Selecting Self Defense Insurance


Selecting Self Defense Insurance, sometimes called concealed carry insurance, can be mind numbing at some times. Many of the people I have spoken with selected their company either through frustration with all the options, or by low price.  The frustration comes from trying to compare what is and is not covered by each company. This article will help you sort through those options.

Some things you want to consider when selecting self defense insurance…

Does the “insurance company” pre-pay or reimburse? – Some companies will pay upfront or directly to your lawyer. Others will reimburse you after you have paid your lawyer or found innocent.  If you have $10,000 (minimum) laying around for the legal retainer fee, you might be able to afford the reimbursement option. It is important, though, to know upfront what you are getting before selecting a Selecting Self Defense Insurance.

What does the self defense insurance company actually cover? Firearm use only? Justified use of force with a baseball bat or knife?  – Some self defense insurance companies only cover firearm related incidents. If you were to use justifiable use of force, perhaps with your pocket knife, you might not be covered.  While I always try to have my defensive firearm on my person, with so many gun free zones in Illinois, it is sometimes not possible.  Again, it is important to know what you are covered for and what your self defense insurance company might not be covering.

In what areas am I covered by self defense insurance? – Some companies will ONLY cover you where you are legally licensed to carry a firearm. So if you are driving through a state where you are not licensed to carry, you are not covered for justifiable acts of self defense. An example I asked one company was,

“If I am in a state which does not honor my concealed carry license, and I am in my hotel room, which is considered my domain and I am legal to have my firearm there, and I have to use my firearm in a justifiable act of self defense; Am I covered?”

The answer I received was “No.” Be careful in selecting Self Defense Insurance that doesn’t cover you in gun free states if you intend to travel to or through those states.

Does the self defense insurance company cover legal fees for criminal charges as well as civil suits?  – In some states you might win in criminal court and lose in civil court. In some situations criminals charges might not be pressed, but the attacker or next of kin file civil suit. One example of this is in California where one man, Joe Balistreri, defending his parents home and was sued by the intruder. Home owner’s insurance did not cover Joe because he was a guest in the home, and now Joe has to pay his lawyer $85,000.00. Civil litigation is a very real threat and one that must be considered when selecting self defense insurance.

Do you have to use their lawyer or may you use your own? – Some self defense insurance companies require you to use one of their network lawyers, while others don’t mind who you use.  I personally take issue with a company requiring me to use one of their lawyers because I want to build trust and build relationship with the person whom will be defending my freedom.  This can only be done before the self defense event when time is a luxury, not after the event when time is of the essence.  If you don’t care about the relationship you have with your attorney,  or if you feel the company may do a better job than you by selecting your defense team, then this might not be a big deal. If so you can disregard this criteria when Selecting Self Defense Insurance company.

What training aids do they provide? Books? videos? – Each self defense insurance company is unique in what they provide to you when you sign up. For example the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network provides a library of DVD’s which are incredibly educational on the use of force, they also provide books by authors like Massad Ayoob.

What else is important to you? The features and benefits of the various different self defense insurance companies are too varying and numerous to list them all. Before selecting Self Defense Insurance, you must sit down and think about what is important to you, and how you live your life.  Then do your research.

selecting self defense insurance

Some companies you may consider when Selecting Self Defense Insurance…

*The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network and CCW Safe are technically not insurance by the legal definition of the term. However each provides a service very similar to self defense “insurance”.

Comparison Charts of Features and Benefits, when Selecting Self Defense Insurance

For purposes of the below comparison charts, the low to mid-level packages ($100-$150 per year) were selected from the companies who have varying packages.  Therefore, while these charts may be a very accurate comparison, the features and benefits might vary when compared to higher or lower packages.

All information within these charts was taken from the various self defense insurance company websites at the time this article was written. In addition, each company mentioned on this page was invited to review and fact-check this article.

What is the cost of coverage/membership? Please remember, for purposes of this article all packages compared are within the $100-$165 per year range. Other packages may be available.

ACLDN $135 per year.
CCW-Safe $129 per year. (Single Safe)
NRA $165 per year.
SCD $119 per year. (Entry Level)
USCCA $147 per year. (Silver)

 

Does the selfe defense insurance company pre-pay or reimburse?

ACLDN A deposit is paid to the member’s attorney if the member has been involved in a self-defense incident. Additional funding for legal defense costs is made available after case review by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network’s Advisory Board.
CCW-Safe N/A. CCW Safe dispatches an experienced critical incident response team and  peer support.
NRA Reimbursement for criminal defense costs when you are acquitted of charges.
SCD Immediate lawyer retainer of up to $2k.  The member’s insurance policy reimburses the foundation upon a not guilty verdict or similar outcome with no criminal charges being made.
USCCA Immediate Attorney Retainer. Up-Front Criminal Defense.

 

Coverage for use of firearms as well as justified use of other weapons?

ACLDN Applicable to any justifiable use of force, whether firearms related or by other legal means of defense.
CCW-Safe Covers any weapon or weaponless use of force.
NRA Protects you if you ever need to use your legally owned firearm for self-defense
SCD If it’s classified as a “firearm” and it’s legal to own, your membership covers you. We wanted to cover all weapons, but it proved to be impossible.
USCCA Protection covers every weapon of opportunity.

 

In what areas am I actually covered? Does coverage apply to all the United States, as well as US commonwealths and territories?

ACLDN Network benefits are only available to U.S. citizens or persons otherwise legal to possess firearms in the United States of America.
CCW-Safe Covers you wherever your permit is honored in the United States.
NRA You are covered in the United States, its territories and possessions.
SCD Answer not found. No answer to request.
USCCA Covered in entire United States and Territories.

 

Are spouses or family members covered?

ACLDN Family Members are additional $60 per year.
CCW-Safe Spouses not included in the Single Safe plan but may be added in other packages.
NRA Your spouse is automatically included on your policy.
SCD Answer not found. No answer to request.
USCCA Yes and No. “Relatives of the individual” and “persons under the age of 21 and in the care of the individual” that live in the home. What this means is they are covered only in the home and on the property of the home. If a person carries away from the home they should have their own membership. We can offer spouse discount of 50% on a second membership at Gold & Platinum only.

 

Is a concealed carry license a requirement for coverage?

ACLDN In the first year ACLDN formed, a concealed carry license was required, but that requirement has since been waived.
CCW-Safe You must have a CCW permit to obtain CCW Safe coverage.
NRA No.
SCD Answer not found. No answer to request.
USCCA Absolutely not. Our primary idea of coverage is for self defense and home defense. We have many members who do not carry nor are CCW holders just for home defense.

 

 

Am I covered while on intoxicating prescriptions or alcohol? If someone breaks into my house after I have drank a few beers, am I covered?

ACLDN Answer not found. No answer to request.
CCW-Safe CCW Safe will not provide the above services if a member who is intoxicated, under the influence of alcohol or drugs, such condition to be defined by a blood alcohol level of .05 or higher, or have any illegal drugs in their system, or, where the member has been in public consuming alcohol, marijuana, or any illegal drug, or prescribed medication that alters the judgment such as pain medication.
NRA Exclusion: any claim arising out of the performance of a criminal act or caused by an “Individual Insured Member” while under the influence of alcohol, intoxicants, narcotics or any other mind-altering substance, as defined by applicable local, state or federal laws.
SCD Answer not found. No answer to request.
USCCA USCCA will pay for your defense up to a guilty verdict. You must plead innocent.


Disclaimer: Please be aware that benefits and services can and do change from time to time and it would be impossible to keep up with all the changes therefore the reader is responsible to perform their own due diligence when selecting Self Defense Insurance. 

Full Disclosure: Alpha Koncepts is an instructor affiliated with ACLDN and USCCA.

About the Author

Thomas Kral is the chief firearm instructor for Alpha Koncepts Firearm Training and has been instructing students on the safe and efficient use of a firearm since 2013. Thomas has numerous firearm industry certifications including instructor credentials from the United States Concealed Carry Association, the National Rifle Association, Next Level Defense, Ultimate Training Munitions, and The American Gunsmithing Institute.

Thomas Kral is also the founder of a gun rights organization, GunRights4Illinois. Founded in 2014, GunRights4Illinois is blossoming into a no-compromise gun rights organization enabling Illinois gun owners to fight for their rights.

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