Top 5 Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You About

If you’ve been around the self-defense community for any length of time you’ve come across some form or another of self-defense “insurance.” I put insurance in “scare quotes” because most of these plans are not, in fact, as a legal matter, insurance policies for the individuals “covered.” Rather than get into a detailed discussion of insurance law, however, and to keep this stuff reasonably understandable, I’ll continue to use the phrase “self-defense insurance,” however technically incorrect it might be.

Now, the general idea behind self-defense insurance is pretty straightforward. Typically the value proposition from the company offering the coverage goes something along the lines of, “Pay us a set amount of money every month, or sometimes every year, and if you find yourself facing legal liability for the threat or use of force against another person, we’ll either provide or pay for legal services to address that liability.”

Sounds simple enough, right? Easy-peasy.

Unfortunately, there are a number of practical realities that exist, and that are almost never raised by the companies providing these self-defense insurance services, that can seriously undermine the actual value that the client receives. In other words, you’re paying money to these companies with the expectation of getting some “BIG VALUE” if you’ve had to act in self-defense, but in fact you could well end up getting very little value, or no value, or arguably even negative value, if you don’t really understand how these policies work (and don’t work!).

What I’m going to share with you in this Facebook Live is how to be aware and recognize the top five self-defense insurance traps that are lying out there waiting to trip up the uninformed.

But wait, as they say in the late night commercials, there’s more! Through the end of this week ONLY we’re also offering a 50% discount on our very popular course, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained,” designed to enable you to make a truly well-informed decision about self-defense insurance, and covering critically important facets of self-defense insurance not covered here. I’ll describe our “Self-Defense Insurance Explained” course, available online or as a DVD or both, in more detail at the end of this Facebook Live, but to be sure you don’t miss out on this sale you might want to make a note of the sale web page right now: lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

One last note: Disclaimer: The contents of this post are provided for generalized informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice you must consult competent legal counsel licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.

Ready? OK, let’s go ahead and get started.

#1 “Self-Defense Insurance is NOT a “Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card.”

One of the most common questions we get at Law of Self Defense is our recommendation for self-defense insurance. Part of what we’ll cover in this Facebook Live is how I recommend people evaluate the various offerings out there, so you get make a more informed decision.

But more to the immediate point, when folks are asking for a specific recommendation, often accompanied by other people in the class or online suggesting whatever self-defense insurance plan THEY use, I often get the sense that people view these plans, at least implicitly, like some kind of get-out-of-jail free card. In other words, so long as they have one of these plans in place, they don’t have to worry anymore about the legal issues if they have to defend themselves—whatever plan they’ve chosen will take care of all that.

It’s almost like the view the “self-defense insurance” plan like they might view a property insurance plan. If you have theft insurance on your car, or fire insurance on a storage facility, and the car gets stolen or the storage facility burns down, then the insurance company is supposed to make you whole, to compensate you for your loses, so that you’re no worse off after the theft or fire than you were before the theft or fire.

And in the context of property insurance, I think that’s a pretty fair description of how that works.

But that’s not at all how self-defense insurance works, at least with respect to any criminal liability you may be facing (civil liability, getting sued by someone you’ve injured or a member of their family, is a little different than the criminal side of things, I’ll come back to the civil side in a few moments)

The reason that self-defense insurance is so vastly different than one might imagine insurance would work is very simple—at the end of the process there’s a serious chance of jail time, if force was threatened or used outside the boundaries of the law. How great a chance of jail there is largely a function of how you conducted yourself in self-defense—as we teach in my classes, the legal defense of self-defense is extremely binary. Either your use of force was within the boundaries of the law, and you have 0% legal liability for that use of force, or your use of force was outside the boundaries of the law, and you have 100% legal liability for that use of force.

And that remains absolutely true whether you have self-defense insurance or not, because there’s NOTHING that self-defense insurance does to change ANY of that. Having self-defense insurance doesn’t change the legal standards by which your use of force will be judged. There’s no special set of more lenient rules for folks who have self-defense insurance. It’s the same rules for EVERYONE, and whether those rules are violated out of criminal malice or violated out of literal ignorance or honest mistake, the outcome is the same: Guilty.

And if you’re found guilty, guess who is going to jail? Hint: It’s not the self-defense insurance company. That’s right—it’s YOU. So, unlike property insurance, which can at least theoretically make you whole if the “covered event” happens and your car is stolen or your warehouse burns down, if you’ve used force outside the bounds of the law it’s off to jail you go, insurance or no insurance.

Now, what the insurance coverage MIGHT do for you in this process is cover your legal expenses so that you MIGHT not have to pay those costs while you are on your way to getting convicted (and I emphasize MIGHT because it’s not absolute that the plan you’ve chosen will ACTUALLY cover your legal expenses, as we’ll discuss in further detail below). But what NO self-defense insurance company CAN do is KEEP YOU OUT OF JAIL if your conduct was proveably unlawful. The only thing that can keep you out of jail is for your use of force to have been lawful, and for you to be able to communicate that truth to the jury with a compelling, evidence-based narrative of innocence.

To put it another way, if your priority is staying out of jail in the aftermath of a use-of-force event, your top priority should NOT be self-defense insurance coverage. No, your TOP priority should be getting a robust understanding of the rules by which your use of force will be judged, because it’s only by using force within the boundaries of those rules that you can reasonably expect to avoid prison.

Now, I mentioned that the role of self-defense insurance coverage was a bit different on the civil side than on the criminal side, but it’s also true that the civil side of things raises another self-defense insurance trap that THEY don’t tell you and that’ we’ll cover as #3 of our top 5.

In the meantime, we’ll now move on to the second of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You, but before we do, in case you joined us late, through the end of this week ONLY we’re also offering a 50% discount on our very popular course, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained,” designed to enable you to make a truly well-informed decision about self-defense insurance, and covering critically important facets of self-defense insurance not covered here. I’ll describe our “Self-Defense Insurance Explained” course, available online or as a DVD or both, in more detail at the end of this Facebook Live, but to be sure you don’t miss out on this sale you might want to make a note of the sale web page right now: lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

#2. The Criminal Coverage Offered Is Just Not Enough

In terms of what these self-defense insurance plans offer in terms of your criminal liability, what these self-defense insurance companies offer, as described above, is to

Here’s the problem: for many of these self-defense insurance plans, the amount of coverage they offer, in terms of the maximum they’ll pay for your criminal defense, is simply totally inadequate, sometimes catastrophically so.

Now, I should preface these remarks by noting that how much your legal defense is going to cost is largely a function of the crime with which you’ve been charged. After all, if you threaten or use force against another person there are a range of charges you might face, some much less severe than others. Obviously, a brandishing charge, if you’ve simply drawn a gun to a low ready, is a much less serious criminal charge than an aggravated battery, in which you’ve shot someone but not killed them, which in turn is a much less serious charge than murder, if you’ve shot and killed someone. (Keep in mind, any time we are talking about the legal defense of self-defense, we’re talking about a legal defense that is being raised against a criminal charge brought against us—they always come in pairs.)

Perhaps the most common type of criminal case that I consult on is the aggravated assault case. In these cases, a normally law-abiding, never been in trouble before armed citizen, displays or points his gun in a (generally successful) effort to deter a prospective attacker. Unfortunately, either the evidence surrounding the event is ambiguous, or the client innocently but clearly violated one of the rules, and now they’re charged with aggravated assault, a very serious felony.

I generally get involved in these cases quite early in the process, because that’s where I can add the greatest value—and that greatest value is to convince the prosecution to not take the case to trial. That, folks, is a great outcome and an absolute win for both me and the client. It is not, however, inexpensive.

First, for cases on which I consult, the client has to retain a locally licensed attorney to represent them during this pre-trial phase of the case, because I don’t take clients directly, my client is that local attorney who is lead counsel on the case. Then if both the lead counsel and the client agree I could be helpful, the lead counsel retains me as a legal expert to consult on the case. MY client, however, is the lead counsel.

But let’s pretend I’m not involved in the case, which would be foolish, but whatever, it happens. Let’s pretend we’re dealing ONLY with the expense of the lead counsel.

Based on my experience working with lead counsel on these kinds of aggravated assault cases, the initial retainer to that attorney is in the range of $30,000. If the charges get dismissed without the case going to trial, that should be the extent of the legal expenses.

Now, that kind of cost is generally well within the range of what the most common self-defense insurance companies offer for criminal liability. If the plan promises a maximum of $150,000, or even just $50,000 in coverage, well you’re probably good to go, financially speaking, in the above scenario. So that’s good—IF THAT IS WHAT HAPPENS, that the charges get dismissed before trial.

But that $30,000 covers ONLY pre-trial expense. It does NOT cover TRIAL expense. And trial expense can easily be TEN TIMES that $30,000, so now we’re looking more at something around the $300,000 figure.

Of course, things only get MUCH more if we’re talking not about aggravated assault, in which no one was hurt, and indeed in most cases not even a single shot was fired, but if we’re talking about an attempted murder or murder trial, which can be a MULTIPLE of that aggravated assault trial. Just how expensive can a murder trial get? Well, in the well-known trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in lawful self-defense, one of the lawyers representing Zimmerman told me after the case was over that the total cost of that defense exceeded $1.5 MILLION. Now, that was an unusually costly case, but nevertheless—clearly, it happens.

Well, now if your plan maxes out coverage at around $50,000, or even $150,000 or $250,000, it’s not hard to see that the maximum coverage is way, way below what the maximum financial exposure can easily be in a felony criminal trial.

So what do you do? You either sell your home, your business, and beg/borrow whatever you can from family and friends to finance the legal defense you NEED to get acquitted … OR you simply go with an inadequate legal defense and hope you get a lucky break rather than a decade or two or forever in prison.

It’s noteworthy that the companies that also offer civil coverage typically have a maximum coverage of about $1 million on the civil side of things, but even that is subject to an important condition, so let’s address the civil side of things now, and take a look at the third of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You

Before we do that, in case you joined us late, through the end of this week ONLY we’re also offering a 50% discount on our very popular course, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained,” designed to enable you to make a truly well-informed decision about self-defense insurance, and covering critically important facets of self-defense insurance not covered here. I’ll describe our “Self-Defense Insurance Explained” course, available online or as a DVD or both, in more detail at the end of this Facebook Live, but to be sure you don’t miss out on this sale you might want to make a note of the sale web page right now: lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

#3. A Good Decision on the Criminal Side Can Lose Your Civil Coverage

Many of the companies offering self-defense insurance provide both criminal and civil coverage. The criminal coverage, and why I feel it’s inadequate, I covered above, so let’s look now at the civil coverage, and the third of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You.

A number of the companies offering civil coverage as part of their self-defense insurance plans typically provide a maximum of $1 million dollars in civil coverage.

Now, I’ll tell you up front, I don’t claim great expertise on the subject of monetary awards in civil cases. There ARE real experts out in the legal community on that subject, but I’m not one of them. So, is $1 million in coverage ADEQUATE on the civil side of things? Remember, we’re talking about the money you’ll have to pay for having injured someone, generally physically, but perhaps just emotionally, and of course it could theoretically be more than ONE person suing you. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if someone expert in this subject were to suggest $1 million is in fact not nearly enough coverage. I can tell you that I rather routinely come across cases in which the monetary rewards in cases involving wrongful death (the civil claim when the person you defended yourself against dies as a result of your defensive force) very rapidly amounts to much more than $1 million.

But, again, I don’t claim expertise on that particular subject, so let’s move on to what I do want to talk about—and that is the simple legal reality that you might find you’ve lost every penny of your civil coverage, however great that coverage might have been, because you’ve been compelled to make a smart legal decision on the criminal side of the case.

Now, to understand what I’m going to talk about in this section, you need to understand that as a matter of public policy it’s generally not possible to insure criminal conduct, such that you receive the insurance benefit you triggered by your own criminal conduct. That is, you can’t buy fire insurance on a building and then go commit arson on the building and collect the fire insurance benefit—once arson is proven, you’ve lost the coverage. That just makes sense, right? Similarly, you can’t buy a life insurance policy on some other person, and then murder them and collect the life insurance benefit—once murder is proven, you’ve lost the coverage.

Well, similarly, if you buy “self-defense insurance,” it’s insurance that covers an act of lawful self-defense. If your conduct is determined to NOT have been lawful self-defense, then the use of force was criminal conduct, and there is no insurance coverage.

And here’s where we begin to see the third of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You

In the case of a person covered by self-defense insurance who goes to trial on, say, a murder charge, but who is claiming self-defense, if the jury returns a verdict of guilty that’s a final legal adjudication that the person’s use of force was NOT lawful self-defense (or he would have been acquitted by the jury), but rather was CRIMINAL CONDUCT. Well, if your criminal trial determines that your use of force was criminal conduct, guess what happens to that $1 million of CIVIL coverage you thought you had for the inevitable civil suit that’s coming? Poof, it’s gone. The self-defense insurance company has no obligation to provide civil coverage for what’s been determined to be criminal conduct.

Do any of the big and bright advertisements and promotions of these self-defense insurance companies highlight the fact that this huge $1 million of civil coverage that’s part of their plan simply disappears if you’re found guilty? Not that I’ve seen.

But this third of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You is even more subtle than that. To explain, I’ll have to give you a little real-world criminal defense legal context, however.

It’s important to understand that if you’ve used or threatened force against another person, you’ve just instantly incurred a risk you were NOT incurring just a moment ago: a greater than zero risk of going to prison. We can educate and train you on the rules governing the use of force in self-defense, and drive that risk as close to zero as possible, but the risk can NEVER be ZERO. I tell all my clients that if I have to put them in front of a jury, there’s a 10% chance they’re going to get convicted, REGARDLESS OF HOW INNOCENT THEY REALLY ARE. Juries are unpredictable, and innocent people DO get convicted. Not often, but it happens.

One consequence of this legal reality of there always being SOME risk of a conviction, no matter how innocent the client is, is that sometimes even a relatively low risk of conviction on a very serious crime is something that ought to be avoided at almost all costs. A 5% chance of conviction may sound like pretty good odds, but if it’s 5% chance of conviction on a murder charge that will end with you sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of early release, paying a relatively small price to avoid that risk may be extremely attractive from a legal perspective.

One common way that lawyers and their clients avoid those high-stake risks is to accept a much lesser, but certain, degree of liability, and of course now I’m talking about taking a plea on a criminal charge.

I can tell you that if a client is facing even a modest chance of a conviction on a murder charge, and they are often a low-level felony plea with maybe just a few years in prison, good possibility of early release from even that reduced sentence, I’m going to have a very serious conversation with that client about taking that offer—even if both the client and I believe that IN FACT he’s totally innocent of the charges and that his use of force was well within the bounds of lawful self-defense.

Why would I urge an innocent client to plead guilty a felony? Because it’s the smart legal decision to make—or, at least, to be seriously considered.

And now we get to the subtle part of this third of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You. When a client makes the smart legal decision on the criminal side, and takes that plea agreement, they are in effect admitting to that lesser crime. This is no less a final adjudication of criminal conduct than would be a guilty verdict at trial.

And we all remember what happens to your civil coverage if you get a guilty verdict at trial, right? Yep, that $1 million in coverage goes poof, it disappears, because the insurance company is not obliged to cover criminal conduct.

Incidentally, either the guilty verdict at trial or the acceptance of the plea agreement effectively loses you the civil case, as well—after all, you’ve agreed that not only were you responsible for the harm caused, and not only was your conduct negligent (the standard required for the other side to win in civil court), YOU YOURSELF HAVE ADMITTED YOUR CONDUCT WAS WORSE THAN NEGLIGENT, IT WAS OUTRIGHT CRIMINAL.

You can see, I hope, how this can create an awkward situation. You make the difficult, but legally smart decision to take the plea offer—and the moment you do you simultaneously lose any civil case that might be brought AND you lose your CIVIL COVERAGE that had been promised by the self-defense insurance company.

For some reason, I’ve never heard any of the self-defense insurance companies highlight this facet of their coverage.

That’s one perhaps not obvious way that you could entirely lose your civil suit coverage, which may be a large part of the reason why you have been paying for self-defense insurance for month or years.

It certainly isn’t the ONLY way to lose coverage, however, and not just civil coverage either, but also criminal coverage. Let’s move on those, in the fourth of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You

Before we do that, in case you joined us late, through the end of this week ONLY we’re also offering a 50% discount on our very popular course, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained,” designed to enable you to make a truly well-informed decision about self-defense insurance, and covering critically important facets of self-defense insurance not covered here. I’ll describe our “Self-Defense Insurance Explained” course, available online or as a DVD or both, in more detail at the end of this Facebook Live, but to be sure you don’t miss out on this sale you might want to make a note of the sale web page right now: lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

#4. Triggers That Instantly Lose Your Self-Defense Coverage

Well, we’ve just talked about one perhaps not obvious way that you could entirely lose the civil suit coverage which is a large part of the reason why you probably have been paying for self-defense insurance for months or years.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only way to lose your civil coverage, and indeed it can be surprisingly easy to lose your criminal coverage as well. How? By triggering one of the many exceptions that self-defense insurance plans don’t talk about much, but which are contractually built into what you’re paying for.

Some plans, for example, only cover self-defense involving firearms, or some limited set of defensive weapons. From a self-defense law perspective, however, this is just silly.   So long as your defensive force is actually necessary and proportional to the threat you are defending against, the law doesn’t care precisely what tool or object you use to defend yourself. If the use of a gun would be lawful, then the use of a knife would be lawful, the use of a car would be lawful, indeed dropping an anvil on your attacker’s head as the roadrunner often did to Wiley Coyote would be lawful.

Yet there are self-defense insurance companies out there that will cover you if you defend yourself with a firearm, but NOT if you defend yourself with a folding knife.

It’s pretty well known that I carry a firearm for personal protection, and have most every day of my adult life. But only, of course, where it’s lawful for me to do so. There are, sadly, a few places where it’s not lawful for me to carry a gun, in which case my primary default defensive weapon will be my folding knife. Have I just lost my self-defense insurance coverage if I’m attacked by some psychopath intent on taking my life, and defend myself in perfect accordance with the law?

What if I’m someplace where I can’t even carry my folding knife, such as the secured area an airport? Well, many common objects can be used in self-defense, even though they’ve never been designed or intended to be used as weapons, and therefore are permitted even past security. If I use such an object to save my life, or the life of others, in lawful self-defense, will my self-defense insurance company exercise its option to not cover me, because I didn’t use a gun?

And that’s not the only way a good guy, or gal, can unknowingly trigger an exception to their self-defense insurance coverage.

Many self-defense insurance plans, for example, will not cover your act of self-defense if you are intoxicated at the time. Well, on the surface this makes sense, at least for some scenarios. We certainly don’t want people getting juiced up in a bar, waving guns around, and then trying to justify that kind of conduct as lawful self-defense that an insurance plan should cover.

But not every possible scenario is that extreme. What if you’re at home, having a backyard party, and the adults are responsibly enjoying a few drinks—and then there’s a home invasion. If you manage to secure your handgun from the living room lockbox and defend yourself—in TOTAL accordance with the law of self-defense, and without acting negligently, despite having had a couple of beers—will your self-defense insurance plan deny you coverage because of those two beers? CAN they?

Here’s another remarkable example: I know of at least one self-defense insurance company that had, and may still have, as an exception to coverage any use of force event that could be characterized as domestic in nature. So, definitely including, for example, a wife defending herself from her husband, even if that husband is abusive and she’s taken a restraining order against him. Even more surprising, this plan would refuse to cover a woman who defended herself against a simple date. That’s right, accept an invitation to dinner from an apparent suitor, defend yourself against him when he tries to rape you in the car on the way home, and no coverage for you. the rationale? Well, the woman should have used better judgment in choosing her dates.

There are, of course, many other scenarios that can trigger an exception to a self-defense insurance company’s apparent obligation to provide coverage, far too many to cover them all here. My main point in discussing this fourth of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You is to alert you to the fact that these kinds of exclusionary triggers, exist, they’re common, and you don’t really know what your plan will or won’t cover unless you know what their particular exclusionary triggers are. Be an informed consumer, read the fine print.

Before we do that, in case you joined us late, through the end of this week ONLY we’re also offering a 50% discount on our very popular course, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained,” designed to enable you to make a truly well-informed decision about self-defense insurance, and covering critically important facets of self-defense insurance not covered here. I’ll describe our “Self-Defense Insurance Explained” course, available online or as a DVD or both, in more detail at the end of this Facebook Live, but to be sure you don’t miss out on this sale you might want to make a note of the sale web page right now: lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

#5. The Two Types of Plans I NEVER Recommend

OK, we’re just about at the end, we’re at the fifth of the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You.

Self-defense insurance programs come in a bewildering variety of forms, and each seems to possess a unique basket of goods and services (e.g, magazines, training, etc.) that isn’t quite EXACTLY the same as any of the others, so making a purely apples-to-apples comparison can be really tough, if not impossible.

But there are two types of self-defense insurance plans that I simply can NEVER in good conscience recommend to anyone.   By general category these are plans that are largely or entirely reimbursement programs, and plans that limit your choice of attorneys to what they provide you.

There are some rather prominent self-defense insurance plans that are largely or entirely reimbursement programs. That is, rather than pay your legal expenses as they are incurred, they may offer a relatively modest amount of money up front, generally perhaps enough to cover most bail and pre-trial expense for lower level charges (e.g., NOT murder or manslaughter), but the large bulk of their coverage is not given to you until (and unless) you are acquitted at trial.

In some sense, this kind of makes sense, at least from the insurance company’s perspective. After all, nobody can know FOR LEGAL CERTAINTY if your use of force was lawful self-defense until a final verdict at trial or some other final adjudication, like a self-defense immunity hearing. If they are paying your legal expenses as the trial proceeds, and then you’re found guilty of the criminal charge, they’ve been paying the legal expenses of a (now adjudicated) criminal. Who would want to do that?

From the individual perspective, however, such a reimbursement plan is fundamentally defective. I hate to say it, but it’s simply reality that a large factor in GETTING acquitted at trial IS the level of resources you can bring to the table. Imagine that the trial is a battle—because it is. You don’t need your army (e.g. legal resources) AFTER YOU’VE WON the battle. You need your army (e.g., legal resources) TO WIN the battle. If you’re going to be left to your own resources to wage the actual battle, you might be settling for a $30,000 trial defense that is all you can afford rather than the $300,000 legal defense you need—or you may be selling your home or business to fund that $300,000 legal defense. In the first case you’ve greatly increased your chances of getting convicted—in which case the insurance company owes you NOTHING, as already discussed. In the latter case you may win, and get reimbursed—but that doesn’t get you back your home or your business.

And think about that—what’s in the best interests of the insurance company? That you get acquitted? Or that you get convicted? If you get CONVICTED they get to KEEP ALL THEIR MONEY. When I’m in a partnership, I’d rather the interests of me and my partners are aligned with, rather than contrary to, each other.

And if any such company tells you to not worry about the fact that they are largely or entirely a reimbursement plan, feel free to laugh in their face—that’s what every single criminal defense attorney in the country is doing. We all know, if we don’t get paid up front, we never get paid. Either our client is acquitted, which is a good outcome, but now facing the choice of selling their home or business to pay us rather than shelter and feed their children—and how do you think that decision is going to come out?—or the client gets convicted and they CAN’T pay us.

So, unless the self-defense insurance product is going to be committed to paying your legal expenses as they are incurred, they’re absolutely off the table as an option as far as I’m concerned.

The other kind of self-defense insurance product I simply can NEVER recommend in good conscience are those that compel you to accept a lawyer they provide, or alternatively to select a lawyer from their list of affiliated lawyers.

I hate to say it, but not all lawyers are great. In fact, some lawyers just plain suck. If you’ve been charged with a felony, you are looking at potentially many years in jail. You do NOT want a sucky lawyer. After all, if the lawyer blows the case, it’s not the LAWYER going to prison. And this case may take months perhaps years, to get to a final adjudication. During that entire time the rest of your life is in this lawyer’s hands. You need someone YOU have absolute confidence in, and not to be stuck with some lawyer who perhaps seems not as completely on the ball or committed to your case as you would like.

Also, think about this—what’s in the best interests of the insurance company? Do provide you with a top-shelf, very experienced, demonstrably capable, but really costly lawyer, that THEY are going to have to shell out a lot of money for? Or a less experienced, less capable, more junior, and LESS COSTLY lawyer?

Another factor here is that some of these self-defense insurance programs are built around networks of affiliated lawyers. In essence, these lawyers agree to represent members of the program, and to do so for some set flat fee that the program will pay them. Let’s say that flat fee is $50,000 per client.

Well, if the particular client is charged with aggravated assault, and no shots were fired, no one was injured, the facts look pretty good for self-defense, and the prospects are good that the charges will be dismissed before trial, $50,000 may well be more than adequate for that purpose.

But what if the client has fired shots, someone was not only injured but they were killed, and the criminal charge is murder? Well, then we have a problem—no lawyer is going to take a murder case to trial for $50,000—at least, no lawyer who cares about supporting himself. What happens, then, is the client suddenly discovers that although he’s entitled to choose a program from the affiliate network, the affiliated lawyers are entitled to decline to take the case—and in fact, NONE OF THEM WILL TAKE THE CASE. It’s not much of a self-defense insurance program if their promise of legal counsel can’t actually be met.

So, the only plans I recommend are the ones that allow you to choose your own attorney, rather than limit you to one attorney or a limited list of affiliated attorneys that they provide.

Wrap-UP

OK folks, that’s all I have for you today on the Top Five Self-Defense Insurance Traps THEY Don’t Tell You About

Before I go, one last reminder that you can get out very popular guidance on the various self-defense insurance programs and how to evaluate them and choose the one that’s best for you, at lawofselfdefense.com/insurance, and if you do that THIS WEEK you can get that course either online, or as a DVD, or BOTH, at half the usual price.

What do we cover in that course? Fundamentally what we do is teach you how to evaluate these various programs in the appropriate legal context of how the criminal justice system actually deals with use-of-force cases.

We talk about what the legal battlefield REALLY looks like and how it operates pre-trial, during the trial, and even post-trial in the event you’re appealing a conviction.

We talk about the two essential resources you need to have the greatest chance to be victorious on that legal battlefield—money and expertise—and how and when you need to be able to bring those resources to the fight.

We talk about some obvious and some not-so-obvious limitations and exclusions that various self-defense insurance programs put in place that can greater diminish their real-world value in helping you win your legal fight.

We talk about the five leading self-defense insurance providers and put them in context with one another.

We do all of that not so much to encourage you to pick any one self-defense insurance provider over another, or even to convince you to get self-defense insurance at all, but rather to enable you to make that decision as to what best meets your particular needs in an informed way.

Finally, we close with some next steps we urge you to consider to make yourself hard to convict.

And this week ONLY you can get all of that for half the usual price, at lawofselfdefense.com/insurance.

I also want to mention right up front that I do personally carry self-defense insurance for myself and my family, and my personal choice is CCW Safe. That doesn’t necessarily mean that CCW Safe is the best choice for YOU, your circumstances and needs are invariably be different than mine, and it’s possible that a different self-defense insurance provider or perhaps no insurance at all is best for you.

I do consider the self-defense insurance offered by CCW Safe to be a sufficiently strong option that you owe it to yourself to take a look at the plans they offer, and Law of Self Defense has partnered with CCW Safe to facilitate your ability to do that.

You can learn more about CCW Safe and their plans by pointing your browser to lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe. Even better, if you make the informed decision that they ARE the best choice for you, you can save 10% on your membership by using the discount code LOSD10 when you sign up.

OK, that’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed this rare Facebook live event from Law of Self Defense, and remember:

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

–Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

P.S. This is the week we’re running our 50% sale on one of our best-selling courses, “Self-Defense Insurance Explained.” The sale ends Friday, though, so if you’re interested in learning more, point your browser to lawofselfdefense.com/insurance

Disclaimer: The contents of this post are provided for generalized informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice you must consult competent legal counsel licensed to practice in the relevant jurisdiction.

2019 © Law of Self Defense LLC

Leave a Comment