As Americans, we sure seem to spend a lot on insurance. We insure our cars, homes, health, and even things like personal property and boats. For a lot of firearm owners, that extends to special policies protecting our collections from things like theft or fire.
If you’re a gun owner, you’ve probably come across several companies offering insurance for concealed carry, but what exactly does it cover, and is it worth having?
Concealed carry insurance is a type of coverage meant to protect you in the event you have to use your firearm in self-defense. It helps cover things like legal fees, an attorney, and bail, giving you the best chance of defending yourself in the aftermath.
In this piece, we discuss CCW insurance coverage and limitations, and give you a few examples of companies that offer it. So keep scrolling to learn more to help you decide whether this type of coverage is right for you.
What is Concealed Carry Insurance?
As more people decide to concealed carry firearms on a daily basis – with at least 2.3 million Americans now have concealed carry permits – there has been a massive increase in individual liability involving guns.
Hopefully, you will never have to use a firearm in self-defense. But if you do, you are likely to find yourself arrested, held in jail, and even charged with serious crimes. These charges can always be dropped, or a prosecutor can choose to go forward with the case.
Given that most Americans don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars it might take to fight such charges, concealed carry insurance is designed to help pay for your legal defense if you ever have to shoot someone to protect yourself.
Since the costs and consequences of major criminal charges are so severe, it’s no wonder that this kind of insurance is growing in popularity. But what does it cover, exactly? We’ll get into that next.
What Does Concealed Carry Insurance Cover?
When it comes to CCW insurance, every company and policy are different. So you’ll to get a quote directly from the company that gives specifics on both coverage and limitations before you make a purchase decision. That being said, here are the most common things a policy will cover:
Most concealed carry insurance policies offer bond coverage that will arrange for your bail to be posted so you can be released immediately after booking if you find yourself charged with shooting someone.
This is an important piece of coverage, as being incarcerated during a pre-trial period can have ruinous effects on your life, such as job loss. For some, the concealed carry insurance cost is only about an hour’s worth of wages per month, which would be worth it for this piece of coverage alone.
Another common feature of insurance for concealed carry is the coverage of legal fees. This usually consists of an immediate retainer to an attorney at the very least, and often includes access to an attorney employed by or affiliated with the provider of the insurance itself.
Coverage of legal costs is one of the biggest draws of concealed carry insurance, as criminal or civil trials can cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars and take months: legal battles are, sadly, often won or lost depending on the size of the treasure chest that each side can bring.
When you’re facing criminal charges, that typically means that the taxpayer is funding your prosecution, and so these insurance plans often include generous coverage for legal costs.
Civil Liability Coverage
Aside from the criminal charges that often come with self-defense shootings, there is always the possibility of facing a civil case as well: civil cases often have much lower burdens of proof than criminal ones and you could end up having to pay out millions of dollars as a settlement.
Many CCW insurance plans have coverage for fairly substantial civil liability in case you do end up losing a civil case related to a self-defense shooting. Again, this is a common, and important, aspect of concealed carry insurance.
With this coverage, most CCW insurance is not merely focused on winning the case alone, but also makes provisions for the possibility of losing a civil case.
Access to Additional Resources
Much like AAA or AARP, being a member of many concealed carry insurance providers often gives you access to broader resources. These can vary from the usual tote bags and mugs to training courses, discounts with corporate partners, and informational seminars. Many of these resources are meant to keep you in the know on gun laws and keep you out of legal trouble in the first place.
This makes financial sense, in that the insurance provider would much rather you never have to use their policy at all. This works out well for you, too, since using a handgun in self-defense, even if it is totally justified, often kicks off a deeply unpleasant series of events for everyone involved.
Limitations on Concealed Carry Coverage
While many of the policies and companies listed above offer generous protection for their members, concealed carry insurance has important limits that you should know about before buying a policy.
Insurance providers, even ones that support the Second Amendment in both action and business model, are just that, businesses. At the end of the day, they have hard limits on what they are willing to do for clients, and those limits are certainly worth considering before making a purchase. Here are some of the more common and important ones:
Intoxication or Drugs
Many insurance providers will outright refuse to represent clients that can be proven to have been intoxicated or under the influence of illegal drugs when they used a firearm, even in a clear case of self-defense.
Thus, if you plan to conceal carry and have insurance, you should probably stay relatively clean of substances as well. This is generally advisable anyway since you have likely already attested that you do not drink to excess or use drugs on the Form 4473 you fill out every time you buy a gun at a gun store.
All of these policies are very clear: they intend to insure clients against criminal charges related to self-defense and, in some cases, accidental shootings. Of course, that is a very different set of circumstances than, for example, long-term planning and carrying out of violent crimes.
If the prosecutor has enough evidence to charge you with premeditated crimes like first-degree murder then it is likely that your concealed carry insurance will wish you good luck, refund you your current month’s premium, and then hang up the phone.
Pre-Emptive State Laws
According to the USCCA, some states, such as New York and Washington, have passed legislation making all carry insurance invalid in the state. Sadly, this means that if you find yourself having defended yourself using your Second Amendment right, then you will likely have to either foot the legal bills yourself or rely on fundraising efforts aside from insurance to do so. If you live in a prohibitive state, it is generally a waste of money to get CCW insurance.
Every policy we looked at in researching this post had some kind of dollar limit on the coverage of the policy. While some of those limits were quite high, it is entirely possible that a criminal case could run over these costs named in the policy. Were that to happen, then you would be on the hook for the additional costs necessary to resolve the case. Given that in the case of civil suits, penalties can often run into the millions – not including legal fees – that is a valid concern.
Popular Concealed Carry Insurance Providers
While we wish there was one “best concealed carry insurance” we could point you to, the truth is that it depends on your needs and preferences. Below are some of the most popular CCW insurance companies to get you started on your research.
The USCCA provides legal and civil liability insurance consisting of the elements that are discussed above and also makes a point of giving their users the latest access and news to training courses.
This insurance provider functions more like a traditional insurance policy from the health field and, in effect, gives users immediate access to attorneys with agreements to work with the policy. They also offer a series of books on state and federal gun laws, which are highly informative.
CCW Safe offers several tiers of concealed carry insurance depending on the states in which you intend to carry, and how much protection from liability you think would be reasonable for you: this policy also extends to spouses in certain cases and they have excellent options for folks who live in permitless carry states as well.
LegalShield provides general legal insurance and allows its current and new customers to add firearms-related supplements to their general policies. This includes self-defense, accidental discharge, and tria services in addition to NFA Trusts. This is a larger legal company that also has firearms-related policy additions on offer.
Second Call has four tiers of coverage, all of which offer some variation on retainers for attorneys, bond, civil and criminal defense. Like many of the other policies, they also have a hotline for their members to call if they find themselves in legal trouble, and online educational resources to keep their members up to date on best self-defense practices.
Is Concealed Carry Coverage Worth It?
The main question is still whether or not insurance for concealed carry is worth your money. There is no single answer to that question. Instead, we’ll offer some general trends in making that decision a little easier.
If you live in a state where laws have made concealed carry insurance useless, then buying said insurance would be a waste of time and money. In those states, your best bet is to hope for lenient and understanding law enforcement and prosecutors. Of course, that is a precarious position and one that will likely need sorting out at the electoral level in those states.
For people who conceal carry daily, and who encounter other people often, CCW insurance can be a good way to protect yourself. For instance, folks who work in urban areas and often have to do things like commute through rough parts of town, or people who live in areas where break-ins are common, might have a higher risk of needing to defend themselves. This higher risk might well justify the monetary commitment to an insurance policy that could make an already difficult situation a lot simpler.
Regardless of the policy that you purchase, if you purchase one at all, have a plan in place in case you do ever have to defend yourself with a firearm. In that plan, know who you want to call for legal representation and have that discussion with that attorney beforehand. Insurance-provided or not, having good legal counsel is absolutely key after a self-defense shooting incident.
CCW provides coverage for things like legal fees, an attorney, and bail in the event you have to shoot someone in self-defense. While it does have its limitations, it can be a great option for those looking for an added layer of protection when concealed carrying.
Whether or not you end up purchasing concealed carry insurance, you should carry your firearm as safely as possible. If you’re looking for a new IWB, OWB, or pocket carry holster, visit our Holsters by Gun Model page for Kydex holsters that are custom-made for your weapon of choice.
Interested in items beyond holsters? Check out our Resources Page for links to recommended products like lights, lasers, first aid, maintenance, and more, and browse our selection of apparel, and accessories at our website, vedderholsters.com.
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