or salesperson without doing your own research. At the end of the day, if you end up defending yourself, you want to be sure that the plan you selected will cover you in the best manner possible. And besides, it’s your money and possibly freedom on the line.
Hopefully that allows you to make a more informed decision as to the program you choose. If you guys liked this episode, you know what to do, hit that like button and share it around with your friends. Be sure to check out my website adamkraut.com. Remember, if you have a question you want answered on this show, head over to The Legal Brief section on theguncollective.com. Don’t forget to like The Gun Collective on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Full 30, Snap Chat and wherever else you can catch us on social media.
And as always thanks for watching!
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