This is an article that I did not want to write. The reason why I did not want to write it, is that it goes against my basic conservative principals. But since the tragedy in Connecticut I have come to believe, that as an adjuster who investigates and evaluates insurance claims there is one step that every insurance company that sells homeowner and renters policy can take, and that step is to stop insuring guns which the homeowner or renter might have in their possession.
You might think it is unusual for firearms, not to mention ammunition, to be covered under a homeowner’s policy, but they both are. A Homeowners Special Form HO-3 will provide up to a $2,000 reimbursement for firearms that might be taken due to a theft. The same amount of coverage is available for a renter’s policy as well. No limitation up to this date is placed on ammunition.
I am obviously not saying that every homeowner or renter with a gun is a risk, what I am stating is the theft of these guns by those who mean harm to the general population is really the issue. Theft losses of firearms from homes and apartments is a leading source for procuring guns for criminals, and the news accounts which I have read indicate the Sandy Hook killer took the guns and ammunition which he used from his mother’s home.
If the weapons that homeowners and renters have in their possession are not excluded from coverage on an insurance policy, at least the insurance industry can exclude coverage for certain types of weapons, such as automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
Wikipedia reports that “the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 included the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and was a response to the public’s concern over mass shootings. This provision prohibited the manufacture and importation of certain semi-automatic firearms with certain features related to military use, such as a folding stock, pistol grip, flash suppressor, and magazines holding more than ten rounds. A grandfather clause was included which stated that these types of weapons manufactured before 1994 would remain legal. In September of 2004 the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired.”
It is a homeowners right to have firearms in their possession, for self-protection of their lives and property. However it is also my right to try to find a way to curb the use of high powered automatic and semi-automatic weapons used to kill innocent children. If eliminating the presence of these weapons from a home that is burglarized is the effort needed, I believe it is worth that effort.
I would encourage the Insurance Commissioner for California, Mr. Jones, to ask not only each insurance company selling homeowner and renters insurance in this state to ban coverage for firearms, but also to make a formal request to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners of which he is a member, to encourage insurance companies on a nation-wide basis to also consider the ban.