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p>Many people who can see the need to protect persons injured by guns and can see the parallels for responsibility to motor vehicles have a problem with involving insurance companies.  Writing recently in a diary about possible system for requiring insurance on guns, one of the most common concerns was a distrust or even hatred of insurers.  This is understandable because insurance companies often deny claims or access to insurance; and denial is likely to be harmful and very upsetting to the person denied.  In so many areas, insurance coverage is required in one way or another and is a barrier to people getting on with their lives.  Nevertheless, insurance is necessary and it matters greatly how it is implemented.

So the question is how would the insurance experience for gun owners work out?

The system I am envisioning in my writing requires insurance to be purchased by manufacturers or importers in such a way that, to relieve an insurer of responsibility, each successive owner must take over or provide new insurance.  If the gun is lost, stolen or diverted the responsibility stays with the current insurer.  This is critical because the primary danger lawful owners make to the public is they may lose control of a gun.  An important advantage of this system is that the government only has to regulate or even know about manufacturers, importers and insurers.  There is no need to register privately owned guns for this to work. 

The legislation needed to mandate insurance would prescribe the types of incidents that would be covered and the requirements for payment.  It is very important that it be a no-fault system for two reasons, the situation in many shootings is so unclear that, even if it’s obvious there must be some kind of fault, proving it can be very difficult and protecting the privacy of gun owners is very important.  This gives insurers much less room is denying claims than in other kinds of insurance.  No-fault insurance for automobiles works well in many states, but the comparison of cars to guns is to the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage that’s part of many state systems as it applies to pedestrians, who often don’t have their own insurance.  For examples, see Florida and New York.

For the purchasers of gun insurance, it’s likely that there would be substantial competition about rates.  Gun selling businesses would work hard to make good and economical carriers available to their customers.  Because the rates would probably vary significantly for customers in different situations, with different styles of storage and use and for different types of firearms, the insurers would be competing on convenience and privacy as well as price. 

The big costs for automobile liability insurance claims are injuries and property damage rather than fatalities.  Because guns are involved in only about 2.5% as many injuries as motor vehicles, the average cost would be low.  Very generous benefits would have an average annual cost to insurers of less than $40 per gun.  Limits similar to a less generous plan such as Florida’s PIP would be less than one quarter of that.  These are averages; and particular situations would have higher or lower costs.  In particular, guns that have been in the possession of owners for substantial periods have a much smaller chance of turning up in shootings later.

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Comment Preferences

  •  go go go--- good post (0+ / 0-)

    i've been on a mantra about this--

    thanks- this needs to be the focus because it involves....


    People who say they don't care what people think are usually desperate to have people think they don't care what people think. -George Carlin

    by downtownLALife on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:11:51 AM PST

  •  Since your username is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, Kickemout

    guninsuranceblog, and since all 4 of your diaries have been on the topic of gun insurance, and since you've had little to no interaction with anyone in any other diary, or even evidence you've read any other diary, is it reasonable to assume you have a vested interest, that perhaps you SELL insurance? Generally users who intend to sell their own product are not welcome to use Daily Kos as a platform to do that.

    I get to choose, and I choose love.

    by Melanie in IA on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:59:47 AM PST

    •  About the purpose of the diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Well, actually I'm a retired manufacturer (of store display fixtures) and I'm past being in business at all.  I do think that insurance is a significant possiblity for dealing with gun violence and I'm advocating for that idea.  I'm posting about the one subject because I've been thinking about it in detail.  It would take a lot more than 4 posts to get it all out. I have specific ideas about how that would work but I'd welcome anyone coming up with better ones.  Perhaps, you would have preferred me to make it 1 very  long post or post on things I don't know anything about.   Read the posts for meaning and read the posts on the blog and see what you think.  

      •  guni - thank you for an excellent diary (0+ / 0-)

        This is a thoughtful idea and one worth exploring. It's clear that you have given this concept some real time and effort. Keep writing about it.

        Most of the diaries regarding mandatory liability insurance for firearms are veiled attempts to use cost to exclude gun ownership from the poor and middle class. I think you are focused on an inexpensive way to provide a societal benefit. You are also sensitive to the desire for individual gun owners identity to remain confidential.

        Keep the posts short and frequent. The long diaries are often ignored.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:21:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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