Do you insure your guns?


September 26, 2005, 08:23 PM
I'm looking into a homeowner's insurance policy and I found out that expensive items that would be easy to steal are not covered for more than $1000. I don't have an awesome collection, but just a couple of my more economical peices runs up that limit.

Apparently I will have to get a special insurance plan if I want to cover them. If I do this, the insurance company wants a list of what I have if they're gonna cover them. Does anyone have any opinions or experience they would like to share? I'd greatly appreciate the help.


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spocahp anar
September 26, 2005, 08:27 PM
Buy a fireproof safe; it is cheaper in the long run and less likely to try to screw you when you file a claim!

Mine are insured by .357 Magnum and associates.

Ohen Cepel
September 26, 2005, 08:40 PM
The NRA has an insurance plan that doesn't require any firearm info from you. However, it's more pricey than the company I just went with, Collector's Insurance Agency (think that's it, always in Shotgun News). You have the give them info, but no serial numbers and if you request they will only keep hard copies, nothing computerized. So far they have been real good to deal with and have a good rep from all I saw.

I would have stayed with the NRA plan. However, it was about 3 times more money and I just couldn't see paying that again.

September 26, 2005, 08:50 PM
No....have no intentions of leaving a paper trail with the insurance company.

Some years ago a series of breakins occured in Chicago, numerous homes were burglerized. It was later discovered the bad guys had used insurance company client records to target their thefts.

Save the money you'd spend on premiums and buy a dog and a safe.

September 26, 2005, 08:55 PM
I would have to agree with the gun safe get a good one and bolt it down if you have to

September 26, 2005, 08:57 PM
How good are the safes? If someone got into your house quietly and had a few hours to work at it, could they get it open?

My insurance company will insur firearms to a max of $2500. That's 3 of my guns. I have a couple more than that. :evil:

September 26, 2005, 09:03 PM
I have renters insurance with a firearms policy along with a 600 pound safe to protect my hobby. Maybe I'm ignorant but I sent my insurance company all the info and would do it again.

I've had firearms stolen before, and the thousand dollars that insurance provides won't even cover ONE of my handguns. Nevermind rifles and shotguns.

To me, it's worth it.


September 26, 2005, 09:08 PM
How good are the safes? If someone got into your house quietly and had a few hours to work at it, could they get it open?

They could have it open in minutes. Most gun safes are really not that secure. As long as the only thing you're keeping in them is a modest gun collection, you'll be doing fine.

The UL RSC rating says it all: 1 hammer, 1 screwdriver, 5 minutes. Just about any safe that I can think of which uses a mechanical lock should be able to pass that test.

Keep valuables, paperwork, photos, etc. out of gun safes. If you have an extremely valuable gun collection there are gun safes designed for that purpose.

September 26, 2005, 09:27 PM
I have $18,000 coverage through the NRA program. It might not be the cheapest, but I was OK with the rate, especially since there are not a lot of restrictions on storage, amount of shooting, etc.
Have to give an itemized list for items worth more than $1500

Paid around $275 for that.

Standing Wolf
September 26, 2005, 09:39 PM
I switched my car insurance to American Family several years ago, and cut my premiums by 50%. I'd have moved my house insurance at the same time, but left it with Farmer's: American Family wouldn't write additional coverage for my firearms without makes, models, and serial numbers.

Registering your guns with an insurance company is tantamount to registering them with government.

September 26, 2005, 09:42 PM
How good are the safes? If someone got into your house quietly and had a few hours to work at it, could they get it open?

Give a good thief a 1/2 hour and he can open any safe. Gun safes are easy.

September 27, 2005, 07:17 AM
Safes are a good idea, but you also need insurance.

Ask the folks in New Orleans. A safe won't help if the house is under water for two weeks.

September 27, 2005, 07:45 AM
A good friend of mine had a house fire recently and lost thousands of dollars worth of firearms. I keep most of mine in the safe but I still bought the NRA insurance. I would advise both.

The safe is a champion and is fire resistant. It should stop the average thief but as stated before, nothing will stop someone with enough time or knowledge. I went with the NRA policy because they don't ask for any gun info what so ever for pieces under $1000. They just need a total of how much you want insured. That means however that you will have to have proof of your ownership in the event of a loss. Just take some pictures and keep the make and serial number recorded somewhere safe.

And like most insurance you pay in proportion to their risk. I got $14000 of coverage for about $250 a year. Considering I'd pay more than $250 for one gun it seemed worth it to me.

September 27, 2005, 07:49 AM
I am also looking into a policy from Collector's Insurance Agency. I have a small amount of coverage under my renter’s policy, but it is not much. I think gun safes are a good idea. They won’t stop an experienced thief, or master safe cracker, but they will deter petty thugs that want to get in and out quickly.

September 27, 2005, 08:28 AM
Biggest concern with insurance for me is not theft. I want stuff replaced in case there is a fire.

I figure most folks working a decent job can come up with a yearly premium since it does not cost that much in my opinion to insure 5 or 10 grand in guns.

Now if I had one handgun and a beat up hunting shotgun I would most likely just get my ccw and keep the handgun with me and not insure the shotgun since it could be replaced for a few hundred bucks at most any gun show.

If you shop around for insurance you will find a setup that works for you most likely, as mentioned some don't mind giving serial numbers and some do mind.

Now if I was retired and home most of the time and on a fixed income, that yearly premium might be annoying but at the same time if the guns were stolen or in a fire I would not be working and in a position to replace them.

Overall I weigh all insurance. I don't have full coverage on my older vehicles because they are not really worth fixing if I damage them. But my value of guns is pretty decent and it would take a while to replace what I have, so I keep that in mind when the premium comes due.

September 27, 2005, 08:28 AM
Right now I don't have any extra insurance but I know that I need it. Several years ago had renters insurance and when I had by apartment broken into and several items stolen they paid off with no questions. Firearms, electronics and other items. Never have totally replaced everything but will someday.

September 27, 2005, 10:13 AM
My guns ARE my insurance. j/k

Yes, all my firearms are included in my HO's policy.

September 27, 2005, 10:23 AM
No, but I have only 3. I'm going to add a SKS if I can find one I can afford (my first semi-automatic). I'm curious, at what point should I consider insurance?

September 28, 2005, 10:23 AM
i remember from a previous thread about somthing john ross had posted.

might be cheaper than auctual firearms insurance. looked at the collector insurance but if your firearms are shooters than they may not cover them. or at least that is how it was when I looked at it.

September 28, 2005, 11:21 AM

That is generally good advice but it doesn't work in all states. In Texas for example there is generally a limit on contents of 60% of the value of the home.

So if you have $100,000 coverage on the house, you get $60,000 on contents in a Homeowners policy. It is extremely difficult to get an insurer to raise that amount above the 60%. It can be done but most insurers don't want to.

Also, keep in mind that in most states the coverage for personal property only covers things while they are in the house, and the list of covered acts is limited.

So, if you are travelling and you have some firearms with you, your coverage may be limited.

And, the fact is, you cannot buy "all risk" Homeowners insurance in the United States any more, not for any reasonable premium at all. None of the major carriers like Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, etc even offer "all risk" policies, at any price.

The recent abundance of mold claims on homeowners policies has killed the "all risk" so things like loss or confiscation of firearms would not be covered, only named perils in the policy.

Also riot, civil insurrection, and civil confiscation are not covered in nearly all cases, these are usually specifically excluded (Katrina would have killed that). Imagine coming back to New Orleans and finding your house broken into and everything gone. There's a good chance you have no coverage against looters. There will be some interesting lawsuits against insurance companies after Katrina to see how that plays out.

Keep in mind also that in a total loss of the home, that coverage may leave you way under insured. If for example you had this $60,000 contents coverage, and in addition to all your furniture, TVs, towels, clothes, etc you had $20,000 worth of guns in your home, you would get a check from the insurance company for $60,000 for contents, even though you'd very likely have much more than $60,000 of stuff to replace.

Even NRA and other firearms specific policies only cover named perils like theft, robbery, fire etc. I have never seen one that would cover "all risks" like mysterious disappearance, similar to what you can buy for jewelry.

Insurance companies offer something called "Scheduled Personal Property" add ons for things like expensive watches, wedding rings, whatever. Some companies offer this for firearms, some do not. The cost of this coverage is usually high, because it is as close to "all risk" as you can get. In most cases it is not a good buy for the money. It's worth checking into certainly because it does offer good coverage. Most insurers however limit this SPP coverage to things like Furs, Jewelry, and Antiques. Some require appraisals as well.

This is by far the best way to get coverage if your insurer sells such a thing.
It's off and on state by state.

So, it's a lot more complicated than it sounds with "I'll just let my homeowners cover it".

If you are acting under the assumption that it will all be OK because you have Homeowners insurance, you might look into it a little more. It's doubtful you would be fully compensated in a total loss of your home.

Lots to think about.

September 28, 2005, 11:35 AM
Farmers (Illinois Farmers) charges $70 for $10k in supplemental coverage.

No Serial numbers. If you want more than $10k, then they want serial numbers etc.

I just did the $10k and a good safe.

September 28, 2005, 01:35 PM
My renter's policy (State Farm) just asked for a ballpark value on firearms. It did NOT request specific make/model or serial numbers. They handle guns the same way they handle jewelry and electronics.

September 28, 2005, 03:23 PM
Safes aren't safe and fireproof isn't fireproof. Dogs aren't bullet-proof or steak-proof, and Alarms may or may not get someone to show up at your house. None of them are waterproof.

Unless you wear your tinfoil hat with pride, insure your guns. Farmers insurance has a good rep, but the NRA plan or another gun-only plan may be the way for you to go.

September 28, 2005, 03:29 PM
I use a belt and Safe AND insurance :rolleyes:
I have a rider on my State Farm home owners policy that covers the firearms along with the jewelry and art work up to $75K. It's not cheap, but I figure that it is worth it to me... just my .02 :D

September 28, 2005, 04:36 PM
Yes. With the NRA Endorsed Insurance Plans.

September 28, 2005, 04:50 PM
Standing Wolf, I have homeowners insurance through American Family. At the time my policy was written (1996) I asked about coverage on my guns. I was told that the standard coverage was $1000, but extended coverage could be purchased at about $60 per year IIRC, which I did. No one has ever asked how many, how valuable, or any other specifics. I live in a brick house, and my gunroom only has one window facing a fenced back yard, in which dwell 4 dogs. A steel door with 3 deadbolts is the only other access to the room. I keep a 12 gauge behind the front door, and a 9mm Largo next to the bed. I also live 40 miles out of town, or maybe I wouldn't be as complacent about security. I have only made one claim with American Family, for a roof problem. Within a week, I had a check in hand for about 15 times what it actually cost me to fix it. Naturally, I used the extra money for more guns!

September 28, 2005, 10:22 PM

And here we go again. Well over 90% of the containers sold in the U.S. these days that are marketed as "safes", aren't. Or, at least Underwriter's Laboratories won't call them safes. U.L. calls them Residential Security Containers, or RSC's. A polite term for tin box.

Anyone who cares to do a search on either the term RSC, or my handle will get an education on the differences between true safes & RSC's.

If you want a safe, PM me. If you want a tin box, go buy the cheapest one you can find, there's no substantial difference among them.


September 29, 2005, 03:35 AM
My guns insure me.

CB900F, there's a working definition of safe, and a legal one. Try taking a look at the Kali acceptable Safe list sometime. :scrutiny:

September 29, 2005, 12:53 PM
CB900F, there's a working definition of safe, and a legal one.

There's also an insurance company's definition of safe. If your safe isn't what the insurance company says is a safe, then they will deny your claim.

Although some policies will allow the use of an RSC for the storage of firearms, they most certainly aren't allowed for the storage of insured valuables when a safe is required by the policy.

The National Bureau of Casualty Underwriters, which is now the Insurance Services Office, had defined classes of "safes", and which definitions of said safes are used by many insurance companies. The minimum definition of safe, is a class b, which has a 1/2 inch steel plate door, and 1/4, steel plate body.

If you research UL ratings you will notice that the word "safe" appears on some, but not on others. For example, on a TL-15 rated safe, the tag will say "Tool-Resistant Safe". On an RSC (gun safe) it will say "Residential Security Container." That's because an RSC is not a safe by insurance definitions.

I deliver a few gun safes a day for other retailers who are in the business. It absolutely amazes me some of the misconceptions that the people buying these gun safes believe. Just because it has a combination lock and a star handle, doesn't make it a bank quality vault.

They say "It weighs 800 pounds, nobody is going to walk off with it", while at the same time, my 140 pound self is wheeling it past them on a dolly.

They say "maybe if somebody had a few hours and some serious tools, they'd get into it". The types of safes used in Jewelry stores are only rated at 15, 30, and 60 minutes and weigh thousands of pounds. RSC's are rated at only 5 minutes with a hammer and a screwdriver. They won't keep anybody out for hours. Most gun safes can be torn apart is under 5 minutes using a big hammer, axe, pry bar, or combination of the above. Somebody on this forum in another thread said it best.....lock the hammers, axes, and prybars inside the safe.

They say "my insurance company knows I have a safe", but they don't know what the insurance policy requires that safe to be, and are using their own definition.

You buy insurance for a reason. You buy a safe for a reason. You own guns for a reason. Having a claim denied, your property stolen, and your guns gone defeats that purpose, and flies in the face of common sense.

The moral of the story: do some research, get it in writing, and cover your ass. If an RSC is acceptable, in writing, from your insurance company, great. If you only need to keep kids out great. If you're keeping a $50,000 gun collection inside, better think again.

September 30, 2005, 09:56 PM

Antibubba, I stated the parameters of my definition, ie. Underwriter's Laboratories. Frankly, what the Kali definition is, is produced by their lawmakers. That's not a good recomendation for much of anything.

a1abdj, thank you, couldn't have said it better myself.


John Ross
October 5, 2005, 05:34 PM
TexasSIGman, I'll call my agent when they open tomorrow, but I think I still have an all risks policy. There may be some things it doesn't cover, like war, but I know I'm covered if it's stolen out of my car or lost by the airlines.

It's a LOT cheaper per $ of insured value than what you're paying. Ins. co. has no list of serial numbers--though I do, with pics.


Ala Dan
October 5, 2005, 07:26 PM
You bet'cha~! :uhoh: With Ford & Trust :D

October 5, 2005, 08:32 PM
Some have derided State Farm for rumors of anti-gun practices.
I just got a policy quote from them; without asking, $2500 firearms insurance was automatically included. Just FWIW.

October 5, 2005, 08:39 PM
I went with the NRA Insurance program. I had a policy with Homeowner's (Allstate) but they wanted serial #'s, etc.

"No thanks!"

NRA's program alot more friendly and non-snoopish.

Lex in NC

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