USCCA Review [2018]: Why I Chose Them Over NRA Carry Guard

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.

USCCA Membership
USCCA Membership

Well…I guess there’s my seal of approval!

Read on to learn more about why I chose USCCA and how they compare to other insurance companies such as NRA’s Carry Guard.

*Update July 2018: I’m still a paying member…plus USCCA reached out to give a huge gift for my readers.  Get my Beginner Handgun course ($67 value) for free whenever you buy any full-year USCCA package.  Details at the end.

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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.

So Many Emails
So Many Emails

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.

Pricing

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 10/17/2017: They have updated their protection levels to Gold, Platinum, and Elite.

USCCA has 3 tiers of protection:

  1. Gold (Up to $600,000 in protection) at $22/month
  2. Platinum (Up to $1,150,000 in protection) at $30/month
  3. 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):

USCCA Plans, as of 10/17/2017
USCCA Plans, as of 10/17/2017
  • $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!

Cunningham's Law
Cunningham’s Law

Still with me?

USCCA Self Defense Shield vs NRA Carry Guard

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.

NRA Kickout
NRA Kickout, TheFirearmBlog

Not the classiest thing…but I can understand the business behind it.

How do the two compare (USCCA Platinum vs NRA Gold)?

USCCA vs NRA Comparison, Updated July 2017
USCCA vs NRA Comparison, Updated July 2017

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.
    • *2018*: For USCCA you can add on your same coverage for your spouse for $47/year.  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 for $47/year.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
  • 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

Other Insurance Providers
Other Insurance Providers

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.

  • Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network: A membership program where you pay into a fund that will pay your legal expenses.
  • CCW Safe: Technically not insurance but provides protection in the form of covering your legal defense with their team.
  • 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!

But here’s my thoughts on why I chose USCCA.

Why I Eventually Chose USCCA

  1.  It was the most well-known to me.  And the whole NRA thing had me rooting for the underdog.
  2.  Pretty much same price as NRA but with slightly more in overall protection.
  3.  Up front criminal defense protection instead of less up front and the rest only when you’re acquitted.
  4.  Ability to be covered with all legal weapons.
  5. 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 $47/year is a great perk in 2018.
  6.  Attorney network + ability to choose my own.  Some of the other ones you’re forced to use their network.

Some Negatives

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!

Conclusion

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 $47/year.

What’s your take on CCW insurance…do you have USCCA or another one?

*Free Subscription to my Beginner Handgun Course

I caught the eye of USCCA with my review and they reached out to gift you my Beginner Handgun course ($67) when you purchase any full-year coverage.  Limited time only.

I cover everything you need to know about basic handgun use…from revolvers to semi-automatics.  With no attitude.

Gun Noob Course
Gun Noob Course

After you purchase any full-year coverage starting July 31, 2018, I’ll reach out via email within 2 weeks with a 100% off coupon code to my course.

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Jim Coffman
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Jim Coffman

Eric:

In the USCCA fine print located at https://www.usccacoverageform.com/, it states in:
Section 1 – Coverages,
1.. Insuring Agreement,
b. (2) Our right and duty to defend ends:
(b) With the insured’s “conviction” of any criminal charge(s)

So, it appears, like the NRA coverage, they stop paying for any services once a guilty conviction is arrived at. Thoughts?

Splendor
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Splendor

Thank you so much for this article. I’d be curious how those two listed compared to US Lawshield. I purchased US Lawshield insurance at the end of an IL CCW class when a rep came in to tell us all about their program. It was only $131.40 per year. I don’t know if “you get what you pay for” holds true for this instance. US Lawshield didn’t send me anything in the mail. The only thing I have to show that I’m covered is a card that was included in the sign-up flier. Their member portal is REALLY weak. I… Read more »

Dean Harris
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Dean Harris

I was working on an EPL membership, paying my quarterly $25 payments every three months. I got on my computer to make my next payment. My account on their website said I had a yearly membership, however on my previous payments my account clearly said EPL. I sent three e-mails, each about a week apart, asking them to fix the problem. I never heard back from them. The first e-mail was polite, the next two were i increasingly angry. After the third e-mail was sent, I checked to see if my status was fixed. Not only was it not fixed,… Read more »

Darren
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Darren

Interesting and great reaffirming article! I “had” the NRA Carry Guard insurance, however after the recent “fleeing” of certain companies from the NRA (including the underwriters for the Carry Guard insurance, Chubb) I am now a member of USCCA and couldn’t be happier, especially with the main points you highlighted in the article. Had a very close friend of mine get into the financial train wreck of having to deal with a self defense situation and he had and will continue to carry USCCA, he stated if it weren’t for them he would essentially be homeless right now.

George
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George

NRA Member and I have the NRA carry guard insurance, but recent NYS Attorney General issue voided the insurance in NY State and at expiration the underwriter will not renew in NY State. Any comments about this would be appreciated. Does the NY State insurance rule apply to USCCA as well?