Will Insurance Be The Next Anti-Gun Weapon Deployed?

Anti-gunners are getting creative. This year, they’ve used financial institutions to try and undermine the Second Amendment. After all, if they refuse to do business with any gun manufacturer or gun store, they can effectively destroy the gun culture without the first bit of legislation.

Now, it seems they might be deploying another weapon. Insurance.

Kristen Moore is an associate professor of Mathematics at the University of Michigan. She co-authored a piece for The Actuary Magazine exploring how the insurance industry treats the risk of firearms.

“Actuaries use math, statistics, and finance to figure out the cost today of uncertain risky things in the future,” explained Moore.

So, if you apply for health insurance, an actuary will assess your behaviors – like whether you exercise, are overweight, or engage in risky sports like rock climbing – to determine the likelihood and cost of you getting sick.

Yet, despite the potential risks of injury and death from firearms, Moore found very little evidence that insurance companies consider gun ownership when determining the cost of coverage.

“There’s not a lot in the literature about how firearm risk compares to scuba diving or private aviation,” said Moore. “To the best of my knowledge, it has not been studied.”

That doesn’t mean that gun ownership is risk free.

According to Moore’s research, death rates are higher for gun owners than they are for scuba divers. In fact, Moore found that gun owners would see changes in several kinds of insurance policies, including life, health, homeowners, commercial liability, and disability, if actuaries calculated gun ownership risk.

Of course, her research shows that.

What do you want to bet that her research included all the flawed studies we’ve debunked countless times? Now, what do you want to bet she never bothered to look at the studies that counter any of that, including the CDC’s unpublished study showing roughly 2.5 million self-defense uses of a firearm each year?

Over at The Truth About Guns, a great point about the potential for this kind of thing was made.

The most influential state insurance regulator is the New York Department of Financial Services. Other state insurance regulators tend to defer to New York’s lead, except when unique policies such as no-fault auto insurance are being regulated. This is both a matter of tradition and practicality. New York is the largest insurance market, most of the really large insurers are headquartered there, and all of the insurance exchanges used to lay off risk are there.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is no friend of gun owners and has already used the New York Department of Financial Services to directly attack the NRA.

It’s not difficult to imagine Cuomo or whoever follows him in office pressuring insurance companies to start doing this kind of thing. Further, we’ve seen remarkably little resistance from the financial sector over Cuomo’s other shenanigans, so while my free market loving self would rather argue that someone will provide insurance without this nonsense, I can’t say for certain. I wish I could, but…

What’s happening here is that they are learning they can’t beat us in the halls of Congress, so now they’re looking to undermine gun ownership in any other way they can. Once they can make it virtually impossible to be a gun owner and still function as a member of society, it won’t matter what the laws say.

May 16, 2021 8:30 AM ET