Gun Ownership and Homeowners Insurance

Homeowner policies cover many types of liability claims that may include gun-related accidents.

The term “accident” is key. Under a traditional homeowners policy, there is no specific gun-related exclusion. There is, however, an “expected or intended injury” exclusion, which contains an exception for “use of reasonable force by an insured to protect persons or property.”

Therefore, under the homeowners policy, some coverage:

  • Would be available for the accidental firing of a gun (the gun discharging while the insured is cleaning it), and
  • May be available for certain self-defense situations, if the gun firing was deemed “use of reasonable force,” something that obviously is fact-specific and subject to interpretation.

The bottom line is this: a homeowners policy generally will cover accidental discharge, and in some cases, self-defense. Only specialized policies provide additional coverage, mostly targeted at defense costs in broader self-defense scenarios. Issues of liability will be extremely fact-specific, and may also differ based on the state where the incident occurs.

Because each homeowners insurance policy may be different, E. R. Munro and Company suggests you consult with your insurance professional regarding your insurance protection if you are a gun owner.