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 pandemic. And Americans continue to purchase guns at record levels — driven by public health and safety concerns and politics.

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.

Something else that should be carried every day is concealed carry or self-defense liability insurance. Liability insurance differs from homeowners insurance and can do several important things.

Concealed carry insurance provides emergency access to a criminal defense attorney with one call. It also provides a fund of money to pay for the expenses of experts and trial expenses should you be charged with a crime for defending your life or the lives of those you love. Finally, liability insurance provides a fund of money to protect self-defenders should an attacker decide to sue from behind bars.

For instance, in New Mexico, a defender killed a man who robbed his store. The store owner was sued by the mother of the robber. He won but paid significant legal bills.

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 polices 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, (Fla. 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.”

Concealed carry insurance works differently from homeowners insurance. It won’t protect you if someone slips and falls on your front steps. But it will protect you if you have to use your firearm in a life-or-death situation. Specifically, it insures someone acting under a claim of right in the defense of his or her life or the life of a loved one. It provides an experienced attorney paid for by the insurer.

Legal Woes

In most cases — with a few exceptions in the gun-unfriendly states — a person who shoots and kills an intruder or attacker is rarely 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.

After a 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. This could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Curtis Reeves, 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. However, it cost him his home and his financial security. And if you repel a home invader, your insurance company is probably not going to defend you should Brutus sue you from behind bars for destroying his psychic ability.

Peace of Mind

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 a concealed carry insurance policy for the same reason.