Renter's Insurance and Home defense.

Renter's Insurance and Home defense.

This is a discussion on Renter's Insurance and Home defense. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently moved and my wife and I just went last night to set up our renters policy (State Farm). As a part of the ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    Renter's Insurance and Home defense.

    I recently moved and my wife and I just went last night to set up our renters policy (State Farm). As a part of the coverage it lists "Covered Law Suits". I asked about this further. He of course explained that if we had friends over and someone fell, they would cover it if they decided to sue. I asked, "What if someone broke in while we were home and attacked myself or my wife and I shot him" (Rightous Self Defense) "If his family decied to sue me in Civil court, would that be a "Covered Law Suit?" Being relatively new, the guy (not actually the agent) didn't know the answer. He asked another lady (also not the agent) who has been there for years. Her response was "It's illegal to shoot some one in your house." After assuring her that that was not the case, they agreed that they couldn't answer my question and would get back to me after speaking with the agent. If they come back and say that it's not covered, do I have any recourse? I already plan to make an appointment to go in to speak with him my self if they say it would not be covered. As I see it, that would be a lawsuit, stemming from an injury sustained in my house, and although purposely inflicted by me, would still be considered legal.

    I am of course refering to a "good shoot", where I am found to have legally defended myself.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I will say this--I caution you when talking to insurance companies about situations like this.

    I recommend you Google "bad faith insurance" and do some research to protect yourself when dealing with insurance companies. The could see you as a liability and "infer" that you are planning a pre-meditated murder and calling it justified----hey---I don't make this stuff up...your research will show that some well-known, "reputable" insurance companies do some pretty nefarious stuff.

    Just a caution. I'm interested in hearing what they say.

    Mike in VA

  3. #3
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    Also, what your agent tells you isn't worth the paper it is not written on.

    Regardless of the insurer, when push comes to payment, you can expect them to use every possible means to weasel out of paying the claim.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Sales agents just sell...

    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Also, what your agent tells you isn't worth the paper it is not written on.
    He is right - the contract wording is what matters, not what the sales agent says. I would bet that there is a clause in the contract that specifically says this. The agent has no authority to change or interpret the contract.

    The only way to get a definitive answer to your question is to let your own lawyer review the contract and give you his opinion.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Pogo has the better answer...

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    Your policy will most likely cover accidents. Shooting someone in a self-defense situation is not an accident but a deliberate act. This is what they will probably say. Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
    Your policy will most likely cover accidents. Shooting someone in a self-defense situation is not an accident but a deliberate act. This is what they will probably say. Good Luck.
    And then they will raise your rates!
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  8. #8
    Member Array amlevin's Avatar
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    Liability Insurance is carried to indemnify one against acts of negligence as well as accidental acts. If you are defending yourself in a legal manner, the Insurance company will be treading on very thin ice if they attempt to deny coverage. Your State Insurance Comissioner will probably jerk them in line with a quick letter as well as your suit for "bad faith representation".

    If you commit a "willful act" that is another story. I don't think any jury would buy an argument that one's having to defend themself against an intruder would be considered "willful". More like involuntary.

    BTW, if insurance agents and their clerks were as smart as they think they are, they would own the company rather than just sell policies.
    ""If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying, I either won't need more or, more won't help me.""

  9. #9
    Ron
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Any advice or opinions any of us gives you should not, and I repeat not, be relied upon. We all, of course, mean well, but are just guessing. As was already stated, the only thing that matters here is what your contract of insurance states. The problem is that they are usually quite lengthy, and often written in less then the clearest of language. But, you really need to take the time to read it with great care, and if it does not clearly answer your question, unfortunately at that point the only viable recourse is for you to show it to an attorney. And even those of us who are attorneys, can not really answer your question without ourselves reading the contract of inurance.

    Ron

  10. #10
    Member Array Cliffh's Avatar
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    While you're checking with them about that, you might check to see if your firearms are covered.

    Reading a thread on another board about a guys guns that were damaged in a fire.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...home+insurance

  11. #11
    Member Array djturnz's Avatar
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    The guns are covered. They allow up to $2500 for all firearms without a seperate policy for "additional Personal Property". I don't have $2500 worth ...yet.

  12. #12
    Member Array Sgt.Sausage's Avatar
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    ==> "It's illegal to shoot some one in your house."

    Insurance is based upon settling **civil** cases and have nothing to do with being "illegal" -- which implies a criminal case. Illegal or not it doesn't matter. If it is actually "illegal" and you're brought to trial in a criminal court, it still doesn't matter. Convicted or aquited, doesn't matter.

    A case I'm sure everyone is familiar with. Mr. Orange Juice Simpson. Accused of something illegal (murder). Aquited. Meaning: Not guilty. Didn't do it. Civil case goes to court and whammo! he loses.

    Civil and criminal are distinct and independent. Your insurance company has nothing to do with criminal (unless you're fraudulently filing claims) and they live purely in the civil world.

    It could be completely legal to shoot someone in your own house. A good, justified, self-defense shoot. No charges brought in a criminal case, and ... you could still *lose* a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court to the tune of several million dollars.

    Thankfully, some states have, in the past few years, started passing laws that flush these frivolous suits right down the toilet. I'm all in favor of that.

  13. #13
    Senior Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt.Sausage View Post
    ==> "It's illegal to shoot some one in your house."

    Insurance is based upon settling **civil** cases and have nothing to do with being "illegal" -- which implies a criminal case. Illegal or not it doesn't matter. If it is actually "illegal" and you're brought to trial in a criminal court, it still doesn't matter. Convicted or aquited, doesn't matter.

    A case I'm sure everyone is familiar with. Mr. Orange Juice Simpson. Accused of something illegal (murder). Aquited. Meaning: Not guilty. Didn't do it. Civil case goes to court and whammo! he loses.

    Civil and criminal are distinct and independent. Your insurance company has nothing to do with criminal (unless you're fraudulently filing claims) and they live purely in the civil world.

    It could be completely legal to shoot someone in your own house. A good, justified, self-defense shoot. No charges brought in a criminal case, and ... you could still *lose* a wrongful death lawsuit in a civil court to the tune of several million dollars.

    Thankfully, some states have, in the past few years, started passing laws that flush these frivolous suits right down the toilet. I'm all in favor of that.
    Welcome to the forums, Sarge!

    Florida has what I think should be the model law regarding civil actions resulting from a self-defense shooting.

    If such a suit is brought, there is an absolute bar to recovery if the "victim" is convicted of a criminal act justifying the shooting, or if the victim is no longer available for conviction, if a preponderance of the evidence shows that the "victim" was committing such a crime when the shooting occurred.

    In such a case, the "victim" and his attorney are responsible for the defendant's legal expenses.

    Gotta love Florida.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array dairycreek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by djturnz View Post
    The guns are covered. They allow up to $2500 for all firearms without a seperate policy for "additional Personal Property". I don't have $2500 worth ...yet.
    As one who has had a variety of renter's insurance policies over the year I will bet you a dollar to a donut that your guns are absolutely not covered. Much of the fine print will exclude things such as guns unless they are specifically mentioned in the policy. Same goes for expensive jewelry et. al.

    Such things as shootings, accidents, etc. will also usually be excluded in the fine print as well. What your agent says means absolutely nothing. What is written on your policy is the only thing that means anything in case you need to exercise your coverage. There is usually a lot of legalese language that narrows your policy to cover a little fire, a little theft, and, if your policy is really special, some very, very limited personal liability.

    Review your written policy immediately and, remember, what your agent says is neither legal or binding.
    GOOD SHOOTING
    ALWAYS PROTECT YOUR VISION AND HEARING
    De gustibus non est disputandem

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Being a former liability & property adjuster, I can just feel the love expressed here.

    Policies all vary to some degree, so the guiding document would be the actual policy/ contract. These can be rather lenghty and full of if's, and's or but' along with a LOT of legal terms. Courts hold any ambiguity or benefit of the doubt in the terms goes to the favor of the insured, and against insurance company.

    Intentional acts ( where you actually intended or planned to cause harm or damange ) and criminal acts ( things done in the commission of a crime ) are usually excluded. I strongly doubt a self defense shooting would ultimately be defined as a true INTENTIONAL ACT.

    I did have an actual case that involved a shooting that was less than clear cut as a defensive shooting. We did not provide for the complete defense of criminal case brought against the insured, but we did contribute towards it. We also took on the complete defense of the insured in the civil action that followed.

    But, you could run into some arguement, depending on the company.
    I've run into problems in the past dealing with a certain company having the initials SF both as an insured and in cases against them.

    As for coverage for the firearms, there is usually a dollar limit on coverage and exclusions as to the perils for which they are covered.

    Scheduling or adding a rider to the policy to specially cover the firearms can be had at an additional cost, which is more liberal in coverage.and sets a specific dollar amount for the guns insured. Repalcement cost coverage is worth the extra few bucks to avoid the hassle of deciding on DEPRECIATION. I highly recommend it for any guns, especially any high dollar guns.

    But , the above is just my experience and opinion and should not be relied upon. I suggest you consult your agent and attorney to see how your insurance coverage might apply and what might be best for your situation.
    Last edited by sass20485; October 12th, 2006 at 06:58 PM.

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