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Arizona Sailing Foundation

Self-Defense Insurance

Gun Owners Should Definitely Consider This Protection

 


I'm assuming that if you have a Concealed Carry Permit it's because you actually carry a weapon and would be willing to use it to defend yourself or your loved ones if your lives were being threatened. You may think that self-defense is cut and dried, but even here in Arizona, there are cases where, even though it seems to be a clear case of self defense, the shooter goes to jail, gets charged with a criminal offense, and could ultimately lose, even though he whole-heartedly believes that his shooting was completely justified.

There Are Many Reasons

There are a lot of reasons why this happens. Prosecutors often want to make a name for themselves, or they feel pressured by rioters or threats from groups of voters. Sometimes - often, actually - the person who was defending himself hangs himself by his words.

Consider the case of the hockey dad, who was convicted of killing a hockey coach, whom he only punched, but the guy had an aneurism or something and died. Odds are, he would have been fine except for what he said to the policeman. He said, "He (hockey coach) wasn't afraid of me, and I wasn't afraid of him". Bingo.

If you aren't afraid, then it's not self-defense. Lesson number one in using any weapon for self-defense: When the police come, cooperate and do what they tell you to do. But say nothing except "I was afraid for my life". Then tell them you will cooperate fully, after your attorney shows up. Then shut up, even if the police bait you.

What If?

What if you don't have an attorney? It's not like we all keep a criminal defense attorney's name and number handy. Plus, do you know how much they cost? Lots. Be prepared to be cuffed, thrown in the back of the police car, and booked into jail. Now you're facing bail.

All of this adds up quickly, and the nightmare has just started. What if you are criminally charged? How will you pay for an attorney? Do you really want to take your chances with a public defender? Your insurance, even if you have an umbrella policy, will not pay for something you did deliberately. But there is insurance for self-defense. Actually, many companies offer this kind of insurance.

Things To Remember

When you are deciding which self-defense insurance to buy, there are a couple of things to remember. Most of them reimburse you for attorney fees and such after you are acquitted. They pay a retainer up front, but that's it until it's all over. Most of them will also pay for civil suit costs, but that is also after it's all over. You simply get reimbursed.

The Armed Citizens Defense Network has a panel of experts who will look at the circumstances and cut you a check for lawyers and expert witnesses before the trial if they determine that your use of force was justified. They'll also pay for self-defense other than guns, which not all companies do. Most of them also have quite a bit of education available. Some will send you CDs, others have monthly magazines, some have online videos and/or educational content.

Only You Can Answer

Some of the self-defense insurance companies also pay for things like psychological support after the fact, interrogation and grand jury protection, aftermath cleanup, and compensation for loss of income while you're in court. Costs vary widely, and some offer three or even four levels of coverage, with discounts to add your spouse. What level of protection do you need? Only you can answer that.

For a truly justified shooting, a retainer of a few grand for a really good lawyer will probably have you back home in a couple of days. That is, unless the prosecutor decides to use your case to get himself some exposure. As I said before, what you consider to be absolutely justified can be viewed (or twisted) by others. Even if your attackers were drunk and stoned and chasing (unimpaired) you, your act of self defense could end up putting you in jail for a long time and costing you a ton of money, even if you ultimately get set free.

I did some research and made a chart of four different self-defense insurance companies. I listed what their Web sites say about their coverage, but let me make it clear that my chart is not necessarily 100 percent complete. To know exactly what insurance covers, you need to read the policy. Carefully.

NRA Endorsed Self-defense Insurance: mynrainsurance.com

LISTEN UP -- If you aren't afraid, then it's not self-defense. Lesson number one in using any weapon for self-defense: When the police come, cooperate and do what they tell you to do. But say nothing except "I was afraid for my life". Then tell them you will cooperate fully, after your attorney shows up. Then shut up. And, definitely consider self-defense insurance!

• Second Call Defense: secondcalldefense.org

• Armed Citizens Defense Network: armedcitizensnetwork.org

• United States Concealed Carry Association: usconcealedcarry.com

Be Prepared

If you have decided to carry a weapon of any kind, either be prepared to use it or leave it at home. If you do carry a weapon, part of being prepared is being prepared to pay the price if you have to use it. Even if you are in your home in a state with a castle law, you could face legal problems after using your weapon. In today's litigious society, you should definitely consider self-defense insurance.

 

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