More than 40% of Americans have firearms in their homes, and millions of Americans buy new pistols every year. If you’re a homeowner, it’s essential to think about how your ownership of pistols or long gun affect your homeowner’s insurance and other types of insurance.
Keep reading to learn more about this critical topic.
Does Gun Ownership Increase Your Homeowner’s Insurance Premiums?
Whether you own guns shouldn’t affect your homeowner’s insurance rates directly. Most insurance companies don’t inquire if you own firearms, unlike a swimming pool or trampoline. Owning those items can lead to more liability risk.
But if you decide to boost your coverage because you own guns, it could increase your premium. For instance, you might decide to raise your liability limits, buy an insurance rider or umbrella insurance policy.
It’s wise to monitor how your insurance provider reacts to gun violence news, however. For example, Lemonade Insurance decided not to offer insurance on assault rifles, so it pays to keep an eye on this subject.
Will Liability Cover Gun-Related Accidents?
Your homeowner’s policy should have personal liability insurance, and this protects you against damages or injuries that you or other people in the home cause to others outside the house. As you would expect, having firearms in the home can affect liability insurance.
For example, if you are in a hunting accident that you caused and someone goes to the hospital, it could be covered by liability insurance. Or, if you damage another person’s car with your gun, your policy may cover that damage.
But in some scenarios where a person is hurt or worse, it’s a gray area if insurance will pay. Firearms caused 30,000 fatalities in 2014, the CDC reports. So, situations can happen where liability insurance must cover a lot of expenses.
There may be limitations and exclusions around the gun-related events that your liability insurance will cover. For example, injuries to you or loved ones in your home caused by a firearm probably aren’t covered by your homeowner’s policy. Instead, your health insurance may need to handle those expenses.
If someone in your home fires a gun that hurts or kills someone outside the home, liability insurance may cover the costs. The critical issue is if it was an accidental shooting and the injured party doesn’t live in the house.
Even if someone under 18 fires the gun in the house and hits someone, liability insurance won’t pay if the minor did it on purpose.
One of the most challenging situations is in self-defense situations where you fire a gun at someone who breaks into the home. Liability insurance is made to cover accidents, not intentional acts. So, self-defense isn’t always covered.
Think About An Insurance Rider
Many homeowner’s policies have a $2500 limit for expensive personal property. So, if your firearms are damaged in a fire or stolen, your policy only pays $2500 – a pittance if you own many guns.
Most Americans don’t own an extensive collection of guns, but 30% of gun owners have at least five. In this case, it’s a smart idea to buy a rider to offer additional protection.
As noted earlier, some companies won’t insure certain types of guns, so you could need to find another company if you want to cover your gun collection.
Some Insurance Companies Won’t Deal With The NRA
MetLife, for example, stopped offering discount programs for NRA members for most types of insurance. And Chubb announced that it wouldn’t offer insurance to gun owners in a self-defense case.
These decisions don’t affect how owning firearms affect your homeowner’s insurance, but some firms could make changes where they won’t cover certain guns, just as Lemonade insurance decided.
If you own guns and keep them at home, remember the above insurance guidelines to ensure that you’re covered if you need it.