June 06, 2013

U.S. Gun Law Changes: Why the Homeowners Insurance Industry is a Major Player

In light of recent tragic events there is a stronger than normal wind of change blowing through legislation and although they have no control over sanctions, home insurance companies can play a significant role and do actually have some leverage in how gun laws are drafted and policed. Here is a look at why the homeowner’s insurance industry is a major player.

Mandatory insurance could control guns

The idea of every gun owner requiring mandatory liability insurance is not going to cure the current tragic death rate that takes so many American lives every year, but it is a positive step that could have some benefits. A well drafted state law that required all gun owners to show proof of insurance would raise the cost of gun ownership, but there is the option of insurance “grading” each owner according to the perceived risk, in much the same way that they do with younger and more inexperienced drivers. Fingerprint based trigger locks would see a massive surge in popularity if insurance companies offered discounts for those that use them, which is again another way of indirectly influencing the way we view gun ownership and our responsibilities.

Other benefits of insurance cover being required

Introducing an insurance requirement for gun owners would enable insurance providers to play a more prominent role in respect of firearms safety as the way they set their rates and what they determine are safety features worthy of a discount, will lead owners to pursue these measure in order to bring their premiums down. Introducing standard insurance for gun ownership would also present an opportunity for insurance providers to provide funds for medical costs to help those injured through no fault of their own whilst protecting responsible gun owners from liability provided they have abided by the law and the terms of their insurance policy. Anyone without proof of insurance could have their gun seized and an insurance database would help to identify any people who are potentially attempting to evade the law.

How owning a gun may affect your premium

The vast majority of homeowners and indeed gun owners for that matter are very responsible people and take great car to abide by any laws that relate to them. Home insurance providers are starting to ask more questions about whether you own a gun and what safety measures you have in place to keep it secure. Compliance with requirements regarding gun locks and other safety measures could be an issue that affects your future premiums and it may even earn you a discount, although a lot of standard homeowner’s policies do already have an element of cover for loss if guns are stolen from your property. Check your current policy details to see where they currently stand on this and shop around for a deal that suits your particular circumstances, for free home insurance quotes.

Changes are being proposed on the basis that most gun owners are law abiding citizens who have purchased their guns for perfectly sound legal reasons and introducing mandatory insurance could certainly be seen as one way of providing an extra layer of protection from a small element of law breakers who are intent on causing harm, and at the same time reminding homeowners who keep a gun, of their responsibilities.

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