FIREARM LIABILITY COVERAGE
With the growing availability of concealed carry laws, more citizens are choosing to carry firearms and to keep them accessible for defense in their homes.
However, even for justifiable acts of self-defense, a claim for monetary damages can be made against you by your assailant or innocent bystanders. You can also be held liable for gun-related incidents while hunting, in gun clubs, or while shooting at commercial or private ranges.
1. Doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance provide liability coverage for my use of a firearm?
Maybe, most homeowner’s policies provide liability protection for accidental injuries caused by an insured. However, most policies exclude coverage for injuries and damages that are expected or intended. Some insurers provide coverage for reasonable use of force to protect your person or other persons, but determining what constitutes “reasonable use of force” is left up to your insurer. Courts interpret policy language in very different ways. Some courts interpret the exclusion liberally, while others interpret it literally. It can depend upon the jurisdictions that take a more liberal approach and look at the degree of injury or damage inflicted into consideration and whether the results of the act were expected or intended, not simply whether the act was expected or intended.
Your homeowner’s insurance will not protect you against alleged criminal acts. You will be responsible for funding your own criminal defense expenses to protect your freedom.
2. Will my homeowner’s insurance defend me for alleged criminal acts?
No. Criminal acts are excluded from coverage on homeowner’s policies.
3. If my homeowner’s insurance won’t cover me doesn’t my umbrella?
No. The umbrella policy only adds additional amounts of liability protection when the underlying policy coverage limit has been exhausted. If the underlying policy does not cover the claim the umbrella won’t either
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