What is Liability Insurance

Liability insurance protects you and your assets in the event of a lawsuit. You might be sued for something that you did not directly cause, like if someone stole a gun from your home since it was not stored in a proper gun safe. Liability insurance can cover the legal costs and the legal payouts of a lawsuit. Like any insurance policy, there are limits (or caps on the payments). There are some specific gun liability policies that do exist too.

How Much Liability Insurance Do I Need?

Whether or not you need liability insurance, and how much, depends on your specific circumstances. If you have very few assets – for instance, if you just graduated from university and are living in your first apartment – you probably don’t need much if any liability insurance. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are a surgeon, you require a lot of malpractice insurance to cover you in the event of a medical claim. Business owners will also need liability insurance in case an employee gets injured on the job or if a product proves defective and causes injuries (for example, malfunctioning brakes on a car).

Special Considerations – Gun Related Insurance

If you own a firearm, you may want to consider a special form of liability insurance for your firearm. The National Rifle Association (NRA) offers a range of “Personal Firearms Liability Insurance.” It can protect you while you are hunting, in a shooting competition, or even at a shooting range. The NRA also offers “Self-Defense Insurance” if you use your firearm in a self-defense situation and incur criminal defense costs, civil defense costs, bodily injury or property damage. If you have coverage through your homeowners policy, it may not cover “intentional” acts, including self defense.

If you are interested in shopping for liability insurance for your firearm, be prepared to provide the following information:

  1. Firearms training
  2. What types of firearms and what activities you will use them in?
  3. Do you have a gun safe to store your firearms?
  4. Are the firearms for personal use or a job, and if so what job?
  5. If you carry professionally, how often?
  6. How often do you carry personally?

The cost of liability insurance related to your firearm will vary with your level of liability protection. You should check your homeowner’s policy, because most policy will offer some protection for the accidental discharge of a firearm. The least expensive Personal Firearms Liability Insurance on the NRA website is around $50 annually. Of course, this is going to have lower limits than a policy where you pay in the hundreds. As another point of reference, a base policy for Utah based Evolution Insurance Brokers might start around $200 to $250 per year. Your premium will not only vary with your level of coverage, but also with your activities. For example, if you only carry your gun to and from work, your policy premiums would be different than if you carried a firearm for your job as a ski-patrolman or a forest ranger. Your policy premiums might also vary depending on the litigation environment where you live.

In Canada, according to a CILA/ICAL Research Report, “gun owners are the safest citizens in Canada,” and because of that, liability insurance in Canada is extremely inexpensive. In Canada, there is a cultural hunting heritage, and many firearms have been passed down from generation to generation.

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