Washington state puts NRA gun insurance under the microscope

The branded insurance program is being accused of providing coverage for criminal conduct.

Washington state has launched an investigation into an NRA gun insurance policy. The examination follows criticisms claiming the coverage provides protection for criminal conduct.

The policy is a branded form of coverage for gun owners, called Carry Guard Insurance.

The Carry Guard insurance policy advertises “We prepare for so much that leads up to pulling the trigger. Are you prepared for what happens after?” through a marketing video. The NRA gun insurance policy can be purchased online and offers a range of different coverage levels. The lowest end of the spectrum is for $250,000, but coverage is offered as high as $1.5 million. Premiums are highly affordable, ranging from $155 to $360 annually.

A number of states have already questioned the legality of the NRA branded firearms insurance. For example, New York state regulators determined that the coverage violated the laws there as it provided coverage for “intentional wrongdoing.”

Washington is the most recent among the states to put the NRA gun insurance into question.

“On the insurance that they are selling I don’t think there is any question that that is illegal and violative of public policy,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Carry Guard Insurance policies are currently being sold in Washington state. “It makes me nervous that you could wind up with a policy that effectively winds up covering somebody who has committed a criminal act. Now I don’t know that to be true,” said state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler.

A gun owner with the Carry Guard policy is insured against civil lawsuits for acts carried out in self defense. That said, it will even provide coverage for costs in cases of criminal defense, according to Carry Guard policy documentation.

Selling insurance coverage for criminal activity is not legal in Washington State, said Kriedler. Moreover, the coverage would pay for the cost of lawyers before courts would be provided with the opportunity to determine whether or not an act truly was self-defense.

NRA gun insurance - Magnifying glass“We want to make sure that it’s a noncriminal activity that’s going to wind up being covered. Not one where the individual winds up in court, then it’s determined that you’ve committed a criminal act as a part of self-defense,” said Kriedler when discussing the investigation into the NRA gun insurance policy.

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