Will buying a gun increase my homeowners insurance rates?
UPDATED: Oct 26, 2015
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Asked October 26, 2015
Even though owning a gun can greatly increase the security of your home, it also has the potential to cost you a great deal in liability. The gun has the big advantage of making you able to protect your home and family, but it also has the potential cause harm to innocent people, and that is where the insurance problem begins.
Legally, liability is a funny thing. In home insurance, it means any injuries or damages you or your property cause to someone else, without regard to the reason that person was injured. For example, if you shoot someone who is trying to break into your home, that person has the legal right to sue you for the aggression, and your insurance could take a costly hit. By the same token, if your child discovers your handgun while playing, there is a very real danger of the child injuring herself or someone else without even realizing the danger exists.
For this reason, the insurance company may not insure a home with an unsecured gun inside. If a claim is filed and it is discovered that there was an undisclosed or unsecured gun involved, the claim could be denied and the policy cancelled. Trying to avoid a few extra dollars a month because of your gun could end up costing you everything, so avoid the temptation and list your guns with the insurance company.
Some insurers may not insure a home with a gun in it at all, but most will simply require you to secure it. Securing a gun could mean keeping it in an enclosed, locked place such as a gun locker, or using a security device on the weapon itself. Trigger locks are easy to use and inexpensive to buy, and it provides the insurance company and your family a high degree of protection against accidental discharge. Even with a gun cabinet and trigger locks, you may have to pay slightly higher home insurance rates, but there is also a chance that you'll pay less because of the fact that a gun in the home makes everything you cherish a little safer.
Answered November 6, 2015 by Anonymous