Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: September 13, 2023

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Everything Gun Owners Need to Know About Their Insurance Policies

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Gun ownership has been a matter of contention for some time now. With some states tightening restrictions and proposing that gun owners carry special liability insurance, it’s definitely worthwhile to discuss the relationship between guns and insurance.

The type of gun-owner’s insurance being proposed works like car insurance does. While you have every right to own and drive a car, that right comes with additional responsibility and the cost of insurance because of the risky nature of driving. The more cars you have and the more driving you do, the more expensive your car insurance will be.
Likewise, guns are a risky possession that many believe should come with an additional cost for the safety of both gun owners and the general public. However, some believe that any additional cost would violate their Second Amendment rights.

Unsurprisingly, this is a subject of an ongoing debate. 

Regardless of what you think should or should not happen in the future, we’re here to outline how gun ownership is addressed in most standard insurance policies now.

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Homeowners Insurance and Gun Ownership

You may be wondering how gun ownership could impact your homeowners insurance. Generally speaking, most home insurance policies will not ask whether you have a gun, and having a gun will not affect your rates. Guns are treated as normal property. So, if your gun is stolen in a break-in or becomes damaged in a fire, you will be reimbursed.

However, if you have an expensive gun collection you will be subject to sub-limits. Sub-limits are caps on how much of your valuable property is insured. If your gun collection is valued at over $2500, you should consider purchasing a rider that will increase your rates in order to provide more coverage.

Some incidents involving firearms are covered under your standard homeowners liability insurance. Accidental shootings that either harm another person or another person’s property that may or may not occur on your home’s property will be covered. There are, however, some exceptions that are as follows:

  • If the accidental shooting harms another member of your household, you will not be insured. The medical bills can be covered by their medical insurance.
  • If you intentionally shoot someone, you will not be insured. Even if you shot an intruder, you aren’t covered. But you may look into self-defense insurance policies that can offer coverage for shooting intruders in your home.
  • If the accidental shooting occurs during the commercial use of your weapon, it will not be insured. For instance, if you are being paid for hunting lessons and accidentally shoot someone’s car, you will need a separate business policy for coverage.
  • If there are drugs or alcohol involved in the accidental shooting, you will not qualify for coverage since such behaviour around guns is reckless.
  • If you were in the middle of committing a crime when an accidental shooting occurs, you will not be covered. This includes both armed robbery, and (in most States) leaving a loaded gun in close proximity to a child.

Most liability insurance policies cap at around $1,00,000. If you were hoping for more coverage in the case of accidental shootings, you may look into umbrella policies. Umbrella policies will cover additional costs when your normal liability insurance policy maxes out.

Overall, the amount of insurance needed will depend on the gun owner. Gun owners who are collectors of high-value firearms may need riders. Gun owners who are very cautious and do not use their guns often may be okay without purchasing an umbrella policy.

Much like how purchasing a gun is a very personal decision, so is purchasing additional insurance. So it is entirely up to you. At the end of the day, taking proper care of your firearm is the best way to avoid any liability issues.

Margaret Huntley Margaret Huntley is a creative writing and philosophy student at Western University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over two years and has written about everything from insurance, to poker, to health and wellness for international businesses.

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