Understanding Homeowners Insurance & Firearms
Whether you own firearms for hunting, self-defense or recreation, you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance is affected by gun ownership. Most homeowners insurance covers firearms under the policy’s personal property coverage, but how much coverage you have depends on your base policy and any extra coverage you’ve added.
There are generally no special limitations for firearms, except for loss caused by theft. A standard coverage limit for theft of firearms on a homeowners insurance policy is about $5,000. So if you need more coverage, you generally have the option to add more on top of that or schedule your guns under itemized personal property coverage for extra protection.
Are Homeowners Insurance Premiums Affected by Firearms?
Owning firearms does not affect homeowners insurance premiums. You can add more coverage in the form of a higher liability insurance amount or scheduled personal property insurance — this will raise your premium. But just owning guns will not change the cost of your homeowners insurance.
Firearms and Liability Insurance
The homeowners policy provides limited coverage for firearms liability. Accidental losses are generally covered. For example, if you are cleaning a handgun, do not realize it’s loaded and the gun accidentally discharges and injures someone, there would be coverage.
The homeowners policy, however, excludes criminal acts and intentional injury. If a person uses a gun in a crime and shoots someone, even in self-defense, it’s not covered. Similarly, liability for intentional injury or property damage is excluded, even if the injury or property damage is different from what the person expected or intended.
To better protect yourself from a potential lawsuit due to a self-defense action, purchasing an umbrella policy could help provide a stronger financial safety net. This kind of policy can help you pay any outstanding costs related to a claim or lawsuit against you after your homeowners insurance pays out its coverage limit.
Gun Safety in the Home
In order to avoid having to file a claim related to your firearms, you should practice basic firearms safety to keep your loved ones, your guests and your guns safe. Keeping your guns out of reach of children, properly locked away in a gun safe and separated from ammunition are just a few simple ways to maintain a safe environment and keep accidents from happening.
Need more help understanding how your homeowners insurance is affected by gun ownership? Get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent. If you realize you need more coverage to protect the value of your firearms should they be damaged or stolen, they can help you set up scheduled personal property coverage for your guns or raise your liability insurance amount.