When you are a gun collector, you must be certain that your homeowners insurance will provide enough protection for your collection if it is stolen or damaged. Not all policies do. To help ensure your collection is properly insured, here is what you need to know.
What Is Covered?
Insurance companies typically view firearms as property. As such, they are only insurable for a certain amount. The insured amount can vary, but it might not enough to provide the coverage you need for your collection.
There is also the possibility that the loss or damage to your collection might not be covered because it resulted from a situation that was not included in your policy. For instance, fire and theft are typically covered, but losing some of your collection to flood waters might not be.
For firearm owners who only have one or two guns, the standard homeowners insurance policy might provide enough coverage. As a gun collector though, you need to think beyond the standard policy.
What Can You Do?
The likely answer to your coverage issue is to add on to your existing policy. A rider would set separate coverage amounts for the firearms that could help to ensure your entire collection is covered.
To obtain the additional coverage, you could be required to meet certain conditions. For instance, the insurance company might request an appraisal of the collection to determine its actual value. If you are required to obtain an appraisal or provide an estimate of the value, do not forget to include your firearm accessories, such as magazines.
What About Firearms-Related Injuries?
If someone is harmed using your firearm, there is a good chance that you could face civil action. The injured can file a claim on your homeowners insurance, but there is a limit to how much he or she can receive. Any claimed expenses above the insurance's limits will have to be paid by you.
For instance, if your insurance has a liability limit of $25,000, but the injured files a claim for $75,000, you could face paying the $50,000 after the insurance company pays its limit. To obtain the remaining balance, the injured could take several actions, including suing you in court.
To protect yourself, you should talk to your insurance agent about increasing your liability insurance. He or she will likely suggest that you buy an umbrella policy that will provide additional financial protection to you if you are sued for a firearms-related injury.