December 2012 - Pg 15
by Gila Hayes
Once a year, we dedicate one of the editions of this journal to defining exactly what it is that the Network does. I hadn’t really planned that the December edition would be the one, but on review of this month’s articles, I found that our focus had been largely on the Network’s goals and mission, so I went with the flow, knowing that the more clearly members and prospective members understand what the Network does, the stronger our organization grows.
It is fairly easy to identify where folks are getting confused about parts of the Network’s post-incident protections: I need only read inquiries from the “Ask A Question” form on the Network’s website. For example, a recent email promotion for a self-defense insurance policy endorsed by the NRA raised a number of questions about how insurance would work in tandem with Network benefits, posed by both Network members and folks who wondered if they should be Network members. Let’s review those questions in the hope that you will find some of the questions, answers and commentary helpful.
Question: I received an email solicitation from the NRA for their affiliate insurance coverage. I’m wondering how it compares to the benefits we have.
Answer: Thank you for the “heads up.” Others, too, have noticed the NRA solicitation and brought it to my attention. Judging from a call I made to their sales agents, it appears that the NRA-endorsed insurance sold by Lockton Risk remains a plan for reimbursement, paid to the insured if a court returns a Not Guilty verdict. There is a second policy available to address liability concerns.
In general, the big difference between any insurance and the Network’s membership post-incident protections is that the Network vigorously participates in the member’s civil or criminal defense by providing financial assistance with attorney fees and providing additional legal defense resources DURING the post-incident, pre-trial and trial phases, should it go that far.
Question: I’ve heard Marty on Gun Talk Radio and this is where I heard about your Network. He mentioned the Network coverage is different than self defense insurance. Do you also have this type of insurance?
Answer: The Network does not sell insurance, and frankly, there is a fair bit of argument whether nor not the liability coverage included in most of the self-defense insurance plans is a good idea. Generally these policy’s liability limits are extremely inadequate compared to the dollar amounts usually awarded in wrongful death suits, and yet the hint of getting anything out of an insurance company’s “deep pockets” may attract a plaintiff’s attorney and encourage a civil complaint requesting damages. In civil court, you can lose if the trier of fact deems it a mere 1% more likely than not that you are liable. Taking this discussion further becomes something of a philosophical debate, and so the Network takes no side in encouraging or discouraging its members to have or not to have self-defense insurance in addition to Network membership protections.
Question: Do you have any advice for people who have other insurance for self defense who are thinking about joining your organization?
Answer: Because so many armed citizens have self-defense insurance policies, prospective members often ask if the Network would withhold benefits from members who also have self-defense insurance.