California Bill Would Force Gun Owners to Buy Insurance

By Don Thompson | February 7, 2013

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    Some Guy says:
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    Wouldn’t the Personal Liability insurance on a homeowners policy cover accidental discharge of a gun?

    I wonder how these geniuses propose to handle all of the gangbangers that have guns…oh wait…they’re not registered, so no problem.

    I’m glad I don’t live in California anymore…

    • February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm
      InsuranceGeek says:
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      Shooting someone on purpose, even in self-defense, isn’t an accident. Some homeowners policies cover this, others don’t. How do you know which is which and whether one or the other meets the intent of the law to cover liability?

      • February 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm
        Jon says:
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        Can you point out any insurance policy that covers an intentional act?

        I do not know of any.

        Which is why I tend to agree with Paredes that this is legislature aimed at making guns too expensive to own legally.

        • February 7, 2013 at 2:58 pm
          Jon says:
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          Amending the above to state that self-defense could be argued as an intentional act, but not a pre-meditated one. Self defense is reactionary by definition.

        • February 7, 2013 at 11:23 pm
          InsuranceGeek says:
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          Yes, here is the ISO homeowners policy “intentional loss” exclusion which makes an exception for self-defense:

          Expected Or Intended Injury
          “Bodily injury” or “property damage” which is expected or intended by an “insured”, even if the resulting “bodily injury” or “property damage”:

          a. Is of a different kind, quality or degree than initially expected or intended; or

          b. Is sustained by a different person, entity or property than initially expected or intended.

          However, this Exclusion E.1. does not apply to “bodily injury” or “property damage” resulting from the use of reasonable force by an “insured” to protect persons or property;

    • February 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm
      Center Point says:
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      Gangbangers probably don’t buy auto insurance either — which causes their vehicle to be impounded when they are caught. So just because gangbangers don’t buy gun insurance doesn’t mean those weapons cannot be impounded either.

      In fact, maybe that is THE WAY to get those weapons out of their hands.

      Not that I don’t enjoy seeing the right wing element of the NRA on their soapbox. Carry on.

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm
    Amir says:
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    I can’t voice my frustration enough about recent initiatives in California to require liability insurance for law abiding gun owners. As I understand, liability insurance would be required for gun owners in an effort to lower the cost of a wide range of firearm damages to tax payers. California is a state that subsidizes elective procedures for those wishing to have sex change operations, however this is somehow at the top of their agenda when it comes to curbing unnecessary spending. How can it be remotely legal to require people to purchase insurance in order to exercise a constitutional right? This appears to be an attempt to price people out of gun ownership by subjecting them to an insurance program that many will not be able to afford. It seems as if those who live in the poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods of Oakland and Los Angeles will be adversely affected the most. Do the State Legislators not realize that criminals won’t be buying into these insurance plans? It is not as if gangbangers from MS13 and the Crips are going to be purchasing insurance plans to cover the collateral damage expenses of their drive by shootings. What’s next? Uninsured coverage plans in case criminals don’t have their own policies? How are insurance companies going to be regulated and will “redlining” be an accepted practice for high risk areas?

  • February 7, 2013 at 1:32 pm
    Keith D says:
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    Yet another absolute, unprecedented overreach by the Government. The NRA offers this insurance as a specialized product option to it’s members, NOT as a requirement for membership. This bill will not pass, but it’s scary enough that these elected officials not only don’t understand how insurance works but how the Constitution works as well.

    • February 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm
      Center Point says:
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      California has a Democratic super majority – so if they want it to pass, it will pass.

      As far as I can tell, I don’t believe the Constitution addresses insurance in any way, shape or form. But you must be worried if you think this is an unprecendented Constitutional overeach with requring insurance.

      Annie, get your gun — and an insurance policy to go with it!

  • February 7, 2013 at 1:35 pm
    philip says:
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    Well I guess the insurance companies that would underwrite this would have to do an extensive background check on the insured, inspect his/her home for safety features, etc. If the policy cancelled for non-pay after the gun is bought the ins. carrier would notify the state and then a no liability insurance ticket would be issued. I don’t know about Calif, but DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!

  • February 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    InsuranceGeek says:
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    What kind of insurance constitutes “proof of insurance”? Some homeowners policies cover intentional acts if in self-defense, but others don’t. Is someone at a governmental agency going to read all of these insurance policies?

    I know of a civic group that hired a gun club to do their famous re-enactment of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. They required a certificate of insurance to prove they had a liability policy. The gun club allegedly provided a certificate for an NRA liability policy but someone with the civic group was smart enough to request a copy of the policy. It excluded any liability arising from re-enactments.

    My guess is that there will be all kinds of gun owner policies popping up, many of which will be crammed with exclusions of ever imaginable kind. Is some regulatory body going to review all of these policies to make sure they actually provide some coverage?

  • February 7, 2013 at 2:34 pm
    fanuhkedinCA says:
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    “Nuf said…utterly reduculous. Time to leave CA. They can’t keep track of drunk actors/actresses, how do they propose to keep track of this. Again, politicians only looking to jump on the bandwagon when they perceive it as a way to get more votes. As usual they haven’t an ounce of common sense!

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm
    McBolt says:
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    Not Constitutional. The legislature in CA is getting so completely arrogant and asinine, the only option left is civil disobedience. They are all crooks. Voting themselves per diem pay when they are NOT traveling, “we have expenses when not traveling”. Brown removes their cars (and no I don’t like Brown)and legislature and employees just rent them. They are all the worst kind of criminals, being backed by those who reap the benefits of their thievery.

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:17 pm
    We don't need gun control says:
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    We need POLITICIAN control – fiscal cliffs, can’t pass a budget, enter into pissing contests with each other all the time, lifetime retirement??? What’s that about, these yahoos can’t find a job on the outside????

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm
    Hopefully not a dumb question says:
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    Regardless of what CA is trying to do, at this moment, are gun owners required to dislose that to their insurance carriers? (I assume no, but just wasn’t sure.)

  • February 7, 2013 at 5:22 pm
    Center Point says:
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    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • February 8, 2013 at 8:16 am
      amir says:
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      Because driving a car isn’t a constitutional right, it is a privilege, unlike gun ownership.

      • February 8, 2013 at 8:56 am
        Captain Planet says:
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        You are right, driving isn’t a right. Purchasing is, though. You do have the right to buy a car just like you have a right to buy a gun. You have a right to purchase anything that is legal. When you purchase a car, you must also purchase insurance. Just like the car, perhaps you’ll never use the gun. But, in the event you do, perhaps having it adequately insured isn’t such a bad idea, just in case something happens. You know, the whole point of insurance…protecting assets from risks and exposure. I personally don’t see what the big deal is. It could provide an adjacency line of business to write. More premium, more investment dollars, more commission, more supplemental apps (OK, kidding about the last one, just a little Friday humor).

        • February 10, 2013 at 9:15 am
          amir says:
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          Buying a car is not a right either.

          • February 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm
            Ron says:
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            Buying a gun is not a right either.

          • February 11, 2013 at 1:36 pm
            Captain Planet says:
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            You have the right to buy anything legal in America you can afford. Or, heck, not afford for that matter.

  • February 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm
    Jimbo says:
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    What bugs me is how carriers will respond. Will it be a separate policy or can it be an endorsement? Will it be like animal liability (certain guns are excluded?). Will there be a ratio of coverage to the number of guns owned?

    CA is just nuts with regulation. I feel that this is only going to open up a new area of liability for civil lawyersrs exploit.

  • February 8, 2013 at 8:58 am
    Tom Harvey says:
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    I have been following the gun debate and think that required insurance is a possible solution to many of the most politically difficult problems to reducing violence. The type of insurance needed goes beyond the usual liability model. For most of the deaths and injuries there is no one who is both negligent and could be made to have insurance. But, there is a type of insurance in effect in several states that could be a model for what is needed. No-fault insurance as it is applied to pedestrians (who are victims that often don’t have their own insurance) would work to cover nearly all victims, if applied to guns. There is usually a pool financed by all insurers that covers hit and run or uninsured situations. The limits vary greatly from about $10,000 in Florida to unlimited lifetime care in Michigan.
    It is also possible to avoid the widespread resistance to government registration of guns. If insurance was required of manufacturers only, but that insurer could only relinquish responsibility if another insurer (contracted by the new owner) took over coverage, then there would not be a need to track owners. There would only be a need for some database to link the serial numbers of guns to the insurers. The cost would be low because the total number of persons injured by guns is much smaller than by cars and injuries not deaths are the major cost to insurers.
    A no-fault model is much better than a liability model for guns. The original reason for adopting no-fault for motor vehicles in many places was to have medical care assured without waiting for the outcome of lawsuits. Expanding liability for gun owners would be resisted and is not necessary for the goals of compensation for victims and having insurers work to discourage unsafe practices. The coverage needs to follow lost, stolen or diverted guns because allowing guns to stray is the most important unsafe practice that we need to worry about.
    You can see more details at my blog http://guninsuranceblog.com

  • February 8, 2013 at 9:04 am
    wvagt says:
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    What do you bet that if CA finds a way to pass this, they also find a way to generate tax revenue from it? It’s easy to visualize a “gun control surcharge” popping up on every homeowners policy, whether the policyholder owns guns or not.

  • February 8, 2013 at 12:44 pm
    uct says:
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    Hmmm… I just can’t understand why people are fleeing CA in in droves, nor can I see why the state is in so much debt. Any more dumb ideas coming from the state of CA? This state should be cut off from the Union. lol

    • February 8, 2013 at 1:48 pm
      Captain Planet says:
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      Yeah, that’s the ticket. Cut off the largest ag state in the country. The only state that can grow practically anything. Great idea! Now, Texas on the other hand. What are you going to do, eat oil, grain-fed factory-farmed beef, and bullets? Oh, but they have good taxes and discriminate gays down there. Yee-haw!

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm
    Captain Planet says:
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    I’ll apologize for that, it was out of line to rip on Texas. There are good people down there, too. I have friends who live down there. I just really cannot stand Rick Perry.

  • February 8, 2013 at 6:24 pm
    Zane E. Jacobs says:
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    I am a CA gun owner and was born 12 July 1926. I fought in WWII with the 164th North Dakota Regiment in the Philippines in 1945. It has been over 30 years since I fired a firearm. All my life I have been of the opinion there is no such thing as an accidental discharge of a firearm. CA and any other of the 49 states antifiream folks can jam such insurance coverages through state legislatures but cant make us buy Insurance. Insurance is a big business that is another rip off of dollars.

    Zane

  • February 8, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    RichP says:
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    Let’s just have Stupid Insurance. Because that’s what this amounts to. If you have a gun and don’t respect it and its power, you are atupid. If you don’t know how to use your weapon and don’t protect it from falling into the wrong hands (kids or otherwise), then you are negligent, and therefore stupid.

  • February 13, 2013 at 10:17 am
    Joseph Massengale says:
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    Does anyone know which insurance companies would possibly write this type of gun owners insurance???



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