View Full Version : "After the Dust Settles...": Liability Insurance for CCW-ers ?

July 30, 2008, 02:30 AM
For all the discussions of legally-critical events, the bills could be ENORMOUS from the lawyers should proceedings of any kind take place - not to speak of the initial representation. So, as I rarely or never read threads about this and it seems especially relevant for a forum devoted to SD actions:

#1) - Do homeowners policies cover liability for legal SD actions - court costs/civil suits etc. and if so is this on your property and off?

#2) If not -or for extra coverage - does an umbrella-policy include such coverage?

#3) There is a liability coverage policy available through NRA, anyone know personally if this is worth it (if the answer to the above are "no")?

Thanks for input.
This is the NRA one:

Sounds like it does cover liability for SD + legal fees - though the amounts are small:


July 30, 2008, 04:27 AM
Good Question and one that many of us worry about I'm sure. I'm wondering if the NRA, JPOFO, 2nd Amendment Foundation, etc. has a listing of CCW/Pro 2nd Amendment attorneys from city to city. Would be helpful if such a database excisted.

I know of one in Roanoke, VA who is not only a collector and shooter but also one of the best lawyers in the area.

A source might be the instructors at some of the major schools.

July 30, 2008, 03:06 PM
Well one thing I wouldn't do is call up my insurance company and tell them that you carry a weapon for self defense and ask if they will cover you should you ever shoot someone. Seems like the odds that you will get canceled or have your rates jacked thru the roof are greater than that of you shooting someone in self defense...

July 30, 2008, 05:35 PM
It's been a long time since law school, but I'll give this a whirl.

Insurance policies such as homeowner's policies, umbrella policies and probably the NRA policy insure you against actions arising from your negligence or strict liability (applies mostly to real property, such as when a tree falls on someone's car in some states.) I know of NO insurance policies which cover intentional torts (that is acts which give rise to injury in another person-tort, which are done on purpose-intentional.) There is also a point where reckless disregard for consequences can free the insurer from its obligation because reckless disregard is not negligence.

So, if you intentionally pull the trigger on someone, you're not going to be covered. If you accidentally discharge a weapon and hit someone, you MIGHT be covered if your actions are not so reckless that you aren't covered.

More bad news: intentional torts usually open the door to punitive damages, and awards based on intentional torts usually cannot be discharged in bankruptcy proceedings, IIRC.

Just goes to show you better really need to when you pull that trigger, because you may be putting all your worldly goods on the line.

By the way, LEO's usually have immunity or indiemnification as long as they act within course and scope of duty.

Hope this helps.

July 31, 2008, 12:53 AM

Tennessee Gentleman
July 31, 2008, 11:48 AM
I think you are spot on. I used to sell P&C insurance and the key word is intentional. Most homeowners insurance will not cover that. However, I would ask you carrier to be sure.

August 1, 2008, 12:52 PM
Just happened to come across a company called CHL Protection Plan a few minutes after seeing this thread and thought it might be worth posting. I don't have any idea about the cost, or any restrictions on where you live, but it might be worth looking into: http://www.chlpp.com/home.html

August 2, 2008, 09:17 AM
I just checked out the CHL website posted. A couple of things are notable. First, this group offers no civil liability legal defense or protection. It only provides legal criminal defense "from arraignment through the grand jury process". For those not familiar, there are two ways you get into the legal system:

The first is an arrest based on probable cause, after which you are arraigned and have a right to a Preliminary Examination (sometimes called a probable cause hearing) to establish the existence of valid probable cause to arrest. After that, you have all the stuff leading up to trial, but no Grand Jury, as the validity of probable cause was established through the Preliminary Examination.

The second is when the prosecutor puts on evidence before a Grand Jury to establish probable cause to indict, after which the Grand Jury decides if it is sufficient to issue an indictment and arrest warrant based on the indictment. If the warrant is issued, you get arrested and arraigned. No Preliminary Examination is necessary, because the Grand Jury determined the validity of the probable cause to arrest.

Sometimes, after a probable cause arrest by an officer, a prosecutor will bring evidence before the Grand Jury to secure an indictment, so he does not have to go through the Preliminary Examination, which is an adversarial proceeding, and which shows the defendant a lot of the prosecution's case.

At any rate, this CHL organization is providing a criminal defense lawyer up to Grand Jury, which is not very far at all. The real expenses for legal representation come in after Grand Jury: motions, depositions, discovery, trial prep, plea negotiations, etc. Also, you have no idea of the quality of attorney you are getting.

Anyway, they specifically state they offer no protection or representation in civil matters.

Tennessee Gentleman
August 2, 2008, 10:16 AM
Good research JollyRoger,

From my experience; The biggest benefit any liability policy can offer you is defense costs!

And you want to make sure they are unlimited and not concurrent with the insurance policy limits. What that means is that the Insurance Company will pay for all your defense costs (which can be astronomical) and the cost doesn't reduce the coverage of your insurance limits.

August 2, 2008, 10:33 AM
IF you have and carry CCW or under LEOSA and own any property or have any money/assets/investments.....

The best thing you can do is get an umbrella policy from whom ever insures your home. One million is only about $ 125-150 per year.....2 million in coverage in the $ 200 range. Best investment you will ever make to protect your assets and family !

Plan in advance...carry a spare mag !

Tennessee Gentleman
August 2, 2008, 11:13 AM
The best thing you can do is get an umbrella policy from whom ever insures your home.


Be sure to check that umbrella policy.

Most do not add additional hazards just raise the limits of coverage. If your homeowner's policy doesn't cover intentionally shooting someone an umbrella probably won't either.

August 4, 2008, 06:16 PM
I joined the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. (www.armedcitizensnetwork.org)

No guarantees of financial aid (the case has to pass a review board to be sure their people agree you were in the right), but there's a foundation to help fund self-defense cases for members. More important, they've got plenty of legal resources and are committed to educating their members how to best prepare for such situations.


August 27, 2008, 09:57 AM
Remember that this will vary from state to state. In Utah the law protects you in self-defense cases inside your home.

Utah code# 76-2-405 (Force in defense of habitation): The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.

August 27, 2008, 10:18 AM
Aren't we fortunate to live in such a litigious society where every action that is taken by individuals, groups, governments, etc. is measured by the chances of a law suit. But then, guess all the lawyers graduating wouldn't be able to make a living if they couldn't come up with novel ways to sue for darn near anything.

August 27, 2008, 03:26 PM
The one thing that you would have to be careful of and it has been hinted at before is no matter what insurance you have it is very unlikely that you will be covered if you are charged and found guilty of some crime. As was ealrier said that if someone is accidently shot at your home your homeowners would probably cover you. It may even cover you if you shoot someone while they are breaking into your house. However if you are charged with a crime for shooting someone then it is very doubtful that any insurance will cover you even one of these special unbrella or liability policies.

Even teh CHL prptection plan will only provide assistance until you are charged by a grand jury. This means that once your have been formally been charged with a crime they are wiping their hands of you. If you are innocent then you can probably get some help but guilty your are on your own.

August 27, 2008, 05:03 PM
Wyoming, in its wisdom when passing the castle doctine put a rider in the bill that prevents law suites for shooter involved.

August 27, 2008, 05:07 PM
In Florida, if it ruled a legal shooting, you cannot be sued. If it is not a legal shooting, being sued will be the least of your worries.

August 27, 2008, 05:34 PM
I, too, joined the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network as mentioned by Pax because persons such as Marty and Gila Hays are involved. They know what they're doing.

I THINK it's well worth the $85 annually, but I hope I NEVER have to find out for sure!

August 27, 2008, 07:32 PM
Wyoming, in its wisdom when passing the castle doctine put a rider in the bill that prevents law suites for shooter involved.
In Florida, if it ruled a legal shooting, you cannot be sued.

These aren't quite correct as they can still file suit against you in order to try to prove that it did not fall under the castle doctrine. In most cases they would not get far past the filing stage and if so and they failed to prove their case would be liable for your expenses.

Either way in our great country you can sue anyone for anything but winning is a different story. I used to cost $5 to file a lawsuit and that was all you needed. It has probably gone up now. I think the last one I filed was $20.

August 28, 2008, 11:42 AM
N.M.Stat.Ann. 32-23-1 (2003)
Civil Action ; crime; damages; immunity
No person shall be liable to a plaintiff in any civil action for damages if by a preponderance of the evidence the damages were incurred as a consequence of:
A. the commission, attempted commission or flight subsequent to the commission of a crime by the plaintiff; and
B. the use of force or deadly force by the defendant which is justified persuant to common law or the law of the state.

August 28, 2008, 12:48 PM
No person shall be liable to a plaintiff in any civil action for damages if by a preponderance of the evidence the damages were incurred as a consequence of:

You will have to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence in a civil case if they bring one that you should not be liable. :barf:

Tennessee Gentleman
August 28, 2008, 08:55 PM
As an old law professor once said, you can sue the Bishop of Boston for bastardy if you wish. These state laws are great but don't think you still can't be sued. A lawyer I know also told me that many of these laws don't prevent the bad guy's lawyer from suing you for using excessive force. My take has always been: If you shoot someone, you will probably get sued by someone and legal defense is expensive.