There are many parameters that factor into one’s personal defense options. We can choose non-lethal means such as pepper spray, Tasers, or stun guns, or we can opt for a firearm. In past columns, we have covered some of the questions one must ask before deciding to use a firearm for self-defense. One of the questions that we haven’t addressed is what happens after one is involved in a lethal force shooting.
Part of the aftermath of a justified self-defense shooting are the legal costs that arise when you must defend yourself in not only a criminal proceeding, but quite probably also a civil suit. If you are exonerated in a criminal case, the person you shot, or that person’s family may sue for damages. All this legal activity can bankrupt you, even though all you did was defend yourself from serious bodily harm or death. It is estimated that a legally justified shooting will cost the defendant on average $100,000. Some but not all homeowners’ policies offer any help with compensation. So how can we mitigate those legal fees?
There are two types of coverage for self-defense incidents; insurance, and organizations that give financial aid to members of their group. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options and one needs to thoroughly assess each. Here are a few options; many require the buyer to be a CWP holder.
Second Call Defense is an after-shooting protection plan backed by the NRA Endorsed Insurance Program, administered by Lockton Affinity, LLC and underwritten by Lloyds of London. Coverage starts at $9.95 per month.
NRA-endorsed Self-defense Insurance, also administered by Lockton, starts at $165.00 per year.
U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) also an insurance program. USCCA insurance has several notable endorsers including Rob Pincus and Tamera Keel. $12.00 per month for the Silver Plan at the low end of coverage.
Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Inc. is a membership organization, yearly cost varies with the amount of coverage one chooses. This network is endorsed by the great Massad Ayoob, one of the nation’s finest personal defense experts.
CCW/Safe is also a membership program, it is not an insurance policy. This organization has various levels of coverage beginning at $129/ year, $199/year for couples. I personally have chosen this organization for coverage.
If you are thinking of adding some form of legal protection coverage to your portfolio, I suggest you start with these links:
Meet with your insurance agent and, most importantly, your attorney; he will help you assess your needs more accurately than anyone. In addition to the above organizations, there are many others in the self-defense coverage area. Be sure to compare and verify the coverages and limits of liability. Like all insurance, let’s hope you never need to use it.
Be safe and good shooting.