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Homeowners insurance and the gun laws

If there's one issue guaranteed to rouse passions, it's whether there should be any positive controls on gun ownership. Although many would consider the Constitution to be a rather dry and irrelevant document, it sudden comes center stage when you think of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment protects the homeowner who wants to feel more secure. Used in defense of the home and those who live in it, the gun will usually be lawful. But, when it comes to more general use outside, the constitutional protections can be watered down by individual state laws. Despite the legitimate need for people to defend themselves, there's an equally important role for the state in trying to reduce the level of gun-related crime in our neighborhoods. The majority of people would support the stricter enforcement of the laws we have on carrying weapons in public, particularly when concealed. There's far less support for new laws.

So when it comes to insuring the contents of your home, the duty of good faith will usually apply to require disclosure of the weapons you own and keep within the home. To be lawful, most states have laws requiring you hold a license and keep the weapons in a safe place. The problem from the insurer's point of view is one of your weapons causing a death and triggering a wrongful death suit. Under normal circumstances, this action would fall under the liability part of your coverage so, in theory, the insurer could be exposed to a big loss. While not being against the literal wording of the Second Amendment giving you a right to own a weapon, insurers are concerned to limit their exposure to risk. At the very least, you have to show yourself responsible by listing the weapons and, where practical, having a lockable storage facility. The majority of insurers stop asking questions at this point, but you should always check the actual wording of the policy to ensure there are no clauses limiting their liability. One of the more common clauses says the insurer will only accept liability if your use of the weapon is reasonable.

If there's any doubt or ambiguity in any of the terms, ask for clarification in writing. When you buy a policy you need the confidence you have the cover you need as the owner of firearms. It would be unfortunately if you paid regularly only to find the insurer refusing payment on the ground the use of the firearm was not reasonable force in the circumstances. Then we come to question of theft and fire damage. It's common to find a limit on the dollar value you can claim if any of your weapons are stolen or damaged. So you need to add a schedule of agreed values to the home insurance policy if your weapons have a higher than usual value. In this, remember the deductible which may affect you decision to claim in the event of a theft. When there's more general damage to the contents of your home through fire, the amount of the deductible is less significant. Why worry about theft? Because guns are often targeted by burglars. So approach this carefully when you ask for homeowners insurance quotes from an insurer for the first time.

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