Wow, there’s a lot of CCW insurance providers now.
And like you…I wanted to make sure I had the best.
I feel it’s one of those things that if you really need it…you want to make sure you have the best.
Well…I guess there’s my seal of approval (since 2017)!
August 2019 Update: Still a paying member! And USCCA reached out to me to offer you guys Pew Pew Tactical’s online beginner pistol course for free ($67 value). Details at the bottom.
November 2019 Update: I also now cover the three states where USCCA is not currently active (NY, NJ, & WA).
Now I’m an Elite member (with a real photographer):
Table of Contents
What Exactly is Concealed Carry & Self Defense Insurance
I only became aware of the entire concept of concealed carry insurance earlier this year after USCCA gave out free t-shirts at SHOT show. I would have forgotten…but their emails do not let you forget.
But hey…super effective since I ended up buying the insurance and writing this article!
So what exactly is this kind of insurance?
Basically…if you defend yourself with a gun (or other weapon), you’re going to be in a big mess…even if it was justified.
Insurance comes in to help with bail, civil/criminal defense, lost wages, etc.
Chances are you’ll never have to use it.
But if you’re carrying…there’s that slight possibility. And we’ve all seen what happens to people who go on trial for self-defense (It’s Not the Odds, It’s the Cost).
And it’s not a pretty sight.
At least now you might not have to go into bankruptcy and wreck your family.
Next thought I had was…ok, so there’s that slight possibility of a world of hurt…how much does it cost to alleviate it and protect my loved ones?
*Update October 2017: They have updated their protection levels to Gold, Platinum, and Elite.
USCCA has 3 tiers of protection:
- Gold (Up to $600,000 in protection) at $22/month
- Platinum (Up to $1,150,000 in protection) at $30/month
- Elite (Up to $2,225,000 in protection) at $47/month
Not bad…at least at the lowest tier. That’s like two boxes of 9mm a month.
Next up, let’s see what you really get.
What You Get in USCCA’s Self Defense Shield
I’m not some insurance pro, and if you’re in the market for this stuff always do your own research and read the actual fine print for whatever insurance product you end up getting.
Let’s walk through each of these using the Platinum plan (since it’s closest to the NRA plan):
- $1,000,000 in Civil Suit Defense, Civil Suit Damages, Firearm Theft
- What they’ll pay up to in civil cases
- $150,000 in Criminal Defense Protection
- Up-front payment (important) for attorney’s retainer
- $25,000 / $250,000 Bail Bonding
- The asterisk says “Reflects 10% of the face amount of the bond. For example, $25,000 reflects a $250,000 bond.“
- It’s my understanding you’ll only get 10% of the bond (whatever it is), and only up to $25,000 which would mean a $250,000+ bond.
- Hardship, Psychology Support, & Compensation
- Costs to help with what happens due to the incident and court proceedings
Let me know if I goofed anywhere too!
Still with me?
USCCA Self Defense Shield vs NRA Carry Guard
August 2019 Update: NRA Carry Guard is now shutdown due to several investigations and lawsuits. I’m leaving this as legacy since it still covers tons of the pros, but otherwise you can scroll down to where we compare USCCA vs others still running.
It’s insurance right?
So I definitely compared the rates and coverage vs some other guys. In this case I went with the 2nd biggest (or at least 2nd best marketed) player…the NRA’s Carry Guard.
I always knew NRA had some insurance program…that wasn’t the greatest according to almost everyone.
But its new Carry Guard made a big splash…but not for being revolutionary. But for how NRA dis-invited USCCA from its 2017 Annual Meeting where they announced their new insurance.
Not the classiest thing…but I can understand the business behind it.
How do the two compare (USCCA Platinum vs the now-defunct NRA Gold)?
Let’s break down the big points in my opinion:
- Price: $30/month or $347/year (USCCA) vs $31.95/month or $359/year (NRA)
- First thing that bothers me is that you save peanuts when you go for a year…so I signed up for monthly myself. Second, they are roughly the same for all their different levels. Slight Edge to USCCA.
- How Much Protection: $1,150,000 (USCCA) vs $1,000,000 (NRA)
- Pretty close too for their respective tiers. Looks like USCCA’s $1,000,000 civil is added plus its criminal while NRA’s is lumped together. Edge to USCCA.
- Criminal Defense Payout Method: 100% up front (USCCA) vs 20% up front and 80% if not guilty (NRA)
- This is a BIGGIE!
- You’ll get 150K up front from USCCA for criminal defense while only 20% of $150K from NRA which only equals $30K. Anything else you’ll have to pony up yourself. And you won’t get anything else if you’re found guilty! I’m all for punishing the actually guilty but that sucks…especially when USCCA doesn’t have that caveat.
- Big Edge to USCCA.
- Types of Weapons Covered: Legal weapons (USCCA) vs firearm only (NRA)
- Another big one…USCCA will cover legal weapons such as knives, fists, bats, etc. while NRA is only your firearm. I don’t carry my gun much but will carry other things, so this one was as big factor.
- Edge to USCCA
- Spousal Coverage: Yes for both, but USCCA is only inside the home.
- For a while there was some discussion on whether it applied for NRA but now it seems it is indeed covered.
- For USCCA you can add on your same coverage for your spouse for as low as $77/year based on your plan. That means everywhere in the US.
- Previous edge to NRA since it has protection for your spouse outside of the home. But now goes to USCCA because of the awesome bargain to add on your spouse for your same coverage.
- Attorney Network: All over 50 states (USCCA) vs no (NRA)
- I’m mixed over this one since on one hand I’d like to know that there’s firearms attorneys ready to help…but I’m also afraid they might not be the best. I like the option of having both.
- Edge to USCCA.
- Training: Yes to both.
- I didn’t really research that much into this…but it looks like USCCA has some videos while NRA has it coming soon. However, it does seem like NRA has in-person classes…but having their insurance might not be a prerequisite and you have to pay.
- Remains to be seen…but edge to USCCA for having it up already.
Again, let me know if things have changed…yet again.
USCCA vs Others
I know a bunch of you are thinking right now…but I’ve got [other kind of CCW protection], how does it compare?!?
I tried going down the rabbit hole but got really lost. I’ll leave it to you to research more.
Here’s some of the ones I’ve found.
- CCW Safe: Technically not insurance but provides protection in the form of covering your legal defense with their team.
- Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network: A membership program where you pay into a fund that will pay your legal expenses.
- Second Call Defense: Pretty similar numbers but the up-front attorney retainer is lower (max is $10k).
- Texas Law Shield: They have a network of their own attorneys across TX and some other states…but aren’t everywhere. And they found themselves in some hot water with a class action suit.
Do your homework!
*Update* My lawyer buddy helped me go through a couple of the other guys in a Concealed Carry Insurance Comparison article.
But here’s my thoughts on why I chose USCCA.
Why I Eventually Chose USCCA
- It was the most well-known to me. And the whole NRA thing had me rooting for the underdog.
- Pretty much same price as NRA but with slightly more in overall protection.
- Up front criminal defense protection instead of less up front and the rest only when you’re acquitted.
- Ability to be covered with all legal weapons.
- Covered my wife at home which is all she needs. She doesn’t carry out of the house…but the ability to add her on for $77/year is a great perk.
- Attorney network + ability to choose my own. Some of the other ones you’re forced to use their network.
I’m very glad to not have actually used the insurance. But off the bat there’s a flurry of emails. So be ready for that…but it’s something that’s easily remedied with an unsubscribe.
Also, the tone of the videos and ads that now I’m bombarded on other sites (thanks retargeting) is always a scare tactic.
I get it!
USCCA Disallowed States
2019 has been a turbulent year with several states trying to stop self-protection insurance companies. Here’s some of the official wording from USCCA regarding them.
“Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control the USCCA is currently unable to sell memberships in the State of New York. We are actively searching for a membership option that will be acceptable in NY.”
“On Sept 10, the governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy, signed an executive order directing New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance to prohibit or limit the sale of insurance products that encourage the improper use of firearms.”
USCCA is still working through the system since they technically aren’t insurance and I’m not sure how its product is encouring the “improper use of firearms.” I’ll update if I get more news but right now new subscriptions and renews are suspended.
“The USCCA has reached a resolution with State of Washington Insurance Commissioner’s Office. The USCCA is currently not selling any new USCCA memberships in Washington. The USCCA is diligently working on a membership delivery structure that is acceptable to the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s Office. The USCCA is hopeful that in the very near future we will be able to present the Washington Insurance Commissioner’s Office with a membership delivery model that will be acceptable so that citizens of the State of Washington can enjoy the many benefits of USCCA membership.”
I ended up with the cheapest Silver monthly plan from USCCA (now a legacy plan). Check out all of them here.
And that’s because I know there’s the very small chance of me needing it, and I don’t carry most of the time anyways. But I do like how it covers both my wife and me in the house. And if she ever decides to carry out outside…it’s only $77/year (for the Gold).
What’s your take on CCW insurance…do you have USCCA or another one?
Special USCCA Offer
Now you’ll have piece of mind and a great refresher (or intro) course on safe pistol handling. You’ll get an email with a special code 2-3 weeks after joining the USCCA family.