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Friday, May 3, 2019

Concealed Carry Insurance

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Many of you carry pistols for self defense. Nearly all of you have insurance of some form. But do you have concealed carry insurance (CCI)? If you don't, you should get it immediately.

Why Have Concealed Carry Insurance?
Regardless of how you feel about the guilt or innocence of George Zimmerman, he serves as a perfect example of why you should have an insurance plan in case you need to shoot someone in self defense. Even if you don't end up in jail and facing charges, you may still need assistance:
  • Your carry gun may be seized as evidence. A good CCI program can expedite the return of your firearm or help you obtain a replacement. 
  • You might be sued in civil court by the family of your assailant, and you will need legal help to win the case. (Fun fact: while criminal charges require "Beyond a reasonable doubt" in order to secure a conviction, civil court only requires a "Preponderance of evidence" for the plaintiff to win a judgement against you. This is a much lower bar, and therefore your odds of success are lower. You'll need a good lawyer.)
  • You will in all likelihood need psychological counseling. Even the most well-adjusted person in the most righteous self-defense shooting will feel some degree of guilt and social anxiety over it (Massad Ayoob calls this the Mark of Cain Syndrome) and suffer a disruption in sleep patterns. CCI can cover this treatment, or just pay the deductible if you already have health insurance. 
Read the story of Paul Lathrop from 2016 for an example of someone who never even drew his pistol and yet was arrested because someone falsely claimed he brandished a firearm and made threats. He certainly could have used CCI insurance at the time! (He has it now.)

What Kind Should I Get?
There are many fine CCI companies out there. I have a United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) membership, but many of my friends use the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network (ACLDN) or US Law Shield.

Whichever plan you get, make sure it has the following:
  • Coverage which pays out immediately upon notification that you've been in a shooting. This is why I cannot recommend NRA Carry Guard; it only pays out after criminal charges are filed, and only up to 20% of your coverage; the remaining 80% is a reimbursement that pays out only if charges are dropped, the case is dismissed, or you are found Not Guilty. In case it needs pointing out, lawyers are expensive and you might not be able to afford a good one with only 20% of your payout, which drastically reduces the chances of you being declared Not Guilty. 
  • Coverage which protects you in all circumstances. For example, both NRA Carry Guard and Second Call defense cover you only if you use a firearm in self-defense; if you kill an assailant in self defense with a knife, or a club, or other improvised weapon including your hands, they won't help. CCW Safe won't cover force used against family members, so if you're in a domestic violence situation you're out of luck. 
  • The highest coverage you can afford. I don't make a lot of money, but I still pay $30/month for coverage. It's actually cheaper than my car insurance and far more important  I can do without my car, but not without my freedom. 

In Summation
  • If you carry a pistol for self-defense, concealed carry insurance is as necessary as a good holster, spare magazine, and tourniquet. 
  • Do Not Skimp On Coverage. If you end up using it, the quality of your insurance may mean the difference between freedom and imprisonment, or financial freedom and bankruptcy. 
  • Compare different programs to make sure you're getting what you want, and what you pay for. 

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