View Full Version : Personal liability insurance and self defense

05-02-2006, 2:00 PM
Does anyone know insurance carriers that will provide personal liability coverage for acts of self defense? And no, NRA's coverage for this is a joke.

1. Most personal liability coverage is an optional item on homeowner's insurance policies.
2. Policies usually state liability coverage does not apply for intentional acts.
3. Self defense (as in shooting someone) is, by definition, an intentional act.
4. Therefore unless the intentional act exclusion has an exclusion for acts of self defense, personal liability insurance does not cover self defense. (Two negatives make a positive.)
5. One wrinkle is some state courts have ruled self defense is covered by personal liability regardless of what the policy says. Unfortunately I don't know if CA is one of those states. I doubt it.
6. This is not something you can "take your agent's word" on. If it isn't spelled out in writing then you have to assume it isn't covered.

I have State Farm homeowner's insurance. Initially I was verbally told their umbrella liability coverage applies to self defense. However when I later asked for that in writing my agent flatly stated they (meaning the head office) would never put it in writing. I can only take that to mean self defense is not covered. Not good.

Does anyone know of a major insurance carrier that issues homeowner policies in CA that offers personal liability which covers acts of self defense? And can point to a written policy that explicitly states as much?

05-02-2006, 3:16 PM
Justifiable shooting in his front yard:


Also, the secretary of Santos Linguisa was sued and her insurance paid:


Although they later sued her to get the money back...

It was explained to me in Defensive Pistol class that one should sue them first, for damages to the property.

05-04-2006, 12:01 PM
I just spoke with the CA field office for State Farm. Their umbrella liability policy does not have a self-defense clause. According to the rep coverage may or may not apply. That determination will be made at the time of the incident on a per case basis. That determination already assumes it is a legally justified case of self defense.

If it is a single incident where you had no prior contact with the other person, coverage might apply.

If you had multiple unfriendly contacts with the other person, coverage probably won't apply.

Unfortunately he couldn't provide any more guidance than that. Equally unfortunate after fifteen years with State Farm I will be looking for another insurance carrier who does offer a self defense clause. I will update if I find one that does.