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175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals;

I just had an experience that brought to mind something we very seldom discuss in our self defense world.
True, we practice, read and train as well as buy or build all the new, neat stuff to shoot, stab or spray on our would-be bad guys. But what other "defense" mechanisms do we need to have in place to help keep us and our loved ones safe and sound, before during and after any kind of threat resolution.

I mean insurance in this case for our guns in particular. I could and may discuss insuring yourself as well at a later date, but for now just the guns and why.

As I said I just had an experience that brought this to light for me. I had my 590 shotgun with the surefire forestock stolen from my home. It is in a way my own fault, but for whatever reason, it is gone and I did not intend for it to be so. That left me in a position od dealing with my local police dept and my friendly insurancee agent. Neither of which I would pick to associate on my better days.

That being done and said, I will tell you that several years ago, I and one of my other instructors decided to educate ourselves and as it turned out my insurance agent at the same time.
We wound up having to make several trips to his office and spending several hours in the doing to get the answers for myself and to pass on to my students having to do with their insurance needs.
First I want to say I am not an insurance shill nor an agent and I do not deal with insurance items daily so I may have forgotten some of the material. However, I have no doubt there are very knowledgeable insurance minded people here on the forum who can correct me as well as I hope, add to this thread.

Here is the gist and this is just a reminder, but I sincerely hope everyone realizes the necessity of insuring your toys.
My agent did not know some of what I aked and needed to ask to get the necessary answers.
You must add to your basic homeowners policy to cover your guns if you have added pieces and parts that in turn add value to the gun. Example, if you have as I did a basic, Mossberg 590 12 ga shotgun that costs $400 and then I added the surefire forestock, the value of the gunn just went to $700.
I own a Winchester model 92, saddle ring carbine. It is a collector and the value (blue book) would be $1500. The replacement value would be somewhere between the blue book and what you and I know a collector would be willing to pay for the gun. BTW, you may have to have an actual appraisal for this in order for your insurance company to cover it at all.
I own a H&K P7 M13 with a blue book value of $1100. The gun is no longer made and is now on the market for in excess of $2200. Then I added the NP3 finish to the entire gun and both of the initial hi cap magazines. This alone raises the value of the gun to another $350. My normal replacement value (might) be $1100.

This is the danger you will find yourself in and not even realize it until or unless something bad happens and all of a sudden you find it necessary to turn in all of these guns for "replacement" value.
The insurance man will take one quick look at your policy and write you a check for "blue book" value period.
If you have actual collector firearms you may need appraisals for them to be covered at any price. I know, because I and my gunsmith are asked to perform these valuations for people as well as for insurance companies all the time.

FOWL, you cry. You can't do that I scream. But wait a minute, your agent replies your policy clearly states, see it right here, "replacement value only for etc., etc.".
Thats all there is folks unless you have taken the time to do two things, BOTH, list every enhancement you have made to any and all guns int your safe, (don't forget the safe) anything you have done or anything that exists that elevate the price or value of your firearms must be listed. It is much better to take a few minutes to photograph your guns individually for your records. And two, you must take the time to sit down with your agent to write additional coverage just for these items, called riders.
It is no big deal to do this and you will be very pleasantly surprised at how little it costs you to add tens of thousands of dollars of coverage for only pennies. Not exaggerating, it is true. Pennies to add perhaps $100K to your base coverage.
Now with this coverage and your list which you update annually or whenever you upgrade another firearm when the SHTHF, you have everything you need to actually replace everything in your safe.

I deal with people every day giving estimates for guns they have lost due to catastrophe or theft. Many of these are purchased from me or others know of me and my honesty in dealing with this type of situation and bring their trouble to me to help them get all they can for their loss.
It is so sad and disheartening to see them with all of the heartache they already have to suddenly realize that hey we don't have that gun listed or no you can only get this much for your guns. All because they didn't do as I am recommending that you do right now. And you better believe it happens to you. I see it and help lots of people try to deal with it almost every week. Do not be one of these wonderful people who are suddenly faced with serious trouble and don't have everything ready and in place to help you to deal with it.

First, as I said, list every gun and its' value and, be sure to take pictures of same. Be sure to list and discuss individually any gun that may be a collector, or that is no longer a production gun, to see what you will need to provide your agent in order to have any coverage at all.
Then make an appt. with your ins. agent to discuss what you need as far as coverage for your guns. Do not be surprised if he or she does not have the answers for you the first time you sit down with them. But they will get you the answers and soon. If they don't or do not provide the coverage you want and need, then isn't it good that UncleFudd brought this to your attention before it is too late and you get nothing. Find another agent quickly as you cannot afford that one at any price.

Yes, this insurance is also the one you need to have and to check for coverage of yourself and loved ones personally. But that is for another thread at a later date.

I sincerely hope this will help to motivate even one of you fine people to do something actually very simple yet so incredibly serious to your self defense package. Do not believe for a minute that this is not necessary or that yours is all you need. If you have not put the necessary riders on your coverage, you have at best the replacement only value on your existing policy and you may be very sadly in need if the flag goes up in your home. My first guess is that you have some guns that you will receive only the sad, I wish you had told me smile from your agent.


97 Posts

Again, another Great post and tons of Great information.

Sorry for the loss UF.

May I add that you may want to take photo's of each and every piece you have, and document the serial numbers of each and every one as well. You can keep the information on a CD, a DVD, or a Flash Drive, or even the ol' stand-by, the hand Written form. Keep a copy in your safe, one in a Safe Deposit box, or maybe at your work, some place other than your Home, incase of a fire loss,(Heaven forbid). Oh yah, Don't forget a picture of the Safe that their in too.

BUT, do NOT forget to Update each list whenever you buy or sell one of them.

I keep a copy of everything on my computer (which could crash, so not safe) on a flash drive in a safety deposit box, and at my Wife's Work. She is a Claims Adjuster! Sorry, no one likes the OL' Claims Adjuster... LOL....

As always, Stay Safe.

P.S. Again, Sorry for your loss UF.

160 Posts
I also keep a hand written copy in my safe and another one electronic version at work. I'm pretty embarrased to say that I haven't even thought about what's covered under (and at what value) my homeowners policy since ...... 2001 :shock: :oops:
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