“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” Who doesn’t know that classic line from A Christmas Story?
If you live in Greene County, you likely know the right of passage almost every boy goes through when they get their first Red Rider BB Gun. It’s a classic.
And in a community that highly values hunting, people often add new firearms to their collection. Many will purchase a new gun as a gift for their significant other or son or daughter under the tree.
A new shotgun is even more expensive – starting at around $1,000. And a firearms enthusiast or collector could easily spend thousands of dollars on their collection.
The question is: Would insurance be a good investment to protect that investment?
What would happen if you lost your guns in a house fire? Would you have enough coverage to replace them?
What if someone stole them? Will your homeowners cover the loss?
What if you drop your rifle and damage it as you climb into your deer stand? How would you cover the repairs?
Firearms insurance is something that many people just don’t think about buying. A lot of people don’t even know it’s an option.
Many people think it would be too expensive to get a policy for their collection. Is this assumption correct?
Born and raised in Greene County, I’ve spent the entirety of my adult life helping my fellow Greene Countians (is that even a word?) with their insurance needs.
As you can imagine, questions about insuring a gun collection have come up once or twice during my insurance career.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. In this article, you’ll find the answers to the top five questions I get about firearms insurance. Here they are:
- If your guns are covered by your homeowners insurance policy, why would you buy a separate insurance policy for your firearms collection?
- What will a stand-alone firearms insurance policy cover?
- What factors impact the premium of a firearms insurance policy?
- What will it actually cost to purchase a firearms insurance policy?
- Is it worth the investment to get a stand-alone firearms insurance policy?
If your guns are covered by your homeowners insurance policy, do you need a separate insurance policy for your firearms collection?
This is probably the biggest question people have when it comes to insuring their firearms. Most everyone knows that your possessions have coverage through your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy — and that includes your firearms.
So why would you consider buying “extra” coverage for your firearms?
The three primary reasons to purchase a stand-alone policy are:
1. If you have a house fire, your guns will not be included in the amount of money you have available for replacing the contents of your home.
Let’s imagine you have a house fire and the bulk of your possessions are damaged.
Most homeowners policies have coverage for 50% to 75% of the value of your home. So if your home is valued at $150,000, you’ll likely have coverage for between $75,000 and $120,000 on the contents of your home.
If most of your possessions are not salvageable, you’ll need that money to replace everything – appliance, furniture, clothing, electronics, etc.
Those costs quickly add up. And if you need $10,000 or $20,000 to replace your gun collection, you just might not have enough coverage to replace them.
2. Your homeowners insurance premium will increase if you have to file a claim on a stolen or damaged gun.
Your homeowners insurance policy will cover your guns if they are damaged by a covered peril such as a house fire or ruptured pipe. It will also cover your guns if someone steals them from your home.
To replace them, you would need to file a claim on your homeowners policy which will likely affect your premium on your next policy renewal.
By purchasing a stand-alone policy, you won’t impact your homeowners policy if you need to file a claim.
3. Your homeowners insurance will require you to pay a deductible to replace or repair a gun.
Any time you file a claim on your homeowners or renter’s policy, you have to pay a deductible. Often that deductible will be $1,000.
A stand-alone policy typically does not carry a deductible.
4. A stand-alone policy offers additional coverages not included in your homeowners.
Finally, a stand-alone policy will provide you with additional coverages not included in your homeowners policy.
As stated above, your homeowners will cover your guns if they are stolen or damaged by a “covered peril.” If they are lost or damaged some other way, you won’t have coverage.
A stand-alone policy will cover your guns if they are stolen, lost, damaged, and more. No “covered peril” is necessary to file a claim.
#2 What coverage does a stand-alone insurance policy provide for my gun collection?
When you buy a stand-alone insurance policy for your firearms collection, you’ll have coverage for:
If one of your firearms is lost, you can file a claim to replace it.
Let’s imagine that one of your firearms goes missing. While we hope this never happens, if it does, your insurance policy will cover the replacement of your missing firearm.
You simply file a claim with your insurance company, and they will guide you through the process to have your firearm replaced.
And if your firearm is stolen, you can also file a claim. With both a homeowners policy and a stand-alone policy, you will need to provide your insurance company with a police report about the theft.
Another incident in which you might need to use this coverage is if your firearm is lost during travel. We know many people who have traveled out west or even overseas on a hunting trip. If your firearms end up as “lost luggage,” your insurance policy will replace them.
The other nice feature of your stand-alone policy is that you will have increased coverage when it comes to damage.
For instance, let’s say that you are climbing into your tree stand and you accidentally drop your rifle. Your stand-alone policy will have coverage for that damage.
Or let’s say that your basement is flooded and that just happens to be where you store your guns in their cabinet. They all receive some damage. Even though you don’t have a flood policy, your guns will be covered.
While it’s true that your guns will have some coverage for damage on your homeowners policy, your coverage will be much broader with a stand-alone policy.
#3 What factors impact the premium of a firearms insurance policy?
The premium for a stand-alone firearms insurance policy will be determined by three factors:
1. The value of your firearms collection
The biggest factor that the insurance company will use to determine the cost of your premium is the value of your firearms.
To determine their value, you can have your firearms appraised at a gun dealer or potentially at a big box store like Cabela’s or Field and Stream. You will need documentation demonstrating the valuation of your firearms.
You can also submit the receipt for the purchase of your firearms.
When you provide this documentation, you will also need to provide the serial numbers for each of your guns.
2. How you store your firearms
The second factor that insurance companies will consider is how your firearms are stored. Your insurance premium will cost less if your guns are kept in a locked gun cabinet.
3. If you have a homeowners policy with the insurance company
The final factor that can impact your premium is which insurance company you use to write your insurance policy. If you already have a homeowners insurance policy with the company, you’ll likely pay less for your firearms insurance policy.
It is not necessary to have a homeowners policy to get a stand-alone insurance policy for your firearms.
#4 What will it actually cost to purchase a firearms insurance policy?
So, you’re probably wondering, “How much is it going to set me back to pay for a stand-alone firearms insurance policy?”
Here are a few examples of what you could expect to pay.
For a single gun, let’s say a $2,000 semi-automatic shotgun, you are looking to spend around $65 each year to insure it.
For a $5,400 gun collection, your premium would fall around $185 each year.
And for a $10,000 gun collection, you’re looking at $351 each year.
Depending on the insurance company, you may pay a little more or a little less.
You may also have a deductible for a higher valued collection.
#5 Is it worth the investment to get a stand-alone insurance policy for my firearms?
This last question is the most important one you’ll need to answer before buying a stand-alone policy.
While I know it’s my job to sell insurance, my top priority is to help my clients make a wise and informed decision before buying a policy. If you were sitting across from me at my desk and asked me, “Tammy, is it really worth it for me to buy this policy?” I would have you consider two things:
1. How much would it cost to replace your collection or even a piece in your collection compared to what you will be paying for your policy each year?
You may find that you just want to self-insure your collection. If you will be paying more for insurance than it would cost to replace your firearms, it may not be worth it.
2. How much value do you place on your firearms?
Sometimes you own something that is irreplaceable! Maybe it’s the shotgun that your grandfather purchased for you. Perhaps it’s an antique rifle.
If you have a piece in your collection that you want to be replaced with the exact same gun or repaired with identical components, you may want to insure that piece. With insurance, you can have your prized firearm repaired if damaged. Or, you can get it replaced – same brand, same model, same year, etc.
I’d like to have an insurance policy quoted for my firearms. What do I do next?
If you have a firearm or multiple firearms that you’d like to protect with an insurance policy, getting a quote is a simple 1-2-3 process.
1. Gather the required information to get a quote.
To get a quote, you’ll need to have your firearms’ serial numbers ready, along with a receipt or appraisal noting the value of each piece.
2. Give us a call so we can get started ASAP on your quote.
After you call us with your information, we will start right away on a quote. Our team can quote your policy through multiple insurance companies to help you get the best coverage at the best price. And if we have all the information needed for the policy, we can usually get back to you by the next business day.
3. Make your decision.
The last step is settling on a policy. As an independent insurance agent, we’re likely to have multiple insurance options for you. You’ll need to decide which policy best meets your expectations.
At this point, you may decide after quoting that you would rather self-insure your collection, meaning you’d rather pay out of pocket if something happens to your guns.
Partnering with Baily Insurance Agency for Your Insurance
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If you have questions about other insurance products, feel free to browse our learning center for articles related to your questions. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, please send us an email with your question. Our team would love to get you an answer!