As if Our Nation’s Capitol doesn’t already place enough roadblocks in the way of the right to keep and bear arms, “a D.C. Councilwoman has introduced legislation that could make the District the nation’s first jurisdiction to require gun owners to buy liability insurance.” Given that the freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility, I’m not sure an insurance requirement is really Constitutional. But just for the sake of argument, let’s say that it is. How are you going to figure the cost? Allow me . . .

Basic coverage on my car runs about $45/month and I drive it an average of two hours every day, so that’s $0.75 per hour of operation. I’m willing to pony up $0.75 a year to cover a gun that I might shoot (outside of practice) once every 50 years.

But I’m sure people will think that’s a ludicrously low number, so how about another calculation: According to famous anti-gun researchers Drs. Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig, in 2000 “gun violence” cost the US about $100 Billion a year. So if you divide that by 100 million gun owners they should pay $1,000 a year.

Oh, but what about the benefit side of this cost-benefit analysis? According to a study published in 1997 by those same researchers, Drs. Cook and Ludwig, there are about 1.46 million defensive gun uses a year. If even 1 in 100 of those DGUs saves a life, then that’s 14,600 lives saved by guns each year and I would imagine a proportionate number of injuries are prevented as well.

According to the CDC in 2000 there were 10,801 gun-related homicides which, according to Jens and Phil, cost $100 Billion (yeah, I’m ignoring injuries because, again, they’ll be roughly proportional) for a total of about $9.25 million per life. But guns in the hands of the law-abiding saved 3,799 more lives than those lost to criminals.

Which means that there’s a net benefit to owning a firearm. So let’s see…carry the six…I guess that means that, in order to reflect the ‘cost’ to society of gun ownership, the Gun Control Industrial Complex owes each of us $351.73 a year. I don’t know about you, but I prefer cash.

72 Responses to DC Mulls an Insurance Requirement. Here, Let Me Help.

  1. Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Do they know what a right is? So, does that mean I need insurance to have a 4th amendment right? Insurance to practice my religion? Wow, I don’t think these folks are capable of rational thought.

    • They do not care. And until the Supreme Court puts some teeth on the Second Amendment, such as giving it a “strict scrutiny” standard of review, we are going to keep getting crap like this. Even after that, we wouldn’t be immune, but it would severely hamper efforts such as this one.

    • They live and work inside this bubble called “The Beltway.” This is a mythical land where EVERYTHING has to be safe and fair (unless you’re in power, of course), and everyone is wrapped in bubble wrap so as not to get a boo-boo. They do not acknowledge that Anacostia (the Crime Capital of the Nation’s Capital) exists until the elections roll around.

      We in the surrounding lands where reality sometimes occurs have known that those in DC are incapable of rational thought since the 1968 riots. Case in point: Marion Barry. One time “Mayor for Life,” crack addict, Federal prison graduate, and now “DC Councilman for Life” for District 13. There is NO intelligent life in DC.

    • they know exactly what they are doing. Its a backdoor gun ban. If you can’t have an outright ban make huge barriers to ownership thus disarming people without enacting a ban.

    • they know exactly what they are doing. Its a backdoor gun ban. If you can’t have an outright ban make huge barriers to ownership thus disarming people without enacting a ban.

      • Yes, that’s exactly what they are doing; de facto banning through ordinances creating restrictions that are difficult or impossible to satisfy, especially for those who don’t have billions in assets, huh Mikey.

        And by creating obsticles to ownership, the grabbers hope to reduce the number of gun owners who participate in the political system; once people don’t own guns anymore, they naturally won’t care as much about laws proposed to restrict or confiscate them.

    • Interesting article, but mistaken as to certain critical issues.
      First, it is not correct to say that insurance does not cover for criminal acts; rather, insurance will not cover for intentionally wrongful conduct, only for “accidents”. For example, it is illegal to speed, but your insurance still provides coverage for any resulting accident; they even cover for accidents when you are drunk. The drinking and the speeding may be intentional, but the accident is not. Unless of course you are intending to run someone over.
      Second, unless there are new policy forms, the standard homeowners policy does not have an exclusion for gun related accidents. So if there is a negligent discharge, there is coverage for the injuries. Check your policy, ask your agent to be sure. Moreover, the liability insurance has limited world-wide coverage. You are covered under you HO policy for non-vehicular accidents no matter where they occur.
      Third, your liability coverage only provides a defense for civil actions filed against you. No HO or renters policy provides funding of the defense of criminal charges.
      Fourth, and the big thing that these legislators fail to comprehend (such insurance programs have been proposed in a number of states) is that liability insurance does not insure the person injured; rather, it protects the insured from liability for damages to the third person. This may seem like a minor point, but these guys think that if everyone has insurance, the cost of public benefits paid to guns hot victims will suddenly drop. Not true. Again, only accidental shootings are covered, and quite frankly, there aren’t that many of those each year. The typical gangbanger drive-by will still be an excluded event, as will all other violent crime and domestic violence.

      This is not to say that personal gun “insurance” is not worthwhile. There are a number of products on the market, including USCCA and the NRA to name two, but these policies typically only cover the cost of the gun owners legal defense in both criminal and civil proceedings. The USCCA product, for example, isn’t technically insurance; rather it is a reimbursement policy for expenditures made. As I recall, it does not provide indemnity for damages paid to a third person, but I could be wrong on that.

      And the story about the woman slamming another car and proclaiming “I have better insurance” isn’t apocryphal, it is from the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes.”

  2. Hmm, isn’t the NRA in the business of helping insure gun owners? That’d get the gun-grabbers’ goats, passing a law that immediately pushes the rest of American gun owners towards the NRA….

    • +1

      If this goes anywhere, the NRA should start heavy advertising about their insurance polocy with membership. Wow that would really pi&& off the grabbers

    • I didn’t realize the NRA had liability insurance — I thought it was just theft/damage insurance. Good to know I guess.

  3. How about divide the 100 billion per year up among criminals? Or if that’s too hard recoup the costs by increasing the property tax in the neighborhoods where the violence is happening?

    😉

  4. How can having to carry a quarter million dollars in liability insurance NOT be seen as an unconstitutional bar on firearm ownership?

    • Case in point, the Affordable Care Act. Also, home owners that are receiving mortgage assistance will be required to carry mortgage insurance.

      The latest progressive push, make everyone insure everything. If you can’t negate the risk, we’ll force you to insure it.

      • If the government continues to bail out people when things happen to them, why shouldn’t they mandate people buy insurance? I don’t see much difference from a bank requiring full coverage of a person who has taken a car loan out. Their money, their rules.

        • Using our money to bail out irresponsible persons is the problem. People need the freedom to fail, or else they’ll continue to take more risks knowing they will be covered instead of being responsible and thinking things through.

        • I totally agree. As the government keeps paying for more and more in people’s lives, they will control more and more aspects of it. And, of course, this is the idea.

      • Indeed. And which agency is it that enforces the insurance requirement for Obamacare?

        “The IRS”, you say?

        Well, at least there’s no history of bias or political vendettas against conservatives over there.

        This will end well.

    • The NRA offers some insurance (not to these levels of course), given the actuarialy low risk posed by lawful gun owners I suspect at least some insurance companies would enter the market, after all, as my Insurance Law professor said “The money isn’t in denying people what they want, it’s in giving them what they want but charging too much for it.”

      Also, I would be curious to see what a fair actuarial rate for a legal gun owner is, and the discounts for things like safes and extra training.

        • Depends on the specific policy and its particular language. Some do, some don’t. But umbrella policies typically are written as excess over an underlying (insured or self-insured) retained limit, say for example, $100,000. If for some reason your underlying insurance won’t pay, the umbrella may not “drop down” to provide first dollar coverage–leaving you on the hook for the retained limit.

  5. The attempts to go after the legitimate law-abiding firearm owner will not cease. Death by a thousand paper cuts-tried and true when the sledgehammer falters. Let us ask the criminal element if they will care to join in the cost of the premiums. OOPS, stupid me-I forget-this is not about them, it is likely “for the children”(tm). Makes one wonder, what loopy idea will they dream up next?

  6. Hell I like the idea of the option, it would be nice to have an optional insurance policy that maybe covers lawyer fees, accidental property/bodily harm, etc; however to make it a requirement is BS. Insurance seems to cause prices, etc to inflate dramatically (esp Healthcare) and that is not something that industry needs help with.

  7. Your firearms are covered by your homeowners policy, also for an “accidental discharge” or a DGU any property damage or injury (subject to review by your carrier) is covered by said policy’s personal liability coverage.

    • Everyone needs to read their policy language before they make assumptions about coverage. Firearms are probably covered under personal property, although there are often “per item” limit ranging from $500 to $2,500. I used to work for an insurance company’s legal department while in law school. My job was to find the language in the policy that would enable us to deny the claim. Don’t assume anything.

      • That’s just the personal property coverage. What we are most concerned about is the liability coverage. But you are of course correct; never assume anything. Read your policy, ask your agent.

  8. As usual, gun control zealots are wrong on the math and the law: Insurance does not cover intentional or illegal acts like murder or suicide. That pretty much leaves accidental damage, legal fees, and so on. According to the CDC there were roughly 16,000 accidental unintentional firearm deaths and injuries in 2011. The insurance calls for a max payout of 250k, so assuming the maximum payout for all of those, that’s about $40 a year when spread across 100 million gun owners.

    If I were the NRA, I’d offer three tiers of these policies – 100k, 250k, and 1million, you’d get a free NRA membership, and a 50% discount if you’d taken a safety class.

    P.S. as of 2014, everyone is supposed to have healthcare, so we are all already paying for that thanks.

  9. Imagine the insurance fraud! Man shoots self in foot. Gets free healthcare from ObamaCare and then a payout from the insurance company! Win Win!

    • Not going to happen. You cannot recover under your own policy for injuring yourself, any more than you can successfully sue yourself in court for your own negligence. On top of that, most policies have subrogation clauses that are designed to avoid duplicative payments.

  10. Lets get the criminal safe zone coverage first, unless thats a right,lol. No, the zombies will keep comming untill its too costy for them, Randy

  11. WHat does constitutionality have to do with it, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that mandating Health Insurance is “legal”. We’re screwed. Pandora’s box, has been opened and there is no shutting that particular box, until ifwhen that ruling is ever reversed.

  12. Whenever the antis start talking about insurance, they want an insurance policy to recover costs associated with intentional malicious acts.

    In other words, they want an insurance company to write a policy that you would carry to cover the costs of you engaging in potentially illegal behavior.

    No insurance company is going to write a policy that covers intentional bad acts because the potential liability for each one is infinite.

    Which is what the antis intend – you can’t buy insurance? Sorry, no gun for you!

  13. I actually know the reason she is doing this. Look at the picture as she describes her husband at full arousal. She was saying “Even 2 that are only this big don’t do the job”.

    Are we going to have to defend against this crazyness forever?

  14. That is on a per firearm basis, right?… so.. carrying the 6 again, that would be.. hell I could retire at 40 with that cash!!!

  15. And with insurance , you got to ask will we be required list what firearms, cost, and ser. no’s , this is a another backdoor way to get a detail list of firearms and the owner, next insurance on every box ammo, etc…???more control , more crime , and who will keep list private, who to rob, will this be listed on internet for the public to see, it gets worse and go’s on, and on… Insurance is a government tax and control all in one..and will you be required to own a gun safe, this takes guns and self-defense out of the poor mans hands again….

  16. The NRA already has a variety of insurance programs available for not a lot of money, since the risks are so low.

    I’m totally opposed to requiring insurance. I’m totally in favor of checking out available policies to protect ourselves.

  17. They need to be careful. We could drop liability insurance on a host of behaviors and objects owned in this country. What these people always forget is the scope can be widened at will.
    Smokers are vilified and ostracized and now the same tactics are being used on other behavior. It’s all good and well when some other group is singled out, not so much fun when it hits home

  18. Bruce, welcome back and great post. It’s always a pleasure to read and reflect upon your insights of an issue.

  19. Why is the woman in that picture describing how small her husband’s penis is? That’s a personal matter not to be made public.

  20. So would be requiring an insurance policy to vote be ok? (Hey! You’ll poke your eye out if you vote liberal!)

  21. The real danger to our society comes from uninformed Democrat voters who believe that the government should be Santa Claus. I therefore propose a mandatory $100,000,000 insurance policy required for every Democrat, prior to their voting, to be used in the next 20-30 years when the nation goes bankrupt. They can pay for it with their Obamacare health care savings.

  22. Bring it. The sooner the antis do their stupid ideas, the sooner it can get to the SC and get knocked down, and can never be done again.

  23. I guess that means that, in order to reflect the ‘cost’ to society of gun ownership, the Gun Control Industrial Complex owes each of us $351.73 a year.

    I’m pretty sure that should be calculated on a per-firearm basis. More guns, less crime, right?

    😉

  24. No insurance company is ever going to write a policy covering illegal activities and/or acts of negligence so having gun insurance is useless. Like State Farm is going to pay out to family of someone you just happen to murder. This is basically harassment and punishment of law-abiding gun owners.

    Not to mention they are seeking to force you to purchase insurance to exercise a constitutionally protected right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *