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Guns in the home: How insurance works

Your insurer may not ask if you have firearms in your house, but it's a good idea to bring it up yourself.

By MSN Money Partner Jan 4, 2013 5:20PM

This post comes from Mark Chalon Smith at partner site logoWhile gun control legislation may remain a divisive issue with uncertain outcomes, there are guidelines pertaining to firearms when it comes to homeowners insurance.


Revolver in open dresser drawer (© David McGlynn/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)Most standard homeowners policies cover rifles and pistols if they're stolen or damaged in a fire, but usually up to a maximum of $2,500, according to Pete Moraga, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California. If you have a large collection of guns or ones that are particularly valuable -- perhaps a group of antique side arms -- then you may have to buy a policy rider to ensure they'll be replaced or that you'll be reimbursed, he says.


It's much the same process as with other big-money items, such as jewelry and fine art, where you discuss the pieces with an agent and come to a reasonable coverage figure.


Safety always an issue for gun insurance

To keep premiums for the standard policy from soaring, the owner may have to show that the rifles and pistols are properly secured in locked gun cases, have trigger locks, and, of course, are out of the reach of children, says Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.


"It's all about proving to an insurer just how responsible you are when it comes to firearms. It's clear that insurers are more likely to look favorably on the gun owner if they take special precautions to store the weapon and have a gun lock on the gun," Moraga says.


Moraga adds that insurers usually don't bring up firearms when writing a policy. But it's a good idea to tell them upfront if you have any.

"Although insurers may not specifically ask about weapons on their policy questionnaire, because of the higher liability risk of a gun, homeowners should make sure to let their agent or insurance company know," he says. "If an insurer does not know that a homeowner owns a gun and the homeowner files a later claim, the claim may be denied."


What happens if you accidentally shoot someone or yourself while in the home? The Insurance Information Institute says your standard policy will cover some or all of the damages, including medical bills, property damage and liability claims, depending on the amount of coverage you have.


But the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants says on its 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy website that you may need to buy additional coverage -- such as "sporting firearm insurance," "collector's firearm insurance" or "gun club liability insurance" -- to guarantee you're fully protected.


More on and MSN Money:

Jan 7, 2013 3:12PM
If they're all locked up, they are not going to be helpful when you need them in an emergency...sure I keep most locked up...but I hide the rest loaded ready to go if ever needed...
Jan 7, 2013 3:08PM
I believe this is government junk designed to collect data on us.  I think they fear that someday, America will rise up against the government and they are preparing to fill the FEMA camps that are already all around us with some of them already staffed.  It is interesting to read about the FEMA camps, where they are and how many there are and the "executive orders."  I leave the research to you.  I do not want to see a revolution but I do believe it is on the way.  Our government, in my opinion, has already lost our country.  It is ready for foreclosure.  What happens to a car or house when it is about to be foreclosed upon?? Usually, it is neglected, run-down and often deserted.  I think that is the direction of our country now.  The budget just passed "to save money" as I understand, is about 74 billion more than last year!!  When you borrow to the limit, get all you can and run!  I think that is what Washington is doing.
Jan 7, 2013 3:02PM
I think most insurance is nothing more than a scam.  And, I think the government is in cahoots with them.  They are all crooks.  Legislators may have good coverage, but I doubt the rest of us do.  Homeowners, check with your insurance company.  Some won't pay if you have any oil in your home.  What house has no oil of some sort?  They give you the world when you're taking the policy out.  When it is time to collect, they'll show you the clauses you didn't see before.  I got, I think, 5 pieces of mail out of my box today.  Of them, I think one was real mail, one was junk and three were health or insurance related.  Insurance is big scam business.  And, "ask your doctor' ads are addicting America at an alarming rate.  Why we haven't had in street protests is beyond me.
Jan 7, 2013 2:31PM
"Never mind the dog beware of owner".
Jan 7, 2013 2:30PM
I would say this is not for the gun owner. This idea is big money for the insurance company. Because what happen in New York. They don't give back what they should give back to the people who buy insurance from them. That another way to do business for insurance company.
Jan 7, 2013 2:14PM

If you are a member of the most hated organization in the world, by liberal gun haters that is, you already have extra gun insurance. Don't quote me but I think it's about $5000.00 now and comes at no cost to NRA members.

And yes I am proud to belong.

Jan 7, 2013 1:59PM
While it is well kinown that all insurance people are vultures who scavenge the remains of personal misfortune, the combination of a lying, pandering, illiterate journalist with a story about insurance is unjustifiable.  The entire article is a contrived lesson in how to mislead people and assure them that their personal interests fall well below corporate interests in all arenas of American society.  The alternative to believing everything you are told is called doubt.  I doubt if there is an insurance agent on the entire planet with a soul.  I doubt if there is a journalist, anywhere, with enough sense not to soil themselves at every turn and then try to smear it on everyone else with whom they have contact.
Jan 7, 2013 1:57PM
another stupid women with no clue,, We have violence in this country because we promote it on all our TV shows,  your news channels Movies and Video games for kids. You know just like Osama bin laden new promotional movie, they will have a movie about these kids being killed next year. Plus you have doctors out there poisoning children and adults with their prescriptions they say fix mental problems when they add to them ten fold. Ban guns to legal owners and you empower the criminals. YOU also empower your criminal government who sells guns all over the world with no accountability,,
Jan 7, 2013 1:32PM
With all the 2nd amendment talk saying it is absolute I should be able to own and maintain a nuclear device and a delivery system to launch it wherever i want as the Constitution says "arms" meaning any item that causes destruction not firearms.
Jan 7, 2013 1:27PM

I would never give serial #s to an ins. co.  No one needs to know how many or types of guns i have.  t

The only one who needs to worry about that is the FOOL who comes into my house uninvited.

Jan 7, 2013 1:22PM

The gun fight is coming fast, Get ready for it. Just like the FED run medical take-over taking place right now before your eyes. My uncle is a Phd and he told me that doctors are being told to send all blood samples with name and address of the patient to the Federal CODAS where the blood is analyzed for DNA and recorded. ( ever get your blood drawn ) If you go to the doctor they draw your blood for any reason. Its by design


And that my USA friends is a scary thing going on

Jan 7, 2013 1:10PM
TEXAS GUN OWNERS - I highly recommend joining Texas Law Shield if you aren't a member already.   Covers Legal Fees you if you use your gun LAWFULLY.  Just because you had the right to shoot that intruder, doesn't mean you don't have to deal with the legal mess associated with it.

Other than being a member, I'm not associated with them in any way; I just wanted to pass the info along.
For your yearly dues (around ~$200, depends if you are a CHL holder or not), you get
"Legal Representation Including All Attorneys’ Fees, CIVIL AND CRIMINAL
Police Investigations
Grand Jury Proceedings
Trial, both Criminal and Civil "

Jan 7, 2013 12:35PM
Why read about guns or gun control which is what this agenda driven article is about, really anything compared to Britain is an absurdity we used our gun for our freedom from Britain so screw off.
Jan 7, 2013 12:07PM
texas farm burea paid my insurance claim for about 60 guns in a full fire loss on my house no extra policy or anything
Jan 7, 2013 12:06PM

"It's all about proving to an insurer just how responsible you are when it comes to firearms. It's clear that insurers are more likely to look favorably on the gun owner if they take special precautions to store the weapon and have a gun lock on the gun,"




Then, of course, when someone breaks into my home, I'll simply ask him/her to wait a couple of minutes while I unlock my weapon.


What a crock!

Jan 7, 2013 11:34AM

Eh, this article is just a scare tactic that no basis in reality.  Leftist journalists are pulling out all the stops to intimidate gun owners.

Jan 7, 2013 11:33AM

Well,Well....More BS from the left,wait till they need one of us to protect them ???

this must be a backup to the gannet "news"artical listing all gun owners and

their names and address....NOW the criminals know where not to go or yet

where to go to rob someone,we do have some stupid people out there....By the

way,whats the difference between (2) 5 shot mags or (1) 10 shot mag ???

Jan 7, 2013 10:55AM
More anti gun crap from the school of MSN-OBAMA liberal journalism.
Jan 7, 2013 10:48AM
The video that's presented above with the interview of  Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm is spot on the facts about the fallacy of gun control. And has stated flatly "That after the handgun bans in the UK gun violence has "doubled",and now some of their cops in certain area's now carry guns where before they didn't...The ban was the result of a emotional response to a shooting,and because all of these guns were registered, there was mass confiscation, and the innocent were left defenseless. 
Jan 7, 2013 10:48AM



In the land of the free and the home of the brave except we let our insurance policies tell us what to do. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL


Even the gun owners bow low to the mighty Big Insurance Gods....


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