Are Your Firearms Covered?
Whether you own firearms for hunting, self-defense or recreation, you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance is affected by gun ownership. Most homeowners insurance covers firearms under the policy’s personal property coverage, but how much coverage you have depends on your base policy and any extra coverage you’ve added.
There are generally no special limitations for firearms, except for loss caused by theft. A standard coverage limit for theft of firearms on a homeowners insurance policy is about $5,000. So if you need more coverage, you generally have the option to add more on top of that or schedule your guns under itemized personal property coverage for extra protection.
Firearms and Liability Insurance
The homeowners policy provides limited coverage for firearms liability. Accidental losses are generally covered. For example, if you are cleaning a handgun, do not realize it’s loaded and the gun accidentally discharges and injures someone, there would be coverage.
The homeowners policy, however, excludes criminal acts and intentional injury. If a person uses a gun in a crime and shoots someone, even in self-defense, it’s not covered. Similarly, liability for intentional injury or property damage is excluded, even if the injury or property damage is different from what the person expected or intended.
To better protect yourself from a potential lawsuit due to a self-defense action, purchasing an umbrella policy could help provide a stronger financial safety net. This kind of policy can help you pay any outstanding costs related to a claim or lawsuit against you after your homeowners insurance pays out its coverage limit.
What if I need to increase coverage on my homeowners policy for my guns?
You can make sure your guns are properly insured by scheduling them on your policy. For the extra premium you can make sure that all your guns are covered in the event they are stolen or damaged. You will need to provide your insurance carrier with:
-A list of all your firearms. Including make, model, and serial number.
-The value for each of your firearms. You can use a recent appraisal or perhaps an invoice for newer guns.
-A list of accessories that you would like to insure. Scopes, rings, magazines, after-market products
Your insurance carrier will then add them to your policy for a certain amount of premium for every $100 of coverage. Generally it is around $.80-$1.00 per $100 of coverage.
You may be best with a seperate policy for your gun.
After talking with your agent you may find that it is best to get a seperate policy for your firearms. This maybe the case if you have antique or collector firearms. Your typical homeowners policy may not be best at that point. Due to the large dollar value of collector firearms, it is probably best to work with an insurance carrier that specializes in collector style guns.
How should I shop for my gun insurance?
As always I suggest working with a local insurance agent to fully determine your needs. They will be able to shop your insurance among a variety of carriers to find what coverages and premiums meet your needs.