There is no doubt that self-defense and gun rights, along with the popularity of firearms, has exploded in the United States in the last few years. As the American political scene has swung wildly between right and left populists in recent years, different groups have felt aggrieved, threatened, or marginalized, leading to an increase in firearm sales in the United States. This dynamic was universalized by the COVID pandemic as millions of American were suddenly told by their government not to go to work, school, church, or, in some cases, to even leave the house.
At the same time, state after state has moved from “may issue” self-defense permit schemes (now illegal after recent Supreme Court rulings) to “shall issue.” At the same time, many “shall issue” states have thrown out their permitting schemes all together in favor of what advocates call “Constitutional Carry,” the unobstructed personal right to own and carry a firearm for self-defense without undue restrictions such as a license requirement.
Legal gun owners enjoy broad self-defense rights thanks to the US Constitution and recent Supreme Court decisions. Today there is a legal weapon for self-defense in up to half of all American homes. That is a lot of gun owners, a lot of self-defense opportunities, and a lot of potential ways to end up in a criminal or civil trial over a gun use incident.
Regardless of how we got here, the rising popularity of private firearm ownership for self-defense comes with the need to protect ones’ interest in the use, and enjoyment, of this federally-recognized right.
To that end, the free market has stepped up with a number of different schemes for insuring or otherwise covering the expenses associated with a justified self-defense shooting, a successful brandishing, lost or stolen guns, and good old fashion accidental discharges. All of which become more common as an increasing number of citizens seek to enjoy their self-defense rights and protect what they love with lethal, legal defense.
For that, you need actual insurance, just like your home or car.
Best Concealed Carry Insurance Companies
While there are a number of competitors, we selected a few we think are among the best.
US Law Shield
Price: $19.95 Setup + $10.95/mo
US Law Shield, formerly TX Law Shield (aka Texas Law Shield), is a large and popular CCW insurance company because its value proposition is excellent, with a caveat. For a set-up fee of $19.95 and a monthly charge of just 10.95/month, you get unlimited coverage for legal fees for civil and criminal defense attorney fees. That works out to $131.40 annually. They offer a couples discount for $240/year.
The trade-off is they get to pick your lawyer(s). Depending on your perspective, this can be either a feature or a bug. Personally, I wouldn’t know where to start finding the right lawyer. For me, it would be another thing to worry about in the event of a gun use incident. For others who may have or know a trusted attorney, or may just be control enthusiasts, this could be a hard red line.
They cover “Red Flag Laws” and their state coverage area is also excellent. US Law Shield is accepted in every state (expect Washington, New York and New Jersey), and they cover Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, although nationwide coverage is an additional $2.95/month.
In fact, a number of the coverage areas that are standard as part of other plans are add-ons with US Law Shield. Again, this is a feature or a bug depending on your perspective. Personally, I rarely leave my state. If I do, I fly, often overseas. There is little value in nationwide coverage for me.
On the other hand, bail coverage and expert witness coverage are also add-ons which I believe are personally worthwhile, and would include in a customized plan.
All US Law Shield plans also include non-emergency access to attorneys, a resource library, a hotline, and state-specific education.
Ever since it started out as TX Law Shield, US Law Shield has offered quality policies that meet many gun owners needs. They remain a popular choice across the US.
Second Call Defense
Second Call Defense is interesting for its flexibility in terms of cost, coverage, and options. This allows policy-seekers to customize a plan that best fits the way they carry and use their guns. It’s one of the best concealed carry insurance if you value that customization.
As far as coverage options, Second Call Defense’s basic plan costs just $9.95/month but limits criminal liability coverage to $100,000 and civil defense coverage to just $10,000 on accidental shootings. This plan is pretty limited although it does include $10,000 coverage for your bail bond as well as $2,000 to help retain your own attorney. You may add your spouse for an additional $48/year.
The Defender package, the middle tier of Second Call Defense policies, costs a little more, $14.95, but you get so much more! This includes civil defense costs up to half a million dollars, civil suit liability insurance of $50,000, criminal defense attorney fees up to $100,000 and accidental shooting coverage of an additional $50,000. You can also add your spouse for an additional $60/year.
Even better, you get $50,000 in immediate bond support, $5,000 to retain an attorney, onsite clean-up fees, and $250/court day in supplemental income insurance. Given the plan’s bail bond benefit, the fact that it allows you to pick your own attorney, and the cash for court feature, this is a solid plan at a good price point, even if it caps attorney fees. The civil liability coverage is also a valuable feature. We also like the psychological counseling coverage with this plan.
Second Call Defense also offers its Ultimate Plan for $34.95/month. This plan essentially doubles the coverage for legal costs compared to the Defender plan. For a legal protection plan, this is solid for the price point, but it may be too pricey for many budgets.
Right to Bear Insurance
Right to Bear Insurance is a newer player in the space, but has come out swinging with a popular package that touches the bases we have discussed. The three additional add-ons are on point, but may push the price beyond many budgets. Their base program runs $11/month or $125 annually. You can add a spouse for an additional $11/month or a discounted annual rate of $105.
The three available add-ons are multi-state coverage, bail coverage and minor child coverage which extends your firearms legal protection to your children for personal defense, each for an additional $4/month or $35/year. If you bought the plan for you and your spouse with all three add-ons, you would be looking at $34/month or $335/year.
What you actually get with Right to Bear Insurance is impressive. This includes unlimited civil defense and criminal defense coverage which allows you to select your own attorney as well as physiological support, expert witness coverage, and training/education resources. They will also replace any gun taken after a justified use of force incident. The bail coverage is capped at $100,000.
This is a solid plan. However they don’t offer supplemental income coverage for lost work due to court dates which may be a consideration for some.
The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)
USCCA is among the largest and best regarded gun advocacy organizations in the United States. In addition to insurance, they offer training and resources focused on their three pillars of mental, physical, and legal preparedness.
The program offers three tiers, but they all offer the same level of protection with varies perks at the higher tiers. The Gold Plan runs $29/month or discounted to $299 annually. The Platinum and Elite tiers are $39 and $49/month or $399 and $499/year.
All three USCCA plans offer policy holders unlimited civil defense and criminal defense coverage, $100,000 for bail, an impressive $2 million liability cap, $10,000 for incidental expenses, up to $750/day for lost wages, 24/7 Critical Response Team access and you get to pick your own attorney.
With CCW Safe, the name of the game is versatility. Their plans start with unlimited civil and criminal defense coverage, $100,000 for bail, a cool million for civil liability and a specific plan for just about everyone from permit holders, Constitutional carriers, home defenders, and law enforcement officers. As in most cases, coverage is not available in New York, New Jersey, or Washington State.
It’s also important to really understand these policies. The Constitutional Carry policy, for example, is, by necessity, limited to your home state. You may chose your own criminal defense attorney with CCW Safe, but they reserve the right to vet him. CCW Safe also has strong nullification policies. If you have a domestic violence incident (not self defense), your policy will be cancelled.
CCW Safe plans run from $200 to $500/year before add-ons. Their plans can include all of the important coverage areas we have discussed from lost pay to critical response team access to expert witnesses. They even offer $5,000 in legal defense coverage against extreme risk protection order (red flag law) actions.
In terms of comprehensive criminal defense coverage and protection from civil suit, CCW Safe excels.
Firearms Legal Protection
For $16.95/month, Firearms Legal Protection offers unlimited civil and criminal defense protection. All of their plans also include Red Flag Law coverage. But, the really good stuff is in the premium plans which start at $28/month. They also offer a comprehensive family plan for $44.95/month.
Here you get unlimited civil suit and criminal defense protection, extreme risk protection order coverage, $250,000 in bail, incident clean-up, expert witnesses and a 24/7 hotline.
This plan doesn’t include wage coverage for court days, critical response team access, and coverage in many states. In fact, the base plan is limited to your state of residence and coverage isn’t available at all in 20 states, making Firearms Legal Protection less flexible than other plans.
What is “Concealed Carry Insurance” / gun insurance?
Concealed Carry Insurance (CCI), sometimes referred to as Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) insurance, is just like health insurance or any other insurance policy. You pay a monthly fee in exchange for protection from a specific circumstance or series of circumstances.
Flood insurance protects you from floods, auto insurance protects you from accidents, and CCI protects you from expenses associated a self-defense incident involving brandishing or shooting your weapon, an accidental discharge, or a gun theft, by providing resources for your legal defense, criminal and civil, as well as associated costs. This can include lost wages, expert witnesses, and bail. These are huge, life changing disruptions. Below we’ll look at the cost of CCI. Keep in mind the benefits and risks as you evaluate what concealed carry insurance may be worth to you.
There are some types of coverage, such as legal defense, that all Concealed Carry Insurance has (or should), as well as optional add-ons that are also important to consider. These add-ons can vary wildly from carrier to carrier, as can the level of core coverage for the money.
No matter which carrier you ultimately choose for CCW insurance, understanding what each plan offers, where it is available, the coverage area, and other restrictions is essential to making the best selection for your individual situation.
Concealed Carry, Open Carry, Constitutional Carry, and Home Defense – Does it make a difference when buying insurance?
The terms Concealed Carry Insurance or CCI, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon or CCW insurance, are actually pretty misleading. As a rule, all CCW insurance is gun use insurance. If you have a CCI policy, you are most likely covered in the case of a home invasion, or an accidental discharge in the home. This is also true if you are open carrying with a license, concealed carrying with a license, or Constitutionally carrying. That said, you can get a Constitutional carry plan which is written specifically for your state. Again, the key is knowing what you need and what you can get.
Similarly, these policies don’t generally distinguish between legal regimes unless they specifically prohibit this type of coverage such as in Washington State, New York, and New Jersey, where self-defense is permitted, but insuring it may not be.
For example, Texas has Constitutional carry and a carry licensing program. If you carry CCI, your insurer is probably not going to make a distinction based on whether or not you have a carry license since both scenarios are legal under Texas law.
And that is the key point…know the law in your state. We use hedging terms here like “probably” and “most likely” because saying anything broadly about 50 states, 6 territories, and a federal district is a fool’s errand. Each has its own laws. Knowing those laws is essential to picking the best coverage for you and your family.
Be sure your Concealed Carry Insurance policy INCLUDES:
Not all policies are created equally. Getting the right concealed carry insurance for you requires some research into CCW insurance providers and understanding of your own situation.
Legal Defense Coverage
The single most important feature when shopping for the best Concealed Carry coverage for you is legal defense coverage, even if you avoid criminal and civil sanctions. This is your basic self-defense liability insurance for criminal defense coverage and civil defense coverage including legal fees.
When dealing with civil and criminal defense after a gun incident, the legal expenses associated with even the most justified of self-defense shootings can run into the tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees alone.
Civil defense costs can be even higher, hundreds of thousands of dollars. Concealed Carry Insurance worth $50,000 in attorney fees coverage sounds great until you hear what the costs can be.
Take the self-defense incident involving George Zimmerman, who in 2012 shot Trayvon Martin during a physical altercation. Despite being acquitted of any crime, attorney fees and other legal fees eventually cost Zimmerman more than $2.5 million. Mr. Zimmerman did not have sufficient self defense insurance to cover these costs.
Many people use their weapons defensively and justly only to be ruined by years of expensive criminal and civil lawsuits. If you do find yourself facing a criminal or civil trial due to a gun use incident, it’s already too late if you don’t have the concealed carry coverage you need.
Therefore, the level and type of legal coverage is the most essential element of a quality CCI policy. It is just as important to understand what that legal coverage does and doesn’t include such as expert witnesses, lab testing, administrative fees, and many other expenses that can quickly add up on a parallel track to your attorney’s fees. Some policies have strict coverage limits on the amount of legal coverage while others offer uncapped attorney fees. And that’s just the beginning!
In addition to attorneys’ fees, there are other types of protection upon which you should insist when selecting a CCI plan. Next is bail coverage. Even in a justifiable self-defense shooting or brandishing, as well as an accidental discharge, it is entirely possible to find yourself behind bars, at least initially making bail bond coverage essential.
One industry expert told me that:
“Even in the most clearly justified self-defense shootings, such as home invasions, the justified shooter will still be arrested nine out of ten times.”
He believes that bail coverage, generally an inexpensive add-on if not included already, is a valuable investment for all CCW insurance holders. At just a couple of dollars per month in most cases, bail coverage is essential insurance!
It can be especially challenging to procure and work with your attorney on your legal defense, to say nothing of making a living and handling your day-to-day affairs when you don’t have bail money. Any quality Concealed Carry Insurance policy will include bail bond coverage as well as other self-defense costs such as attorney fees.
Nationwide Coverage (optional)
The next thing to look for is more individualized. Do you regularly travel out-of-state? This is an important consideration. Like gun laws themselves, CCI coverage can vary wildly from one state to the next.
For example, Washington State requires that Concealed Carry Insurance be underwritten by an instate provider. New York and New Jersey law, along with Washington State, do not allow CCW insurance coverage for self-defense incidents. Other states have laws that vary wildly. Knowing where and how you are covered and whether your CCW insurance policy offers multi-state coverage when traveling is essential for many concealed weapon carriers.
Knowing your rights along with knowing you have the right concealed carry coverage in the event of an out-of-state self-defense incident will go a long way towards mitigating a potentially disastrous outcome.
The fourth thing to analyze is whether the coverage includes expert resources such as independent program attorneys to help understand your self-defense rights and responsibilities in your state, as well as training on safety, proficiency, and conflict resolution. After all, the best solution to a potential gun incident is to avoid it in the first place. The best concealed carry insurance plans offer these supplemental services.
What Concealed Carry Insurance does NOT typically cover (by default)
We have talked about what every basic Concealed Carry Insurance policy needs to cover, but what about missed work, crime scene clean-up, or coverage for your spouse and family? There are a lot of things that Concealed Carry insurance can cover, but doesn’t necessarily.
In some cases, additional or supplemental coverage can be added for an additional fee. In other cases, it may not be offered at all. Beyond the foundational areas of coverage that we discussed above, these secondary coverage areas can be just as important. You can have the best concealed carry insurance in the world, but if you can’t work it won’t pay your mortgage.
Loss of Income, Property Damage & Firearm Replacement
These kind of considerations are often included as add-ons because they can add substantially to the concealed carry insurance cost of self-defense coverage and they may not be right for everyone. For example, some Concealed Carry Insurance providers offer family plans that may be too expensive and unnecessary for a single person or a small family with only one weapon proficient person in the house.
Similarly, not everyone has to worry about loss of income, or may not feel they need extra coverage against, for example, property damage or firearm replacement. In this regard, most policies are customizable to meet your needs.
However, as a consumer, it is your responsibility to understand your situation and select the self-defense insurance coverage that best meets your needs. These considerations are equally important when considering Concealed Carry Insurance costs.
Most of all, what no insurance can do is protect you from the consequences of your own action. Innocent people go to jail and sometimes concealed carry insurance policy holders commit criminal acts. While Concealed Carry insurance will provide criminal defense coverage, it is no get out of jail free card.
Likewise, Concealed Carry insurance gives you civil defense coverage, but that doesn’t mean you won’t still face an adverse judgement. Legal costs come in more than one form. In this regard, a policy that includes liability coverage is often worth consideration, as well.
Past Offenses & Illegal Ownership
Concealed carry insurance will sometimes not cover you if you were arrested for an illegal use of your firearm. For instance, if you brought your firearm into a place where it was prohibited (such as an airport), then your insurance company may decline to help.
If you have a violent criminal past, or drug convictions, or a history of psychiatric holds, you may not be able to get CCW insurance. Likewise if you have an extreme risk protection order, also known as a red flag order, filed in a civil court, you may not be able to procure CCW insurance, even for self defense (some companies do cover red flag cases). Concealed carry insurance required by some employers may not be available to you in these cases, either.
Every self-defense gun use comes with risks. Concealed carry insurance can mitigate these risks, but it does not eliminate them. At the end of the day, using deadly force is a deadly serious decision, even in self-defense. No amount of insurance changes that. A concealed carry permit is not a license to kill and concealed carry insurance doesn’t indemnify a right to kill.
Is Concealed Carry Insurance worth the money? Do you really need it?
To determine whether CCW insurance is right for you, ask yourself one question, “Do I own a gun that I might someday use for self-defense?”
If the answer is “yes,” you should probably have some form of CCW insurance on your weapons, even if you never carry outside your home.
The most obvious reason is that you are liable for your weapons regardless of where you, or they, are. Accidental discharges can occur anywhere. And home invasions usually occur at, well, home.
Take the case of the Texas man who shot two men in the back when they attempted to flee after robbing his next door neighbor’s house. He was eventually acquitted of murder, but the criminal and civil defense costs reached into the millions of dollars.
On a pure cost to benefit basis, its difficult to argue that one can be a responsible gun owner without CCW insurance. Given the downside potential of being uninsured and the obvious benefits of carrying even a low cost plan, we strongly recommend some form of CCW insurance against potential legal fees. We’ll look at some of the different options below.
The cost of a Cadillac plan is a drop in the bucket compared to the defense expenses of the most open and shut self defense case imaginable. In an uncontroversial justified shooting where the charges are dismissed, the costs can still run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Currently, the government processes over 100,000 federal background checks every day. About 40,000 of those are first time gun buyers. Yet fewer than 5% of US weapon holders currently carry insurance. That’s insane.
Politically, it hurts the gun rights movement when the vast majority of gun owners claim to be responsible but fail to properly insure themselves against even the most common uses and mishaps involving a gun.
On a personal level, the cost to benefit analysis of carrying self-defense liability insurance is overwhelming.
The CCW insurance game may still be new in town, but when responsible gun advocates learn its available and the associated risks of failing to carry insurance…covering uncapped attorney fees versus a lifetime of debt and regret…they have a responsibility to act. You have a responsibility to act.
Researched and written by the American Gun Facts team. We are a group of Americans dedicated to providing factual information on firearms and fighting back against attempts to weaken or discard the Second Amendment. We write on topics ranging from firearm statistics, news, reviews, and more! AGF has been featured in the New York Times, NBC, MSN, Time, & many other publications.