Louisiana gun liability and your homeowners policy.
Most homeowners in Louisiana believe that if they had to fire their gun, their insurance policy would cover them. Unless you have a stand alone gun liability policy, you may be surprised your policy may not be there for you when you need it.
“If I shoot someone inside my home, my homeowners policy will cover me”
The fundamental principle of an insurance policy is to protect you from sudden and accidental losses.
Sudden….yes shooting someone is “sudden” but “accidental”?
When you pull a trigger that is determined to be an intentional act.
An intentional act is a standard exclusion on a homeowners policy.
“How do I get gun liability if I do shoot someone?”
Carrying a gun or have a few guns in your house comes with great responsibility.
Not only gun safety but the heavy burden knowing that when you pull the trigger, you need to be 100% certain you’re making the right decision.
And as you know just because you may be legally justified in pulling the trigger it does not shield you from a civil lawsuit from the victim or the victim’s family.
It could take years of litigation before the suit against you is dismissed and yes the plaintiff(s) may get nothing but you had to spend all of your savings to defend yourself.
“But my insurance agent told me my insurance policy would protect me?”
The takeaway here is don’t depend on your homeowners insurance policy to pick up your liability defense.
The insurance company can use the “intentional loss” policy exclusion whenever they need it.
So if you carry a gun in your vehicle or have a gun or two inside your home to protect your family, you need to find protection if something ever happens involving you and the use of your firearm.
As an insurance advisor, I wish there was an insurance endorsement we could add to your homeowners or car insurance policy to protect you, but at this time insurance companies don’t offer gun liability insurance protection in Louisiana.
“Ok. so what can I do to protect myself?
PURCHASE AN UMBRELLA POLICY
Your homeowners insurance policy may deny the claim because of an intentional act but if it is determined to be self defense, your umbrella could provide a liability defense for you.
PURCHASE A STAND ALONE GUN LIABILITY POLICY FROM THE USCCA
There are few organizations that offer gun liability protection.
I have researched a few and most are reimbursement policies.
Reimbursement policies are not very good because your money will run out before you ever get reimbursed.
I was able to find the USCCA United States Concealed Carry Association.
They offer many benefits not available with other offers.
A Louisiana Gun Liability Policy with USCCA provides
- 100% Up Front, No out of pocket expenses
- Up front Criminal Defense Coverage
- Civil Suit Defense Coverage
- Civil Suit Damages Coverage
- Firearm Theft liability Coverage
- All Weapons covered
- Family covered in the home
- Interrogation and Grand Jury protection
- Immediate Attorney retainer
- Immediate Bail Bond Funding
- 24/7/365 Access to USCCA Critical Response Team
- Local Attorney Referral and Coordination within 48 hours
- Attorney counseling by USCCA legal advisory board
- Advocacy from USCCA Law LLC
The USCCA offer three levels of membership. Due to the highly litigious Louisiana environment, I recommend the Platinum Level of protection.
You can never have enough liability coverage in our area so getting the highest level they offer is the best option.
At FM Agency Group we offer insurance policies to protect you from financially devastating events but we can’t offer you insurance to protect you from a gun liability claim so after doing some research, the USCCA may be the best option for you, but you should do your own research and find the protection that is best for you and your family.
After taking a few calls from customers and talking with family members it was determined that people just assume insurance takes care of them if this ever happens and basically we’re just trying to get the message to our customers and our community, don’t look to your insurance policy to protect you on this one.
What’s this all about?
If you carry a gun on you or in your car for protection you need to purchase a gun liability policy to provide you a liability defense or purchase a personal umbrella policy.
Why wait until your insurance claim is denied to find out your legal defense is coming out of your savings account.
This article has nothing to do with the hot button issue about guns and your right to own one.
I don’t care which side you stand on.
I do care that if a claim happens you have the protection you need.
Consider the USCCA or another organization that provides Louisiana gun liability protection for you and your family.