Does gun ownership raise your homeowners insurance rates? Do gun owners need special insurance policies or riders? Will owning guns lead to the possibility that your policy may be cancelled or declined? Owning a gun or guns can lead to a lot of insurance questions. Let’s clear up some of the misconceptions.
What’s Covered by the Traditional Homeowners Policy?
The traditional homeowners policy generally does cover guns under Personal Property. While the coverage is not excluded, there is usually a “sub limit” for special items like firearms. Firearms typically have a limit of $2,000 depending on the insurance carrier. This means that if your guns are stolen, you will receive a maximum of $2,000 regardless of the number of firearms stolen or the value of the guns. This dollar amount may vary slightly depending on your insurance carrier.
It’s important to consider the cost of the firearms themselves. Gun owners with a single gun or hunting rifle may not find this to be an issue. Gun collectors, on the other hand, with multiple pieces or a collection of antiques, may find this to be woefully inadequate. Because your personal property coverage is a percentage of your dwelling coverage, you’ll also want to consider how much these high-value items would eat into your total coverage limit if they were lost in a catastrophic event.
Options for Additional Coverage
Do you need additional coverage? Your first option is to ask your insurance professional if you can schedule your guns on a separate rider. This would give your firearms their own separate coverage limits. This will require you to provide documentation regarding the purchase and value of your firearms. If they are antiques, you’ll need appraisals.
While many companies offer riders for scheduling jewelry and other items, not all are willing to offer separate coverage for guns. If this is the case, talk to your insurance agent about purchasing specialty coverage on a stand-alone firearms policy.
What about Liability?
Owning firearms comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. While your standard homeowners insurance policy can cover you up to $1,000,000 in personal liability coverage (or damage/harm you might cause to others), you should consider increasing that limit to the maximum your insurance company will allow. Most companies will allow you to purchase up to $3 or $5 million. This limit can be increased further by purchasing an umbrella liability policy to stand above all of your other liability policies, including automobile, home, and any others you carry.
Not sure where to start? Talk to your professional today to make sure you not only have the right coverage, but also enough coverage for the guns you own and to talk about your options for better protecting your property and financial interests.