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.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Most insurers will not ask you about any firearms you may own, but it's a good idea to check your policy to make sure you're covered if the gun is used to hurt someone, stolen, or damaged.
Gun Ownership and Personal Property
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.
Liability for Owning a Gun
If you keep your gun for home defense, you may want to consider the financial implications of using it for such. If you shoot someone who is on your property or if the gun accidentally fires, you could be in for a long legal battle. Even if the shooting was legal or accidental, you could end up paying for someone's medical fees. That's why it's important that gun owners purchase additional liability coverage.
Gun Riders and Insurance
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 to 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.
Umbrella Insurance Policies
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.
Kristen Radford Price began writing in 2005 for her campus newspaper. She has served as a feature writer for the life-and-style section of the "Daily Herald," a contributor to "Utah Valley Weekly," an editor for a small publishing house and now as director of communications for an Internet company. Radford has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.