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Insurance for Firearms
#1
Back around the end of May, my area of Delco got hit with a nasty hail storm that did a number on my roof and siding. Long story short, I ended up putting in my first loss claim after 20 plus years of homeownership. In the past I never thought much about homeowners insurance, it was just something the mortgage company required and it got escrowed along with the taxes so it was out of sight and out of mind.

Now that I've actually had to use it I've been scrutinizing my coverage and I can see that there are a few areas where I am under insured. I read my policy carefully and even though it covers the contents of my house, it seems they will only cover firearm losses up to $2000. I don't own any guns that are very expensive by themselves but as a collection they would put me over the limit. My first thought would be to get a rider to cover the shortfall in coverage but I'm not sure if it's wise to discuss this with my insurance company. Will they be glad to hear from me and happily sell me a rider or will they suddenly decide that I'm a dangerous gun owner and require me to boost my liability insurance? I think I've seen offers for separate firearms insurance mixed in with all the crap the NRA mails me, would that be a better way to go?

I did a few web searches and found some places that seem to specialize in this sort of thing but I got a little confused. They kept referring to a term "schedule" that I just couldn't understand in the context it was being used. Has anyone investigated this or purchased a policy from one of these places? Did they require documentation of the individual firearms? Does it cover ammo hoards? (which I totally don't have) Just to clarify, I'm looking for loss insurance for fire or theft in the home. I don't need coverage for boating accidents (ahem) or theft from a vehicle.
Ammunition, it's the new lead bullion. Buy it cheap and stack it deep.
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#2
I would call without giving your name, act like you are shopping for a new policy, then ask all those questions about whether you can get extra coverage for firearms, or if they make your insurance go up. Throw in a question about a German shepherd or something too if you want, so they know you are trying to find out what they consider dangerous. Then you'll know and you can act accordingly.
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#3
I have additional insurance on my firearms. Like you, I don't own anything expensive, but collectively they exceed the limit a routine homeowner's policy covers. I have State Farm, and they cover my firearms and home, without any questions or jacking my rates. All they asked for was a list of weapons, and estimated value, in case they need to get replaced.
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DeadEye, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Jun 2013.
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#4
We also have State Farm and they wanted the list of all our firearms / descriptions / serial numbers / estimated value. Needless to say we have figured out the amount that we are covered for other household goods will cover any cost of lost or damaged firearms. We are covered for more than what everything is worth, a lot more.
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"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities - Voltaire"
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#5
My Erie policy had a cap on firearms loss that was less than what I needed. I added an appropriately sized rider to the policy without giving any specifics on what I already owned.
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#6
Generally speaking, you have little to worry about insurance company wise in PA. In a State like Illinois or New York may be a different story. From my research, your local insurance is a better deal than something offered by the NRA but if the NRA is your only option, then you have to take it. Like everything else, make sure you read the fine print on the coverage, if you can, before you purchase it. Some policies are so limiting, you may not be able to file a claim and get payment or replacement from them.
sgtsandman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2014.
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#7
gnbrotz;153274 Wrote:My Erie policy had a cap on firearms loss that was less than what I needed. I added an appropriately sized rider to the policy without giving any specifics on what I already owned.

This is good to know. I didn't buy all these long guns sans-FFL just to enter complete records of them in some other database.

Wink
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#8
Tootie;153273 Wrote:We also have State Farm and they wanted the list of all our firearms / descriptions / serial numbers / estimated value. Needless to say we have figured out the amount that we are covered for other household goods will cover any cost of lost or damaged firearms. We are covered for more than what everything is worth, a lot more.

That's not atypical, I have some individually valuable items covered under a Valuable Personal Property rider, and they requested unique markings and descriptions (serial numbers if they had it) so that they can have some sort of proof you own the actual object.

Like you, I'm not comfortable handing that info over about every gun I own. Though If I had a very rare or expensive firearm, I would certainly ensure that is insured separately. I would do this with any item that had a "stamp" also, especially since that is a "known" gun by authorities anyway.

For my regular guns? I've got 2k worth of coverage from USAA, so I figure that would cover some of them, or the ammo.

Having had to deal with Insurance companies a few times in the past for losses in recent years, they want proof of what you're claiming for is damaged, the replacement cost, and in the case of electronics something from a qualified repair technician what it would cost to repair.

I lost a treadmill, two TV's, entertainment system, 3 game systems, couch, clothes, books, furniture, ACs, and other similar household stuff in addition to actual damage to the home itself. Damage to the house is easy, they send someone out, you go with them or not, and if you do they do the work and you sign checks...the rest is nerve racking.

They wanted proof I bought the electronics (I think they released more funds as I bought replacements) but for the household stuff that was ruined they just sent me a check. Replace what I want.

I didn't replace all of it, and of course the electronics were better then what I had due to age and all. But for the household stuff, they didn't care if I bought different, same, or something entirely different.

Unless you're a minimalist, if you have significant damage that will destroy all of your guns the odds are incredibly high that you'll not only get enough back to replace the stuff you care about, but will still get your guns back and maybe even add some.

The key is good records of what got lost. In my case, the stuff wasn't so damaged I couldn't get pictures. Plus, since they were looking at the damage for repair from the company they sent to fix, they knew the event happened and it was all corroborated.

I take pictures now and then of stuff in the house, mainly bookshelves, blu rays/dvds, games, and other stuff I know they'll nitpick on. I record serial numbers, privately, for the stuff (like electronics) that I know they'll want since they're bigger ticket items and costlier to replace.
Vampire pig man since September 2012
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#9
Tootie;153273 Wrote:We also have State Farm and they wanted the list of all our firearms / descriptions / serial numbers / estimated value. Needless to say we have figured out the amount that we are covered for other household goods will cover any cost of lost or damaged firearms. We are covered for more than what everything is worth, a lot more.

I talked with my State Farm agent today. The is true if you get a rider policy but not true if you just go with what your home owner's or renter's policy offers. You can cover up to $5,000 in firearms with no serial numbers or any other information. For a rider beyond that amount, you will need to take what you wish to be covered to an arms dealer or a shop to have it/them appraised in writing on their company letter head. The exception is if a firearm has been purchased within two years and you still have the sales receipt.

The disadvantage of just going with what your home owner's policy is the deductible would still need to be met in the case of a claim. A rider has no deductible, so every is covered. Bumping up my renter's policy from $2,000 to $5,000 will cost me about a $1.00 a month more. I'll have to decide what over flow I have I wish to get appraised for the rider. If I remember correctly, it's $1.00 for every $100 covered. So in my case, I'll be looking at about $5.00 a month more to cover the remaining $6,000 in firearms I have.

Emptymag;156220 Wrote:
gnbrotz;153274 Wrote:My Erie policy had a cap on firearms loss that was less than what I needed. I added an appropriately sized rider to the policy without giving any specifics on what I already owned.

This is good to know. I didn't buy all these long guns sans-FFL just to enter complete records of them in some other database.

Wink

If you can swing it, your non-FFL firearms and anything using an 80% lower could be be covered under the standard homeowner's/renter's policy without any info. Anything beyond that limit, you are kind of stuck with making a declaration or taking your chances and not having coverage.
sgtsandman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2014.
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#10
As an additional thought. Any pistol you have purchased through an FFL in Pennsylvania is registered with the PSP anyway. They know you have it and have a record of it with that additional form you had to fill out when you bought it. So, throwing them on a rider would not be disclosing anything they didn't know anyway.

Rifles are only recorded at the dealer for their records of the sale and are kept on file for a limited amount of time. There is no record with the State Police or the ATF kept on file. At least not officially...
sgtsandman, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Nov 2014.
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