The National Rifle Association (NRA)
also has a policy available with limits from
$100,000 to $1,000,000 for liability coverage and $50,000 to $100,000 for criminal
defense. The main policy is geared toward
coverage for truly accidental shootings
when the insured is hunting or trapping on
public or private land; shooting at competitions or for recreation at hunt clubs, gun
clubs or supervised commercial or private
ranges; or other shooting as long as it is an
“accidental discharge” and not prohibited
by any local, state or federal law.
“Accidental discharge” is defined as the
firing of a firearm, air gun, or bow and
arrow when the insured did not intend to
fire. If the insured is cleaning his firearm
and the weapon discharges, that is an “
accidental discharge.” The policy does not
cover self-defense, however, that coverage
can be added by endorsement. An “act
of self-defense” is defined as the use of a
“legally possessed firearm” in compliance
with local, state or federal laws in defending oneself, others or one’s property.
Also included is the rendering of
emergency assistance, but only when
such assistance is given at the request of a
uniformed law enforcement officer. A “
legally possessed firearm” is one owned by
the insured in compliance with any local,
state or federal law where the injury or
damage occurs. Coverage is excess over
any other coverage.
The policy agrees to pay defense of suits
against the insured, premiums on bonds
up to the limits of liability, and reimburse
the insured for reasonable expenses other
than loss of earnings. Expenses are not considered part of “damages” as defined. The
obligation to defend suits ends when the
insured is convicted of a criminal charge for
the use of the firearm. If criminal charges
are dismissed, the carrier will reimburse the
insured for reasonable costs and expenses
of his defense up to the defense reimbursement limit shown on the declarations.
The homeowners policy provides cov-
erage for injury or damage caused by an
“occurrence” the insured is legally liable for.
An “occurrence” is an accident that results
in bodily injury or property damage. Inten-
tional acts are excluded, but there is an ex-
ception for using reasonable force to protect
persons or property. Reasonable force is not
defined, so that is open to interpretation.
An insured with a concealed carry
permit is best protected by obtaining an
insurance policy designed for such ex-
posures. While the homeowners policy
affords some protection, it is not geared
towards that type of liability coverage nor
the type of defense that may be needed.
Christine G. Barlow, CPCU, (cbarlow@
alm.com) is managing editor with
FC&S, the premier resource for
insurance coverage analysis. She has
an extensive background in insurance
underwriting. Additional information
about FC&S Online is available at www.
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