The ownership of these weapons and their impact on coverage was addressed by Mr. Rust.
The topic of gun violence and weapon ownership has become a massive nationwide topic of debate, recently, but the CEO of one of the largest auto and homeowners insurance companies in the United States has now announced that he feels that the subject of safety in the home should enter into these discussions.
Among all of the controversy that has been aimed at guns of late, home safety has been relatively untouched.
CEO and chairman of the board, Edward B. Rust Jr. from State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. believes that this topic needs to be addressed. He feels that the ownership of a gun “could be among a multitude of things” that are deemed to be risk factors by homeowners insurance companies when premiums are being calculated for policies. However, he did acknowledge that gun ownership alone doesn’t necessarily mean that they present a heightened risk factor.
Rust pointed out that homeowners insurance policies will be affected in different ways based on gun ownership.
While speaking in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, he participated in a homeowners insurance forum panel discussion. Following that conversation, he added that gun ownership is factor that needs to be considered in terms of property coverage, “But… whether someone owns a gun doesn’t necessarily make them a risk. … The bigger debate is, are people competent in gun ownership?”
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Over the last few weeks, some of the commentators at the forums have indicated that homeowners insurance could play an important role in the effort to mitigate gun violence. For instance, it was suggested that insurers might make offers of discounts for policyholders who do own guns but who also use safety features such as gun locks. This, for example, was the suggestion of a University of California Hastings College of the law, Marsha N. Cohen, who is a law professor.
Other suggestions that were put forth suggested that before purchasing guns, consumers would be required to provide proof of coverage such as on their homeowners insurance policies. This was proposed not only to help control gun violence, but to promote safety as a whole. The reason is that while only 2.6 percent of all gun fatalities are the result of accidents – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – that figure is rising at a staggering rate. From 2010 to 2011, it increased 37 percent, from having previously been 1.9 percent.