The impact of a self-defense shooting on someone’s finances can be massive. While it’s important that people act when they need to act, we’d be stupid to pretend the aftermath of a shooting was all kittens and rainbows. In addition to the psychological baggage that someone might carry around after something like that, there’s the potential for legal expenses.
Because of that, many people have started recommending concealed carry insurance. The NRA offered their Carry Guard until very recently, but the program was criticized almost immediately and vilified in every way critics could think of.
Meanwhile, the United States Concealed Carry Association’s similar insurance kind of seemed to fly under the radar. USCCA didn’t have the name recognition of the NRA, which worked to its favor as the media focused on the Second Amendment-Defending behemoth.
Unfortunately, those days appear to be over.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined United States Concealed Carry Association, Inc., (USCCA) for violating Washington state laws by selling unauthorized insurance that illegally covers defense costs for criminal shootings.
“We made two things very clear to USCCA,” Kreidler said. “Insurers must be authorized to sell in our state, and policies can’t cover illegal activity. These law violations are fixable, if the company wishes to do business in Washington state.”
USCCA agreed to pay a $100,000 fine and $5,457 in unpaid premium taxes, penalties and interest and to continue not selling the insurance in Washington state. Fines assessed by Kreidler are deposited in the state’s general fund to pay for state services.
Additionally, USCCA was illegally acting as an insurer. Insurance companies must be authorized to sell policies in Washington state, and their policies must be reviewed and approved by Kreidler’s office.
USCCA voluntarily stopped selling membership and the protection plan in Washington on Jan. 30, 2019.
The protection plan says it excludes coverage for “criminal acts” and only covers “acts of self-defense.” However, the policies had no mechanism to make sure that payments made to policyholders who were later convicted of a crime were repaid to the insurer.
No, it may not have had a mechanism for being repaid, probably because if people didn’t act in self-defense, they’d be in prison and unable to pay crap back. But let’s be honest, Kreidler wouldn’t have cared anyway.
See, anti-gunners don’t like insurance plans like this because they help ease people’s minds about carrying a firearm. By having coverage, they’re not looking at the possibility of being bankrupted by defending their own life. Even if they win all the legal cases, the attorney fees can still create massive financial hardship, which plans like this are meant to alleviate.
USCCA could have done everything right and they still wouldn’t have gotten authorization. That’s because Kreidler and people like him see self-defense insurance and automatically translate it to their favorite euphemism, “murder insurance.” They have bullied the media and the public to see these insurance plans as just that.
What they fail to acknowledge is how expensive it can be to defend yourself in a court of law for a valid defensive shooting. Look at George Zimmerman. While I take issue with some of his actions, the evidence is clear that he needed to shoot Trayvon Martin to avoid serious injury or death. Yet politicians pushed the issue and he was prosecuted anyway. He racked up enormous legal bills that needed to be paid.
Enter insurance plans.
Yet even those are a problem.
Kreidler could have worked with USCCA to help the company comply with state regulations, but instead he just wants to throw his weight around. Washington has become an anti-gun state and this is the only way he can signal to the constituents that he’s on the right side of the gun debate. He likely wants higher office and has to show he thinks the correct way.
He doesn’t care about the Washingtonians who will face crippling debt in the face of a self-defense shooting. Those are the “wrong” kind of people for him anyway.