Many Americans are coming to the realization that the best first line of defense is themselves. According to a 2021 article published by U.S. News & World Report, 5 million Americans became gun owners amidst the COVID-19 pandemic1. And Americans continue to purchase guns at record levels — driven by public health and safety concerns and politics2. But there’s more to protecting yourself and your loved ones than buying a gun. After purchasing that firearm for protection, you need to get the appropriate defensive training and become comfortable carrying every day.

Having some sort of liability insurance to prepare for the legal aftermath of a self-defense incident is important. Liability insurance can provide funds to pay for the expenses of experts, trial expenses should you be charged with a crime for defending your life or the lives of those you love, and even funds to protect you should you be sued civilly for your act of self-defense. In the industry, this product is generally known by concealed carriers as concealed carry insurance.

SDLI Is Different from Homeowners Insurance

You might be thinking homeowners insurance would provide coverage if someone were sued for shooting a home invader. But in most states, including Florida, you’d be wrong. Homeowners’ policies contain two important exclusions or exceptions to coverage.

Homeowners’ policies do not provide coverage for “intentional acts.” It also excludes coverage for “criminal acts.” In State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. Marshall, 554 So. 2d 504 (Florida 1989), the court held the intentional acts exclusion applied to prevent insurance coverage when a homeowner shot and injured an attacker in his bedroom. Homeowners’ insurance companies routinely enforce these exclusions against policyholders and are often actually not “good neighbors.”

Professor William English estimated that a third of gun owners have used a firearm to defend themselves or their property. He also found that defensive incidents occurred 79.1 percent of the time either within the gun owner’s home or on his or her property.3

CCW insurance works differently from homeowners insurance. It won’t protect you if someone slips and falls on your front steps. But it can protect you if you have to use your firearm, or any other weapon,  in a life-or-death situation. Specifically, it ensures someone acting under a claim of right in the defense of his or her life or the life of a loved one. It may also provide an experienced attorney paid for by the insurer.

A homeowner armed with a pistol hides behind a corner as the shadowy silhouette of an armed burglar fills a lighted portion of wall in the background.

Criminal & Civil Liability

In most cases — with a few exceptions in the gun-unfriendly states — a person who shoots and kills an intruder or attacker is rarely criminally charged. But the decision to charge is made on the basis of the police investigation. That interrogation can be scary and is often done in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

If you have taken the USCCA’s Concealed Carry & Home Defense Fundamentals Class, you’ll have covered how to handle the legal aftermath of a self-defense scenario and some of the biological responses your body has to a high-stress event.

After a self-defense shooting, you are unlikely to be thinking clearly. Any time you are attacked, your body dumps adrenaline into your blood. These stress hormones, in effect, cause a chemical injury to the brain. Your recall and ability to explain things will be affected. Having time to meet with an experienced attorney and have him or her help you record your recollections before giving a statement to the police will be instrumental in retaining your freedom.

Should you be charged, a concealed carry insurance policy will provide an attorney to defend you and potentially bail you out of jail depending on the terms of the policy. This could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

For instance, a retired police detective had to defend himself in Florida for shooting a man who assaulted him. He had a comfortable home and well-funded retirement. He endured years of legal uncertainty before finally winning his freedom. Even though the court eventually found the retired officer’s self-defense justifiable, legal expenses cost him his home and his financial security.

Then you have to also worry about civil liability even if you are not criminally charged by the police or a jury finds you not guilty.

For example, an employee of a smoke shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico, shot and killed a man when he and an accomplice broke into the shop. The police called the shooting justified. However, the man’s widow found an attorney to recast the events of the shooting and portrayed the employee as the villain. She sued the employee, the smoke shop, the owners of the smoke shop and the Albuquerque Police Department. While the court ruled in favor of the defendants, they still incurred significant (and unnecessary) legal bills.

Is Concealed Carry Insurance for you?

Do you need concealed carry insurance? If you drive, you’re required to carry insurance. And most of us would anyway to ensure our lives would not be turned upside down by litigation. You’re smart enough to carry a firearm to defend yourself, even though you likely have never had to use it. You should carry some form of a self-defense-related liability policy for the same reason.

The USCCA’s premier education and training helps responsible gun owners avoid danger, save lives and keep their loved ones safe. 

That’s why the USCCA’s Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals Class is crucial whether you’re considering a concealed carry permit for personal defense for the first time or you’re an experienced permit holder looking for a refresher course. It will teach you essential handgun fundamentals, go beyond the legal requirements for obtaining a CCW permit, assist you in crafting a comprehensive home-protection plan and more.

USCCA Members get access to the Protector Academy – an educational library from firearm experts within the USCCA and across the firearms training industry that covers at-home drills, situational awareness, tactics, training concepts, and more.

Learn More About USCCA Membership



1 Amy Norton, “5 Million More Americans Became Gun Owners During Pandemic,” U.S. News & World Report, December 21, 2021,

2 Joe Walsh, “U.S. Bought Almost 20 Million Guns Last Year — Second-Highest Year On Record,” Forbes, January 5, 2022,—second-highest-year-on-record/?sh=7859d2e13bbb.

3 William English, “2021 National Firearms Survey: Updated Analysis Including Types of Firearms Owned,” Georgetown McDonough School of Business, Research Paper No. 4109494, Social Science Research Network, May 13, 2022,