Thursday, August 31, 2017

CCW Insurance (Redux) [Updated]

We've blogged before on insurance designed to protect your assets should you be in a situation where you had to use deadly force:

"Our ErieSecure Home policy with the Select bundle now includes criminal defense cost reimbursement"

Which is nice, but Andrew Branca, the guy who literally wrote the book on self-defense, told me that "it's a reimbursement-type program," with which he wasn't much impressed.

But that was then, and this is now, and our friend Bill M has tipped me to this potentially helpful alternative:

"The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) provides a policy for its members designed to provide immediate assistance after an incident."

The plans, which range from about $150 to $350 a year (depending on level of protection), cover attorney's fees, bail, even counseling (interesting, that). And they're specifically geared to cover intentional acts, not just accidental discharges.

I reached out to the folks at USCCA, asking if we can choose our own attorney or if they assigned one. They replied:

"Yes, you may choose your own attorney. We have a network of criminal defense attorneys that you can choose from. However, you most certainly choose your own. A list of our attorney network is provided to members on their dashboard."

Which is a good thing.

I've reached out to Andrew for his take, and will update this post with his reply.

UPDATE: So it turns out that Andrew is on the USCCA's Legal Advisory Board, so he's very familiar with the program:

"Pluses: They let the member choose their own lawyer, they don't attempt to manage the lawyer-client relationship, they don't question the lawyer's fees or ask what he's doing with the money, and they pay the retainer and other legal expenses as they are incurred.

Those are huge advantages over most of their competitors. The one down-side is that they cap criminal legal coverage [at a less-than-impressive number]. That's fine for pre-trial expenses on a non-killing charge. Too little for pre-trial on a killing charge, too little for an actual trial

He and his colleagues have advised the USCCA folks of this shortfall, so that may change. The bottom line is that this seems to be a viable, cost-effective insurance plan.
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