Another summer homebuying season is winding down, with many new homeowners purchasing insurance to protect their homes and property. But for those homeowners who are also gunowners, it’s important to know that a general homeowners insurance policy may not cover all your guns. Here’s what to know.
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners insurance is designed to provide financial protection in the event of a disaster or accident involving your home. The property protection included in these policies typically extends beyond the structure of the home itself, also covering the contents and belongings inside your home.
Homeowners policies usually come with liability coverage, too, which can help protect you from legal liability for injuries and property damage caused to others by you, a family member or pet. Note that even if you carry renters insurance for a house or apartment that you rent, you’ll have many of the same protections available as those under a homeowners policy.
Why Isn’t Homeowners Insurance Enough?
Homeowners and renters insurance policies can provide important protection, but they do have drawbacks. Some policies exclude losses caused by common perils, like floods. Plus, when it comes to certain belongings inside your home, like firearms, they may leave you without enough protection.
Here are a few of the key issues you may experience protecting your firearm collection with a homeowners policy:
1. Protection Limits
Homeowners insurance comes with a limit, representing the maximum amount the insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. If you have a significant claim, such as a house fire, the amount of your settlement will need to repair and replace everything that was damaged. For most, that will mean that necessities like roofing, furniture and appliances come before a lost firearm collection.
Additionally, most homeowners policies also come with additional sublimits for certain types of property in your home, such as computers, jewelry and firearms. A typical homeowners policy has relatively low sublimits for firearms, often between $1,500 to $2,500 in coverage. Given the current values of the most popular items, the average gunowner is likely to have a more valuable collection than many of these policies are willing to insure.
2. High Deductibles
Deductibles represent a smaller dollar amount of risk that the insurance buyer is willing to retain in exchange for access to an insurance policy’s higher dollar protection. Depending on the type of insurance at hand, the amount of a deductible can vary widely, from a few dollars to thousands or more.
Homeowners insurance is intended to protect a home and everything in it, so deductibles tend to be higher, often $1,000 to $2,000 or more. The result is that, should you have a claim, you won’t be able to recoup your losses on anything less than the deductible. With a $2,000 deductible, that means that you won’t even be able to file a claim on a lost $500 handgun, and a claim on a stolen $2,500 rifle would only result in an insurance payout of $500.
3. Rate Increases
Most homeowners policies are issued on a year-by-year basis. At each renewal, the insurance company reviews the claims made over the last year, calculates the risk posed by a particular insured and adjusts a policy’s rate to be fair to all involved. Usually, those who file a claim on their policy can expect an increase in the cost of their insurance come renewal.
Of course, sometimes claims are unavoidable. Insurance is meant to be used when it’s needed. However, a number of small claims of a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on a big-dollar policy like homeowners can lead to a jump in costs that may not make sense economically. Such a homeowner would end up paying more to protect their home for the benefit of small losses, such as a damaged rifle, that could have been protected against in a better way.
4. Portability Problems
Homeowners policies are designed to protect property at a specific address. That makes sense for a building that can’t move, like your home. Most personal property inside your home also stays put, including kitchen appliances, bedroom sets and exercise equipment. In certain circumstances, homeowners policies do offer some protection outside the home, but it may not be enough.
Many gunowners lead an active lifestyle and their firearm property often goes with them. Club outings, competitions and hunts are just a few examples where you not only need to travel to with your firearm property but also unpack it, assemble it, attach accessories and use it as part of the activity. While some policies will cover theft of your firearms in transit, most won’t cover any damage or loss that occurs while you’re participating in such outdoor activities.
5. Privacy Hassles
Insurance companies design their policies based on what they’re supposed to do. For a homeowners policy, that’s to protect a home at a specific address, along with the other specific property located inside it. This makes having accurate documentation of what that property is very important, so some companies ask for a lot of detailed information about your property upfront.
Most people wouldn’t give much thought to an insurance company asking for the serial numbers of their TV or stereo when they go to purchase a homeowners policy. But some gunowners may hesitate when asked by a third party for the serial numbers for all their guns, worrying the information could be misused if it were to fall into the wrong hands. For many, providing all this information upfront to an insurance company, just to get gun coverage on a homeowners policy, is both a privacy concern and a hassle.
Why Is Firearm Insurance a Better Solution?
With its limited coverage, high deductibles and other hassles, it’s easy to see why homeowners insurance may not cover all your guns the way you need it to. But this doesn’t mean you have to go without any protection at all. You protect other valuable property with insurance, and you can do the same for your guns, as long as you have the right kind of protection.
An insurance policy that is specifically designed to protect firearm property solves many of the problems experienced by gunowners with homeowners insurance, while also offering additional benefits.
Consider what you get with Firearm Insurance from Lockton Affinity Outdoor. Firearm Insurance coverage is specifically designed to protect firearm property against damage, loss, theft and destruction in a fire or flood.
This coverage is available to protect a broad range of legally owned firearms, such as long guns, handguns, antiques and collectibles. Coverage also protects accessories when they are attached to a firearm, including scopes, rings, mounts, slings and sling swivels.
See how our coverage compares to your homeowners policy:
We let you to choose your own limits of insurance coverage. Firearm Insurance is available with both unscheduled and scheduled limits. Unscheduled coverage is a quick way to protect items of average worth, while scheduled coverage is designed for items valued above $2,500 each. Both types of coverage can be mixed and matched, up to the fair market value of your whole collection.
Our coverage comes with a lower deductible than most any homeowners insurance policies. A flat $250 per-claim deductible covers any eligible items that fall under a single claim, meaning that you don’t have to worry about having multiple deductibles when all the items are part of the same theft, fire or other loss. Whether one gun or many, the claim deductible is $250.
A Firearm Insurance policy costs considerably less than a homeowners policy. Typical homeowners policies come with a yearly premium of many thousands of dollars, even if the homeowner has had no claims. In contrast, Firearm Insurance has been available for years at an affordable rate of just $12.50 per $1,000 of coverage per year, before applicable fees. Plus, with Firearm Insurance, there’s no requirement to file a claim on your homeowners insurance first, as can sometimes be the case with other policies.
It goes with you and your guns. Firearm Insurance protects your firearm property at your primary address, just like a homeowners policy would. Plus, it also protects your guns and their accessories for everyday carry and in your vehicle when you are travelling with them, as well as when you are away from home participating in club activities, competitions and even hunts.
Coverage protects your privacy without the hassles of homeowners insurance. Unlike most homeowners policies, Firearm Insurance does not require you to submit appraisals or serial number information to obtain insurance. You provide the fair market value for the items you wish to insure, along with basic model information for any items you wish to schedule. Your serial number information stays private and is only requested if you have a claim, and then, only for the specific items involved in the claim.
Lockton Affinity Outdoor Firearm Insurance also offers other benefits you won’t find with homeowners insurance, including coverage that can help protect newly acquired property, property you travel with outside the country and property that may be damaged in an earthquake.
For most gunowners, a homeowners policy isn’t the best way to protect firearm property. A Firearm Insurance policy from Lockton Affinity Outdoor can provide better peace of mind, with more flexibility, convenience and affordability.
Still have questions about Firearm Insurance? We’re here to help! Call us at (844) 401-9444 or visit us online at LocktonAffinityOutdoor.com/Firearm-Insurance for more information.