I’ve done some other round-ups of self-defense legal plans on the blog, but things have changed in this industry to the point where an update is probably needed.
First off, it looks like the Self Defense Association is no more. Their website has nothing but a parked domain and their social media hasn’t been updated in over a year.
Secondly, the USCCA isn’t advertising their Silver introductory-level plan anymore, but it is available if you ask for it.
Thirdly, Texas Law Shield has increased their nation-wide coverage to the point where they’re available in 19 states, and have re-branded themselves as “U.S. Law Shield”.
Finally, the NRA has toned down their marketing of Carry Guard insurance quite a bit. It’s still out there, three levels down on the Carry Guard website, but the current push for Carry Guard seems to be more about the training they offer than it is about their CCW legal insurance plans.
Also, I came across a nice little breakdown of what to look for in a concealed carry legal plan, written by an actual attorney1. His list of things to look for in self-defense insurance are:
- Attorneys’ Fees Coverage
- Bail Bond Coverage
- Access To An Attorney
- Freedom To Choose An Attorney
- Civil Judgement Coverage
Which is, all in all, a good list. The only thing that non-attorney me might add to that list is the importance of “First Dollar” coverage that kicks in from Day One, versus coverage where you have to pay and then you get re-imbursed by your plan.
Do you have easy access to a half-million dollars or more in loans to cover your upfront costs? I don’t.
If you carry a firearm, I heartily suggest you spend a few dollars and sign up for a self-defense legal coverage plan of some sort. It just makes too much sense. I’ve had a number of friends get in serious legal trouble due to their defensive use of a firearm, and you don’t want to go in front of a judge with a public defender whose legal knowledge is probably limited to defending actual crooks in a court of law. Instead, you want someone who knows how to the defend the truly innocent, and that is going to cost money. Lots and lots of money.
You carry a gun because you planned ahead for a lethal force encounter. Get a legal plan to prepare for a battle inside the courtroom.
CCW Insurance Plans
|NRA Carry Guard |
|Second Call |
|Armed Citizens |
|US Law |
|“First Dollar” Coverage||Y||N*||Y||Y||Y||Y|
|Your Own Attorney||Y||Y||Y||Y||N||Y|
|Criminal Defense||$100,000||$100,000||$50,000||$25,000 + Merits||Covered||$1,000,000**|
|Civil Defense||$500,000||$500,000||$50,000||Based On Merits||Covered||$1,000,000**|
|Civil Damages||$500,000||$500,000||$50,000||Based On Merits||Not Covered||$1,000,000**|
|Bail||$5,000 / $50,000||$10,000/$100,000||$5,000 / $50,000||$25,000 + Merits||$2,500 / $25,000||$1,000,000**|
|Online Signup||Online Signup||Online Signup||Online Signup||Online Signup||Online Signup|
* Unlike the other plans, CarryGuard does not pay upfront: You pay for your attorney and whatnot, then the policy kicks in.
** Coverage for CCW Safe includes bail, criminal and civil trial attorneys’ fees and civil damages in one lump sum.
1. Do I really need to say that I am not an attorney and that this is not legal advice I’m giving out here? If so, I am. Figure it out for yourselves, and go talk to a lawyer about this stuff, because it’s a good idea. I, personally, have ACLDN and am a USCCA Affiliate.