A waste of money

Joe has a link up to a company that’s selling Concealed Carry Insurance, a policy allegedly designed to provide liability coverage in the event of a negligent discharge or a defensive use of a firearm. It’s not worth the money you’d spend on it, and I really could not advise that you purchase this policy. This is not legal advice, mind you, but rather the friendly counsel of someone who when not doing podcasts and writing about guns works in the insurance industry.

The policy in question is underwritten by Lloyd’s of London, the largest underwriter in the world of what are referred to as “surplus” lines. Surplus lines are insurance for things not covered by regular insurance, such as the hands of a piano player or J-Lo’s stern. The thing about surplus lines is that they are generally expensive, as the companies that sell them and underwrite them are taking a significant risk in writing the coverage.

The problem with this coverage is that with a few exceptions I noticed, it’s largely redundant coverage. For example, in the event of an ND in your home, your liability coverage on your homeowner’s insurance or Umbrella policy will cover you for that. In the event of a defensive gun use, most jurisdictions will not hold you liable in a civil court for actions performed in self defense or defense of others.

So what you have here is an extremely expensive policy that doesn’t provide a significant increase in coverage, but costs a lot of money. I’m not saying it’s a total rip-off, but I sure as hell wouldn’t buy it.

18 comments for “A waste of money

  1. July 10, 2009 at 11:24

    Hadn’t really thought of it from that angle. Good points.

    One of my major concerns with this is: how long will it be before the anti-gunners start demanding that it be made mandatory? Just another added expense to discourage gun ownership/use.

  2. aczarnowski
    July 10, 2009 at 11:51

    The thing I worry about with self defense is the legal fees. If there was a way to “insure” against the need for a lawyer’s talents that’d be interesting…

  3. Caleb
    July 10, 2009 at 12:28

    There is a way to insure against that risk, it’s called “personal risk retention”, and it means don’t shoot anyone that isn’t in need of shooting.

  4. July 10, 2009 at 15:08

    A rather superficial review of coverage from an alleged insurance professional.
    The policy covers “lawful use of a legally possessed firearm” with no ambiguities.
    Criminal defense expense is reimbursed to the policy limit in the event of a not guilty or dismissal. Remaining funds are devoted to defense and payment of civil suits.
    It provides coverage to your resident residents on your premises for self defense.
    It provides medical payments to innocent bystanders that might be injured in an act of self defense.
    It covers your actions in defense of others, not just self defense.
    Even if you are held not liable in a civil court, your fortunes as respects criminal charges are entirely up to the district attorney. Want to take a risk on his good will – I don’t.
    How much is it worth to you not to have to take a second mortgage or sell your gun collection to pay for a criminal defense?

  5. July 10, 2009 at 15:22

    You know, we’ve managed to get along just fine in this country for quite some time without this coverage, and yet there are plenty of defensive gun uses every year. And as if by magic, those people using firearms in self-defense aren’t being bankrupted. It’s almost like this surplus lines coverage is completely needless coverage.

    In fact, this particular coverage seems especially vulnerable to adverse selection, which would make it even more costly. By hey, you want to waste your money on a surplus lines policy that you don’t need, be my guest. It’s your money.

  6. July 10, 2009 at 17:53

    alleged insurance professional”?

    A bit defensive are we?

    I know Caleb. He may be lacking in tact sometimes (ok…most of the time…he’s young), but as soon as you imply that he may be lacking in honesty or integrity, you’re treading on very thin ice.

    A little piece of friendly advice: If you’re trying to sell a product, learn to accept criticism with grace, you’ll piss off less prospective customers that way. When someone raises questions about your product, address the questions, don’t impugn the questioner – especially when it’s someone as well known and respected as Caleb.

  7. Stephen
    July 11, 2009 at 03:35

    You say that courts won’t hold a defensive shooter liable, and in my state that’s true, but the court doesn’t know that I shot in justifiable self defense until I answer the lawsuit and go through the proceedings to establish that. In my state, if I’m sued by by assailant or his/her survivors and I don’t answer the lawsuit because I can’t afford to hire an attorney to write a proper response, I lose by default (even though I would have won in the courtroom had I gotten there) and they can seek a garnishment of my wages.

    This kind of policy is attractive to me, not because of the deep pockets of the insurance company to pay a claim or judgment against me, but because without that deep pocket’s incentive to retain an attorney I may not be able to get through the courthouse door and avoid unjustly losing the case.

  8. RAH
    July 11, 2009 at 06:45

    The policy may be redundent. A personal liability policy will also work. Remember that one can also buy legal insurance that will provide legal representation. However it may not be good representation.

    The carrier insurance attorneys are working for them not the policyholder. The policyholder is recommended to get his own attorney.

    Another insurance professional speaking.

  9. July 11, 2009 at 08:03

    Stephen, take the money you’d be spending on the premium for a policy like this and put it aside in a lawyer fund that accumulates interest. That way, if you do have to get a lawyer you’d have the dough, and if you never have to shoot someone you’ve at least made some interest off your money instead of throwing it away on a premium for a policy you don’t need.

    Also, RAH makes a good point, you would probably be better served by buying a personal liability umbrella policy from a major insurance provider. Remember, if someone sues you for shooting their loved one, they’re probably suing for wrongful death, which would be covered under your plup if you had one.

  10. July 11, 2009 at 08:13

    I would imagine that most HO policies would cover an AD or other negligent act whether it occurred in the home or not. I don’t know that CCW is artificially expensive solely because it is written on a surplus lines basis rather than by an admitted carrier? If it were that overpriced, relative to the risk, one would think the admitted carriers would be champing at the bit to write the policies themselves.

    Then again, if the policy is truly redundant, to the point of being worthless coverage for anyone with an HO policy, maybe that’s a reason why the admitted carriers won’t touch it.

  11. aczarnowski
    July 11, 2009 at 08:47

    I still fear the legal fees bankrupting me after a *lawful* self defense action. In my state (and especially with my DAs) it’s going to a grand jury. I was told in CCW class to figure 10 grand for that alone. After that? Who knows?

    But I think I’m hearing:
    - Tweak out your home owners policy
    - Look into an umbrella policy
    - Put money away yourself as a hedge against legal fees

    *shrug* All very reasonable steps even if a person isn’t carrying a gun, and something I’m already doing.

  12. July 12, 2009 at 22:45

    It’s really quite simple.

    Your homeowners specifically excludes “intentional acts.” Pulling the trigger is, de facto, an intentional act.

    If it’s a righteous shooting, you’re cool.

    How much do you spend on lawyers in the mean time?

    If nothing else, understand this: your homeowners policy will not respond if you shoot a really bad person on or off the premises.

    Read your policy.

    Mod Note: changing your posting name but posting from the same IP generally gives your identity away.

  13. July 13, 2009 at 07:20

    Yeah, you’ll notice that I never said my HO policy would cover me for a righteous shooting, just an ND. Today’s protip is that reading is fundamental.

    If this policy was so freakin’ awesome, how come none of the big players in the insurance game are offering it? Why, if this policy is such a great idea, is it being underwritten by Lloyd’s, and not State Farm? Why is some no-name company with a lousy website pimping it?

    Instead of burning premium dollars on a policy that statistically speaking you’re never going to need, why don’t you take that money and put it in savings so you could have a cushion, get a PLUP to cover you for $1M for an ND, and don’t go around shooting people unless you’re sure it’s a good shoot.

    Or hell, waste your money on this idiotic policy.

  14. July 13, 2009 at 10:39

    I’m his son, asshole. Either label the post from “Benjamin” or delete.

    I’m through dicking with you people.

  15. July 13, 2009 at 11:02

    It’s a shame your father didn’t teach you better manners, then. Maybe next time someone offers legit criticisms of your product, you’ll address them rationally instead of getting all butthurt and calling people names.

    I wish you and your father the best of luck selling this policy, Ben – while I would never buy and would recommend against buying it, I’m always a big, big fan of capitalism.

  16. July 13, 2009 at 11:31

    All, well and good. Please, either change the name on my original post or delete it. If you could afford me that courtesy, you won’t hear from me again.

  17. July 13, 2009 at 11:41

    Updated with the correct name, Benjamin.

  18. August 7, 2009 at 06:34

    Mod Note: changing your posting name but posting from the same IP generally gives your identity away.

    Can you do me another big favor, and get rid of that? Just asking.

    Thanks,

    Ben

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