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Insurance for Concealed Carriers

Discussion in 'Legal' started by golden, Jul 1, 2018.

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  1. golden

    golden Member

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    I know this is not strictly a handgun question, but I am wondering if anyone has had experience with any of the companies that offer insurance in case of a self defense shooting? My wife is looking at carrying and would like to know the good and bad from anyone who actually is a customer of these companies like USCCA.

    Thank you for any help.

    Jim
     
  2. cowboy77845

    cowboy77845 Member

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    I have Texas Law Shield. It is relatively inexpensive. IMO, anyone carrying should have similar insurance. Society now is so litigious that if any thing did occure , legal fees would bankrupt most. I went for about 10 years and had no insurance, but with chaos becoming more common and seeing the possibilities of an unpleasant situation developing, I got some.
     
  3. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    As with any legal contract read the fine print carefully.

    I bet you are not as well covered as you think you are.
     
  4. Lycidas Janwor

    Lycidas Janwor Member

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    I have the USCCA Gold membership. I have never had to use it's services, but there are several other choices out there and I'd just do some research before picking one. But whatever you do, be sure to get some kind of insurance that specifically covers 2nd Amendment issues and defensive shooting issues, just pick something because it's better than nothing. "They" say that every bullet you fire in self defense is equal to one law suit coming against you, no matter how justified you are in pulling the trigger.
     
  5. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I don't have any but have pondered about it.

    From the research I've done I wonder how effective they really are. I have yet to find any feedback type database from folks that have had to use them.

    I would say a more realistic option might be to have a local lawyer on hand that is well versed in self defense and firearms law.
     
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  6. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    I have been procrastinating for sometime on this subject. I seriously lean toward one of the CCWSafe packages. Gotta let the discretionary funds grow and pay for the home insurance first. Dayamed budgetary restrictions.
     
  7. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I do have concealed carry insurance. Owner is local and well known to the NRA. Concealed carry to me is "Just in case". Concealed carry insurance is "Just in case". Same mindset. Concealed carry insurance isn't necessarily cheap.

    http://secondcalldefense.org/
     
  8. hdwhit

    hdwhit Member

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    I'm sure one of the attorneys who moderate this forum will be along shortly to point out that this is not strictly a legal post since we're asked to rate insurance carriers, not answer any questions about the law as it is.

    My understanding as a layman is that most (if not all) state insurance laws forbid insuring against criminal liability for the use of firearm. In other words, you can't purchase insurance to defend yourself against a criminal charge of murder or attempted murder. All such "contracts" for concealed carry must thus be contracts for reimbursement of the fees you already spent, assuming, of course, you are found "not liable" for the death. If you are found guilty, don't expect a cent. Again, the various shades of "not liable" will doubtless be addressed by the moderators.

    The only "insurance" that can be offered has to do with the civil liability for use of a deadly weapon on another person. That can be insured against in most (if not all) states. But, before you sign up for "civil liability shooter's insurance", check to make sure that your homeowner's policy doesn't already provide comparable coverage.

    Mine did not. But, I was able to get a general liability policy with rider that specifically included (along with a large number of other perils) civil liability associated with use of a firearm in a self defense situation from the company insuring my home for much less than any of the "concealed carry" specialty insurers. Before you blindly sign up for very expensive coverage that 1) may not even be paid depending on the court verdict, or 2) which you may not actually need, check to make sure you're not already paying for much the same coverage and then run the numbers to see of the specialty insurers are worth the money.
     
  9. Sav .250

    Sav .250 Member

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    The better question is, can you afford not too. I`d do my own research on this one. Learn more as well. Opinions are just that.
    Facts rule the day, J s/n.
     
  10. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    I always thought it was unneccessary considering the so very slim odds that one would be involved in a shooting. Now I'm starting to look into it because a successful (53 year old) farmer not far from here is in jail waiting for a hearing after a truck crashed very near his house and then yelling in the middle of the night. He went out with his handgun and told his wife to call 911. He encountered a 19 year old man and some kind of scuffle began. The young guy slashed at him with broken windshield glass, 28 stitches, and he shot the guy in what sounds like self defense but is charged anyway.
     
  11. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    This is just my opinion and I'm sure many will disagree so feel free to comment.
    Having to use your firearm in defense of yourself or family is a scary thought. If you believe that having "carry insurance" is a good thing I'm fine with that but be aware that you have a better chance of winning the lottery than having to use a firearm to defend yourself.
    Most of these polices have a lot of fine print that you need to read...thoroughly. You may be hiring a legal "services" provider and not placing an attorney on retainer as many believe. Who pays the bond if you get arrested? More than likely a family member....if they can afford it. Your provided attorney may be there for you during the bond hearing and maybe a fact finding preliminary hearing but don't count on them to be there for an actual trial.You'll probably be on your own. Businesses are in business to make a profit. If at any time they think they may lose money in a lengthy trial it will probably be sorry should have read the contract.
    In my opinion having a business relationship with a lawyer that knows his way around the local courthouse is a better option. Paying a local attorney $200 for a half hour of his time and explaining your needs or wants is, IMO, the way to go. I understand that there are policies out there that you can tailor to your specific needs but you need to shop for those and I would guess they are $$$$.
    Just my 2 cents.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2018
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  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a nice idea as far as it goes; but if you're arrested or sued as the result of an incident in which you're claiming self defense, those half hours can add up quickly. The defense bill for services through a jury trial can easily be $100,000 to $150,000 or more.
     
  13. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    Yes sir that is very true and sometimes 10x that. My point is that the pre-paid underwriter of the insurance policy may, or may not, abandon the case if there is a fiscal liability. We all have our financial limits, insurance carriers aren't exempt, but even, IMO, a court appointed Pro Bono attorney usually has your best interest in mind. There are exceptions of course. Civil suits, whether your right or wrong, are the bane of our society. Most individuals, again in IMO, that have carry permits are not hot heads that will "throw down" over some perceived slight or minor provocation. Most of us that carry firearms daily know we probably have the "upper hand" in any type of street confrontation. Unless pushed to the extreme the firearm will remain in it;s holster.
    If you feel better having "carry" insurance far be it from me to discourage you. When I bought my wife's vehicle a couple of years ago I was pressured, and was prepared for, the up sale of buying an extended warranty which was kind of a joke as the vehicle came with an excellent warranty package. When he mentioned key fob insurance for $5 a month I jumped at it. New key fobs are expensive and I know my wife of 45 years has a tendency to "misplace" her keys. The key fob insurance has come in handy the last two years and, although after several months, we eventually found the original keys we are now the proud owners of 4x Cadillac key fobs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  14. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    And how much is the average defense attorney going to want from you when he/she is switched from being "on hand" to taking on your case?
     
  15. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    A better route might be the insurance. I don't have it, but am looking into it. If you make sure that if the carrier/legal service drop the case or take any other "out", you are entitled to every and all documents and all info obtained by them - that could be passed on to a pro bono for a possible better outcome. For a token monthly payment that sounds a better bet to me that just taking pot luck on a court appointed from the get go.
     
  16. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    Like I mentioned previously if you feel that "carry" insurance is something you need or want please do not let me discourage you. As an adult in the good 'ol US of A you can make these types of decisions w/o fear of reprisal.
     
  17. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    An attorney who is also a member of Michigan Gun Owners (as am I) recommends Firearms Legal Protection https://firearmslegal.com/. They cover both criminal and civil trials with uncapped atty fees. And with the premium plan covers bail up to $250,000. And the only expense out of your pocket is the premium, The attys and bail are paid directly.

    If you live in southeast Mi and have that insurance you would get him or one other atty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  18. Alte Schule

    Alte Schule Member

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    Sir, I am impressed.The services Firearms Legal Protection offer for the money are more than reasonable and your contract is very clear as to what those services are. There are other programs out there that offer about one fourth the benefits at twice the cost.
     
  19. golden

    golden Member

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    Thank you all for your opinions and suggestions.

    Jim
     
  20. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    Firearms Legal Services appears to cover only self defense using a firearm. Self defense with other weapons or none at all is more likely. For example, if you push away a mean drunk who takes a swing at you and he falls down, hits his head and dies, you could be facing a manslaughter charge. You need coverage for that, too. Just knowing that you will be competently defended can be enough to discourage an overly aggressive prosecutor or an ambulance chasing plaintiff's attorney.

    Firearms Legal Services does not operate in all states. Would you be covered for an incident that occurred during a visit to one of the missing states?

    Just because a plan only pays the attorney's fees, it doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't also cover investigators and expert witnesses. According to what I've read from ACLDN, the attorney hires investigators and expert witnesses. What they charge becomes part of the attorney's bill to the client which the plan pays.
     
  21. Craig_VA

    Craig_VA Member

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    This recommendation is not for insurance, but for solid support with meaningful education before any event, and significant support should you become involved in a self-defense shooting. I highly recommend joining the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (link is in my sig file, below). The preparation to be ready for the aftermath of an incident is great, and the ability to tap knowledgeable advice for your attorney after an incident is heartening.
    I recommend reading for yourself on the web site. I have not had to use the services myself, but others have. I have used all the series of training materials and consider them top notch.
     
  22. westernrover

    westernrover Member

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    I carry because it's lawful and right. A man ought to be able to. Period. The idea that I ought to pay a fee to do what is lawful and proper doesn't sit right with me. What kind of liberty is that? Now you could say, well you can carry without insurance but you better hope nothing happens because then you'll wish you had it. Then you'll tell me, better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. With that kind of reasoning, sooner or later, carry permits will come with an insurance requirement the same way driver licenses do.

    Concealed carry insurance providers and lawyers should be seen for what they really are: SCUM. The same kind of SCUM as the NRA. They're peddlers of influence or "pull peddlers." The NRA takes a fee to influence the legislature, and the concealed carry insurers and the lawyers do likewise for influence in the judiciary. Those who support them are consenting to government by paid influence where those who can pay the most get the privilege of the greatest favor. The lawyers are peddling influence in the judiciary with the idea that the more you can pay, the better the result you'll receive, and so the insurance providers charge what amounts to a tax on fear, the fear that you'll need to pay an exorbitant amount to lawyers to get a desirable result in court.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  23. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    You might think that, but who cares what you think? The reality is that's not the way things work in the real world.

    What you believe and what is true in real life in the real world aren't necessarily the same thing. And what you believe doesn't change what is true in real life in the real world.

    So let's start with an overview of the law related to the threat or use of force in self defense (this was included in the other thread but remains applicable here).

    The important thing to remember at the outset of any discussion of the use of force in self defense is that our society has, for hundreds of years, frowned on threatening another human or intentionally hurting or killing another human. Threatening someone or intentionally hurting or killing him is prima facie (on its face) a crime everywhere. However, our laws have long recognized that under certain limited circumstances a threat or an actual act of violence may be excused or justified.

    You won't have the final say about whether your act of violence was excusable or justified self defense. That decision will be made by others after the fact -- the prosecutor and/or a grand jury and/or, if you're unlucky, the jury at your trial.

    So let's take a general, high level overview of use-of-force law in the United States.

    But first the usual caveats: (1) I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer; (2) This is not legal advice, but rather it's general information on a legal topic; and (3) this is intended as a general overview without reference to the laws of any particular State, and as such it doesn't consider specific state laws that might allow justification of a use of force in some circumstance not mentioned here.

    Now let's look at the basic legal reality of the use of force in self defense.

    1. Our society takes a dim view of threatening or using force against and/or intentionally hurting or killing another human. In every State the threat or use of force and/or intentionally hurting or killing another human is prima facie (on its face) a crime of one sort or another.

      • However, for hundreds of years our law has recognized that there are some circumstances in which such an intentional act of violence against another human might be legally justified.

      • Exactly what would be necessary to establish that violence against someone else was justified will depend on (1) the applicable law where the event takes place; and (2) exactly what happened and how it happened, which will have to be judged on the basis of evidence gathered after the fact.

      • Someone who initiated a conflict will almost never be able to legally justify an act of violence against another.

    2. The amount of force an actor may justifiably use in self defense will depend on the level of the threat.

      • Under the laws of most States, lethal force may be justified when a reasonable person in like circumstance would conclude that a use of lethal force is necessary to prevent the otherwise unavoidable, imminent death or grave bodily injury to an innocent. And to establish that, the actor claiming justified use of lethal force would need to show that the person against whom the lethal force was used reasonably had --

        • Ability, i. e., the power to deliver force sufficient to cause death or grave bodily harm;

        • Opportunity, i. e., the assailant was capable of immediately deploying such force; and

        • put an innocent in Jeopardy, i. e., the assailant was acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that he had the intent to kill or cripple.

      • "Ability" doesn't necessarily require a weapon. Disparity of force, e. g., a large, young, strong person attacking a small, old, frail person, or force of numbers, could show "Ability."

      • "Opportunity" could be established by showing proximity, lack of barriers or the like.

      • "Jeopardy" (intent) could be inferred from overt acts (e. g., violent approach) and/or statements of intent.

      • Unless the standard justifying the use of lethal force is met, use of some lesser level of violence might be legally justified to prevent a harmful or offensive, unconsented to contact by another person.

      • A threat of force or the use of force may be legally excused or justified only for the purposes of stopping the threat. Once the threat has ended, the continued threat or use of force can no longer be excused or justified and may result in criminal (and civil) liability.

    3. If you have thus used violence against another person, your actions will be investigated as a crime, because on the surface that's what it is.

      • Sometimes there will be sufficient evidence concerning what happened and how it happened readily apparent to the police for the police and/or prosecutor to quickly conclude that your actions were justified. If that's the case, you will be quickly exonerated of criminal responsibility, although in many States you might have to still deal with a civil suit.

      • If the evidence is not clear, you may well be arrested and perhaps even charged with a criminal offense. If that happens you will need to affirmatively assert that you were defending yourself and put forth evidence that you at least prima facie satisfied the applicable standard justifying your act of violence.

      • Of course, if your use of force against another human took place in or immediately around your home, your justification for your use of violence could be more readily apparent or easier to establish -- maybe.

        • Again, it still depends on what happened and how it happened. For example, was the person you shot a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend, a business associate or relative? Did the person you shot forcibly break into your home or was he invited? Was the contact tumultuous from the beginning, or did things begin peaceably and turn violent, how and why?

        • In the case of a stranger forcibly breaking into your home, your justification for the use of lethal force would probably be obvious. The laws of most States provide some useful protections for someone attacked in his home, which protections make it easier and a more certain matter for your acts to be found justified.

        • It could however be another matter to establish your justification if you have to use force against someone you invited into your home in a social context which later turns violent.

        • It could also be another matter if you left the safety of your house to confront someone on your property.

    4. Good, general overviews of the topic can be found at UseofForce.us and in this booklet by Marty Hayes at the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network.

    5. Sometimes a defensive use of lethal force will have grave consequences for the defender, even when ultimately exonerated. For example --

      • This couple, arrested in early April and finally exonerated under Missouri's Castle Doctrine in early June. And no doubt after incurring expenses for bail and a lawyer, as well as a couple of month's anxiety, before being cleared.

      • Larry Hickey, in gun friendly Arizona: He was arrested, spent 71 days in jail, went through two different trials ending in hung juries, was forced to move from his house, etc., before the DA decided it was a good shoot and dismissed the charges.

      • Mark Abshire in Oklahoma: Despite defending himself against multiple attackers on his own lawn in a fairly gun-friendly state with a "Stand Your Ground" law, he was arrested, went to jail, charged, lost his job and his house, and spent two and a half years in the legal meat-grinder before finally being acquitted.

      • Harold Fish, also in gun friendly Arizona: He was still convicted and sent to prison. He won his appeal, his conviction was overturned, and a new trial was ordered. The DA chose to dismiss the charges rather than retry Mr. Fish.

      • Gerald Ung: He was attacked by several men, and the attack was captured on video. He was nonetheless charged and brought to trial. He was ultimately acquitted.

      • While each was finally exonerated, it came at great emotional and financial cost. And perhaps there but for the grace of God will go one of us.

      • And note also that two of those cases arose in States with a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law in effect at the time.

    Pleading Self Defense is Very Different From the Common Lines of Defense to a Criminal Charge.

    A lot of folks point to the "Don't Talk to the Police" video that is making the rounds on gun boards. But it is about a police contact in general. It works fine when you aren't claiming self defense, and it's up to the State to prove your guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But things work differently if you are pleading self defense.

    Basically --

    1. The prosecutor must prove the elements of the underlying crime beyond a reasonable doubt -- basically that you intentionally shot the guy. But if you are pleading self defense, you will have admitted that, so we go to step 2.

    2. Now you must present evidence from which the trier of fact could infer that your conduct met the applicable legal standard justifying the use of lethal force in self defense. Depending on the State, you may not have to prove it, i. e., you may not have to convince the jury. But you will have to at least present a prima facie case, i. e., sufficient evidence which, if true, establishes that you have satisfied all legal elements necessary to justify your conduct.

    3. Now it's the prosecutor's burden to attack your claim and convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you did not act in justified self defense.

    Let's go through that again.

    In an ordinary criminal prosecution, the defendant doesn't have to say anything. He doesn't have to present any evidence. The entire burden falls on the prosecution. The prosecution has to prove all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

    If the crime you're charged with is, for example, manslaughter, the prosecution must prove that you were there, you fired the gun, you intended to fire the gun (or were reckless), and the guy you shot died. In the typical manslaughter prosecution, the defendant might by way of his defense try to plant a seed that you weren't there (alibi defense), or that someone else might have fired the gun, or that it was an accident. In each case the defendant doesn't have to actually prove his defense. He merely has to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors.

    So in such cases, it probably doesn't pay for you to say anything to the police, at least early on. Let them do the work of trying to amass evidence to prove the case against you. There's no reason for you to help.

    But if you are going to be claiming self defense, you will wind up admitting all the elements of what would, absent legal justification, constitute a crime. You will necessarily admit that you were there, that you fired the gun, and that you intended to shoot the decedent. Your defense is that your use of lethal force in self defense satisfied the applicable legal standard and that, therefore, it was justified.

    So now you would have to affirmatively present evidence from which the trier of fact could infer that your conduct met the applicable legal standard justifying the use of lethal force in self defense. In some jurisdictions, you may not have to prove it, i. e., you don't have to convince the jury. But you will at least have to present a prima facie case, i. e., sufficient evidence which, if true, establishes that you have satisfied all legal elements necessary to justify your conduct.

    Then it will be the prosecutor's burden to attack your claim and convince the jury (in some jurisdictions, he will have to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt) that you did not act in justified self defense. And even if you didn't have to prove self defense (only present a prima facie case), the more convincing your story, and your evidence, is, the harder it will be for the prosecutor to meet his rebuttal burden.

    Several years ago a lawyer by the name of Lisa Steele wrote an excellent article for lawyers on defending a self defense case. The article was entitled "Defending a Self Defense Case" and published in the March, 2007, edition of the journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The Champion. It was republished in four parts, with permission, on the website, Truth About Guns. The article as republished can be read here: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; and Part 4.

    As Ms. Steele explains the unique character of a self defense case in Part 1:

    Then don't buy insurance. No one is forcing you to.

    Of course the consequences of your intentional act of violence against another human (even if you're claiming self defense) will be the same whether you have insurance of not. If you can afford to self insure and bear the financial risk yourself knock yourself out.

    Thank you for that peek into your alternate universe.
     
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  24. bikemutt

    bikemutt Member

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    What you may want to consider is that killing another person is homicide regardless of why it happened. Self-defense just happens to be a reason why you won't be tried, convicted and sent to prison. There are at least two sides to every story; in a self-defense shooting you are free to explain your side to the legal system at no charge, or maybe have a public defender explain it on your behalf, or you can arrange to have a pre-paid, experienced attorney explain it. It's a choice how a person wants to handle it. I choose to take my chance that my case, God forbid it comes to it, I'll be so in the right I won't need a suit to tell my side of the story, others may decide otherwise.

    In any event, there's no requirement to send the NRA, nor a pre-paid legal defense outfit a single dime. It's a choice. As a life patron member of the National Rifle Association I'll respectfully disagree with your portrayal of the organization, and by extension it's members, as SCUM.
     
  25. AirForceShooter

    AirForceShooter Member

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    And always check the terms of the policy to see what happens if you LOSE the case.
    In many jurisdictions insurance cannot cover illegal acts.

    AFS
     
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