The New York Times has just published an article on an increased role for the insurance industry with respect to guns.
Lawmakers in at least half a dozen states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, have proposed legislation this year that would require gun owners to buy liability insurance — much as car owners are required to buy auto insurance. Doing so would give a financial incentive for safe behavior, they hope, as people with less dangerous weapons or safety locks could qualify for lower rates.Perhaps they would have a huge surcharge for the worst weapons? I think it's an interesting solution.
Some of the relevant paragraphs:
“I believe that if we get the private sector and insurance companies involved in gun safety, we can help prevent a number of gun tragedies every year,” said David P. Linsky, a Democratic state representative in Massachusetts ... “Insurance companies are very good at evaluating risk factors and setting their premiums appropriately,” he added.Whether or not you trust insurance companies in their evaluation of risk, it would bring an interesting and interested party to the table:
Groups representing gun owners oppose efforts to make insurance mandatory, arguing that law-abiding people should not be forced to buy insurance to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms. But some groups, including the National Rifle Association, endorse voluntary liability policies for their members. And as several states pass laws making it easier for people to carry concealed weapons and use them for self-defense, some gun groups are now selling policies to cover some of the legal costs stemming from self-defense shootings.
The insurance industry is wary of some of the proposals to require gun owners to buy liability coverage — and particularly of bills, like one that was filed in New York that would require coverage for damages resulting not only from negligence but also from “willful acts.”One could see that the insurance industry, if forced to provide this coverage, could be a powerful ally in finding ways to reduce gun violence.
Robert P. Hartwig, the president of the Insurance Information Institute, said that insurance generally covered accidents and unintentional acts — not intentional or illegal ones. “Insurance will cover you if your home burns down in an electrical fire, but it will not cover you if you burn down your own house, and you cannot insure yourself for arson,” he said.
I think we're making progress in this issue, folks. Please add your thoughts and opinions below.
Tired of politics? Need to escape? Try my Greek mythology based novels, either the story of Oedipus from the point of view of Jocasta, or a trilogy about Niobe, whose children were murdered by the gods - or were they?