If you have a firearm or are considering purchasing one, you may be wondering how this will affect your home insurance rates. Home insurance policies are priced by assessing the risk of insuring the home. That risk includes both the cost to replace your home and personal property as well as the cost incurred if you are liable for an injury or accident. Owning a gun may increase your risk level of both.
If you own a gun, the good news is, most home insurance policies will cover the theft of the firearm as part of its coverage of personal property. That said, most standard policies only cover up to $2,500 of loss, and most policies stipulate that the gun must be either stolen or destroyed by a covered event to qualify for a claim. If you have an extensive gun collection or own collectible or high-value firearms, you may want to consider getting extra coverage.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, living in a home that contains a gun increases homicide risk by 40 percent. If you keep a gun in your home, your home insurance underwriter may adjust your rates based on potential risk, opt not to cover you at all, or make you adhere to certain requirements involving gun storage and safety. If you have a criminal record involving using a firearm, your insurance company may raise your rates or opt not to cover you. If you don’t disclose that you own a firearm, your insurance company may deny a future claim involving the gun. Of course, this varies with each insurance company, so ask your agent for specific details.
If you own valuable firearms and would like to make sure you have coverage that exceeds the standard limit, you can ask your agent about a rider to insure the guns. A rider is a “mini” insurance policy that is added onto a larger policy to cover a specific item, group of items or event. By getting a firearm rider added to your home insurance policy, you can help protect the value of your guns in the event any are stolen or destroyed.
Owning a gun can subject you to heavy liability in the event of an accident or event involving the firearm. Even using your weapon against an intruder in your own home could create hefty legal ramifications and even require you to pay financial compensation to the person (or people) injured in the event. Since a basic home insurance policy has a $100,000 liability limit, you may want to consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy to give yourself additional protection. An umbrella policy will give you extra liability coverage not just for guns, but any accidents or events for which you could be named personally liable.
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