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All about Concealed Carry “Insurance”

December 24, 2016


Oleg Volk photo

So, you took the plunge and got your concealed carry license. Good for you. The question now: Have you considered concealed carry insurance?

Roughly six percent of Americans now have carry licenses. They’ve chosen to take proactive steps to keep their families safe. Prudent people will do two things to further their personal and family safety:

1.  They seek knowledge and training on how to avoid and deescalate a conflict, and if necessary how to effectively use their gun to defend themselves or their family.

2.  They give serious thought to buying some “concealed carry insurance” – particularly in this time of politics entering decisions on whether or not to prosecute good guys who ventilate bad guys.  If you discharge your firearm in self-defense, legal costs can quickly overwhelm most people.  Do you want to do that do yourself and your family?

First off, these concealed carry “insurance” policies are not really insurance, per se.  Insurance covers accidents and Acts of God.  Your homeowner’s policy doesn’t typically cover intentional acts against another person.  Punching Mongo the Mauler’s ticket with your handy dandy S&W .44 Magnum is very much a deliberate and intentional act.  Yes, you intentionally shot him.  State Farm will not cover your criminal defense.  What happens if Mongo’s sweet little girl next-of-kin sues you for cutting short her father’s life with your Dirty Harry commemorative revolver?  State Farm won’t pay to defend that either.

In contrast to homeowners insurance, concealed carry “insurance” or “legal defense” policies reimburse you for legal expenses.   They typically pay following acquittal with most companies.  Some make a big deal about putting you up in a hotel for a day or two or other ancillary benefits.  In the end though, they reimburse you for legal expenses up to the policy limit.  Lawyers charge big bucks and those bills can add up quickly.  Doubt me?  Just ask George Zimmerman.

How it works

Most of the CCW “insurance” options out there will pay a retainer up front to your attorney.  The amount varies by policy, typically $5,000 – $20,000.  The companies then pay the balance after your acquittal, reimbursing you for your costs over that amount up to the policy limit.  Limits vary wildly, as do policy fees.  Most companies will also cover your legal defense in subsequent civil suits, within the limits of the policy, of course.

How much coverage?

What do you need in the way of coverage?  It depends™.  Do you patronize the Dewdrop Inn looking for recreational pharmaceuticals and companionship at late hours?  Do you drink while carrying?  Have a hot temper?  Do you do stupid things, in stupid places with stupid or not-so-stupid people?  While driving, are you practiced in the art of the single-digit salute?  If you do one or more of the above, look for a policy with larger coverage.  Or better yet, get policies from multiple companies.

For most of us who carry prudently and live responsibly and soberly, we probably won’t need a whole lot of coverage.  In fact, if you act to the standard by which you will be judged (and if you’ve been a legal lecture, you’ve heard that before) then most of the time modest coverage is more than enough.

In fact, if it’s a righteous shoot, a $5,000 or $10,000 retainer will usually get you back home to your family within a day or two at most.  The same goes for a righteous stabbing.  They usually cover self-defense with any tool.

It’s those George Zimmerman-style cases that make everyone’s sphincters tighten up.   Righteous shoots sometimes do get prosecuted.  After all, prosecutors like winning re-election.  When mobs of their constituents threaten to burn their community down in “peaceful protests”, sometimes these prosecutors listen.

Attorney Referrals

Want another reason to sign up for some CCW insurance?  What happens when you are on vacation or business halfway across country.  Some wiseacre tries to perform thoracic surgery on you with his Buck knife, but you rapidly and promiscuously perforate him instead.  What then?

Reputable CCW insurance companies will have a referral list of skilled defense attorneys.  Even in Montgomery, Alabama where I personally almost smoked a would-be armed robber on my honeymoon.  (Another link, with videos)  I cleared my shirt and put my hand on Mr. Glock.  I non-verbally explained what was going to happen next if he continued his course of action.  Thankfully, he found Jesus and chose wisely to go back from where he came.

Oleg Volk photo

Educational Materials

Another bonus of membership in the more reputable companies are the educational materials they provide.  It’s in their best interest to make you a more informed customer – especially for folks who haven’t gotten any formal training in legal considerations to using deadly force.

Videos and written materials may be sent to you, depending on the company, once you’ve enrolled in coverage.  More materials will likely be available online.

Armed Citizens Defense Network, for instance, sends their customers a series of DVDs and a host of other educational materials.  Some of the DVDs are better than others, but a couple by Massad Ayoob are top shelf.  I paid $800 to watch them twenty years ago as part of my Lethal Force Institute training, and you’re getting copies to keep and re-watch for a $135 annual membership.  That’s pretty sweet.

My advice is to steer clear of any legal defense insurance company that doesn’t offer educational materials and an attorney referral list.

My favorites

I have looked into six or eight of these companies and two stand out to me.

I’m a member of the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network (ACLDN).  For $135/year, they offer a $10,000 automatic retainer to an attorney of my choice if I’m charged.   If I’m outside of my local area in Central Illinois, they can refer an attorney to me.  Additional household members can be added for $60 each.  They offer steep discounts for multi-year signups.

ACLDN has a panel of experts who will look at your case.  Their experts include Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Dennis Tueller, Marty Hayes and others.  IF their panel of experts deems your case a righteous use of force, they will write additional checks for attorneys fees and/or expert witnesses before or during a trial.   That’s right:  The ACLDN pays coverage, up to their limits (currently about $400,000!), before the verdict.

They are the only company that does this.  All of the others I’m aware of reimburse you for legal defense costs after a not-guilty verdict and any appeals are exhausted.

If you’re like me, you don’t have $50,000 sitting (rotting away?) in the bank just waiting to keep financing your legal defense team from Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe to continue working on getting you acquitted.

I also like the US Concealed Carry Association.  Like the ACLDN, they have a tremendous bevy of educational materials and have the nicest people you’ll ever meet.  They have attorneys they can refer you to, along with expert witnesses.  Their Concealed Carry Magazine is slick, full-color and very professionally done.  I subscribe to it and I don’t even have their insurance.

USCCA has a host of policies.  They range from $150 – $350 per year.  What’s more, they offer monthly payments, too.

Unlike ACLDN, the USCCA pays all but the retainer following an acquittal.  That will be months or even years after the incident.

Fair warning:  You’ll notice right out of the gate at their website, the USCCA hits you with a full-court press.  Auto-play videos and more.  USCCA will blizzard your e-mail account with tons of marketing stuff.  They relentlessly send you “offers” and “opportunities”.  That problem is easily solved with a throwaway email address, but most people don’t know about the aggressive marketing until it’s too late.


I have less of a working knowledge of some of the other companies.  They vary in coverage and cost.  Some are multi-level marketing (sort of like Amway), others are more like traditional insurance in the sense they are offered by insurance companies.  In any event, investigate as you will, but if you’re like me, you’ll probably find ACLDN or USCCA as among the best products out there.




The Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network people recently offered me a coupon code for our GSL family.

Use Coupon Code to save $25


They pay me nothing and GSL doesn’t get any kickbacks either.  We’re merely passing this along as a benefit to our family of members and readers of GunNews.  This is for new subscribers only.

Use it at ArmedCitizensNetwork.org or call 360-978-5200.

9 Responses to All about Concealed Carry “Insurance”

  1. Gipper's Ghost on December 24, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Are there any companies that might offer a group policy to groups like GSL, whereby members could take advantage of it and pay for it through an appropriate dues increase?

    • johnjohn on December 25, 2016 at 12:39 am

      I asked John Boch the same question at the Charleston meeting last week and he said he was not aware of any insurance companies that give out group rates to members of organizations like GSL, ISRA, or NRA…..I am looking to buy an insurance policy and it looks like the ACLDN would be a good buy….not too keen on a policy that would only reimburse me on legal defense costs beyond an attorney retainer fee…..'The Last Call Defense' which says it is sponsored  by the NRA looks to be available at the same rate for NRA members as it is for non NRA members.

  2. jboch on December 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Second Call is the one you read about in NRA periodicals.  I have little doubt they bought that endorsement.  I looked into it at one time.  It's Amway-like in a multi-level marketing sense.  The biggest part of their pitch to me on their product was how I was going to make all this money on people signing up under me.  I really don't care about making 70-some cents per person per month that signs up as a result of my recommendation.  I'm more about passing on information on the best products as a public service to my friends and GSL family.  My recommendations aren't for sale.  And surely not for a meager check now and then.


  3. Larry on December 26, 2016 at 5:21 pm


  4. Matt on December 27, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I have CCW Safe since they seemed pretty straight forward. I'm sure there's pros and cons comparing between the different companies, but ultimately it'll be better to have some sort of coverage rather than not having anything at all.

  5. Parabellum on December 27, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Armed Citizen here.  Very happy customer.

  6. BRIAN MICHAELS on December 29, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    the coupon code GSL25off do you know when it will expired? 

  7. ft on January 3, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I am not buying any CCW Insurance. Not now or ever if I don't need to by mandate.
    It will just open doors to other crap from Insurance companies, who will be giving big kick backs to politicians who try to legislate new laws requiring it. Thats will be the first move you will see happening.  And don't say to me, "you have car insurance".  Having a car is not a Constitutional Right.

    • Parabellum on January 4, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Do you carry a canister of oxygen, too?

      Why, you ask?  Because your horsey is a tall one.  Unless you have no assets, you risk an expensive lesson if you pull the trigger on a bad guy.