We’ve all seen how biased the legal system can be against gun owners. So, what’s a responsibly armed person to do? Maybe you’ve heard how self-defense coverage can be a saving grace during the legal aftermath of a self-defense incident. But with all the different legal defense and concealed carry weapon (CCW) insurance providers out there, how do you know what separates the good from the best? What do you actually need in your CCW or self-defense insurance policy?
Is Self-Defense or CCW Insurance Worth It?
Is CCW or self-defense insurance worth it? Without a doubt, yes. If you’re serious about personal safety (gun owner or not), you need to understand that there’s a possibility you’ll have to defend your life or possibly someone else’s. And if you have some type of CCW or weapons license, you definitely need to be prepared for the aftermath if you ever have to use your firearm. Just one incident can completely drain you financially and if you’re not prepared with a good defense, you could wind up losing your freedom.
What to Look For in a CCW or Self-Defense Insurance Policy
Self-defense or CCW insurance is essentially a pre-paid legal defense service that can help you save a fortune in the long run. And while the best coverage is unique to you and your lifestyle, there are some basic “must-haves” for any core coverage. So, what should you look for in a policy?
Self-defense is any act that protects your life (or someone else’s) from a threat. There’s no requirement to use a gun for it to be considered lawful self-defense, so your self-defense insurance policy shouldn’t require it either! While many people feel safest with firearms, some prefer a pocketknife, pepper spray, or even their fists. Not to mention, a life-threatening situation could happen anywhere at any time, so your gun might not be an option when it does. You should also not be required to have a CCW or any permit to get coverage. Of course, you do need to follow your local laws and carry responsibly.
U.S. LawShield® provides coverage for any legal weapon—with or without a CCW—as part of every core plan. We understand that sometimes you have to rely on weapons of opportunity if you want to survive. Because self-defense is self-defense, regardless of if it’s with a gun or not.
The purpose of getting self-defense coverage is so that you can be protected during the harrowing aftermath of an incident. So, obviously you want an insurance policy that includes both civil and criminal defense protection. Especially when anyone can sue you for anything these days. Something else often overlooked is the fact that the same criminal trial or civil lawsuit can be drawn out, appealed, and/or retried. So, it would be smart to have coverage for ALL legal proceedings that result from your self-defense incident. Otherwise, you’re still risking your future and finances.
In addition to covering the attorneys’ fees for all civil and criminal defense proceedings (including appeals, etc.) related to your self-defense, U.S. LawShield also provides legal defense coverage for Red Flag Law orders. Members that find themselves the victim of a risk protection order can count on U.S. LawShield to help defend their rights.
U.S. LawShield also provides coverage for self-defense in domestic violence incidents. However, these incidents can vary greatly, as well as the state laws surrounding them. So, there’s not typically a blanket coverage for these events. But U.S. LawShield members can rest easy knowing they’re protected if they’re ever forced to defend their life.
Civil & Criminal Defense Coverage
Arguably, your main reason for choosing to get self-defense insurance in the first place is to have protection from the devastating blow a legal battle can have on your finances. In a perfect world, you’d have a policy with no deductible, unlimited monetary coverage, and maybe even extra coverage for other related expenses, like bond fees.
Unfortunately, many self-defense insurance companies don’t offer anything close to this. Typically, you’ll find separate coverage limits for civil and criminal defense, and they’re often set at an unrealistically low cap. While some self-defense companies include financial coverage for other expenses, those costs go toward your overall limit. Not to mention, most companies will only cover the costs of the initial legal battle—not retrials or appeals. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough, a lot of these “self-defense and CCW insurance” policies operate on reimbursements—they’ll pay your expenses only after your self-defense incident has been found justified in court. So, you’re stuck paying upfront costs out of your own pocket without any guarantee you’ll even get reimbursed.
U.S. LawShield, however, is pretty close to that ideal world described earlier. Every base legal defense policy provides unlimited financial coverage for ALL your attorneys’ fees related to a covered self-defense incident, including both:
- The initial legal battle—civil or criminal; and
- Any and every future legal proceeding related to the same incident.
And this coverage is upfront, regardless of if you win or lose your case. If the event is covered, U.S. LawShield is there for you from beginning to end. Plus, you don’t have any insurance deductibles; the only thing that comes out of your pocket is your membership fee.
Some self-defense insurance companies allow you to pick your own attorney. On paper this sounds great, right? Maybe you have a family lawyer or want to make sure you “mesh” with the attorney who’s responsible for your future. Well, the word “allow” should be used loosely…These companies let you pick your own attorney BUT require them to be approved first (with no defined criteria for approval or rejection). And if they don’t approve your choice? You’re now forced to use one of theirs.
But let’s say they do approve your attorney choice, how many attorneys do you know well enough to trust them with your life? Because that’s essentially what’s at stake. And of those attorneys, how many do you know who are specifically experienced in self-defense cases? Unless you’re one of those (very) few people who have a strong relationship with a good attorney who’s highly knowledgeable in self-defense and gun law, the option to pick your own attorney is not the huge benefit that you think it is.
While U.S. LawShield doesn’t let you “pick” your own attorney, every single one of our Independent Program Attorneys are rigorously vetted before joining the program. These attorneys must be well-versed in their state’s self-defense and gun law, as well as experienced in self-defense and Second Amendment cases. We want to make sure we’re giving our members the best chance possible at defending their freedom.
We sometimes hear, “What if I don’t agree with my chosen attorney or something negative happens?” Our Independent Program Attorneys are still professional attorneys—bound by the same code of ethics as any other (self-respecting) lawyer—and if there’s anything that could affect their service, you’ll be given another Independent Program Attorney. Our network of highly experienced attorneys means you get the help you need as quickly as possible, without having to jump through any unnecessary hoops.
If you’re considering any sort of self-defense or CCW insurance from a company that doesn’t connect you to an attorney at all after an emergency, you need to look somewhere else. This is a foundational benefit of legal defense coverage and should not be missing from any policy.
With that said, you should look for a company that connects you to an attorney immediately. Some self-defense companies will connect you to a crisis response team or emergency call center, and then to an attorney. But this not only delays the professional legal help you need in that moment, it also delays your attorney-client privileges! Technically, anything you say to that call-center response team is fair game to be used against you. Sort of sounds like the opposite of what you need after an emergency…
Having immediate access to an attorney after an emergency ensures your defense is solid from those very first moments. You’re able to get real legal advice with the benefit of attorney-client privilege and have peace of mind knowing you don’t have to go through the experience alone. U.S. LawShield members get this peace of mind with the 24/7/365 Attorney-Answered Emergency Hotline, which provides direct access to our network of Independent Program Attorneys ready to help you when you need it most.
But what about during non-emergencies? Any self-defense lawyer will tell you their job is a whole lot easier if their client was prepared, educated, and responsible. Not only will that give you the best chance in court, but it also gives you the best chance in your self-defense incident. Knowing the law and your self-defense rights means you can be properly prepared to defend yourself or your loved ones while still staying responsible. This is why U.S. LawShield also provides members with non-emergency access to attorneys who can reply to their self-defense or gun law questions and help keep them safe and law-abiding.