This information is provided to educate our members and is not an endorsement of any particular plan.
Lately there have been a lot of new companies trying to sell different forms of self-defense insurance. None that I am aware of are true insurance plans. They are membership organizations sometimes with an insurance company backing them. You should be very careful when purchasing any of these plans since there are a wide variety of plans with very different coverage. It is your responsibility to make sure that you know what you are getting.
None of the plans in my opinion offer everything that a person might need, but if you shop carefully, the right two plans should cover almost anyone's needs. Because of the different needs of individuals Florida Carry cannot make a recommendation on what company you should buy this coverage from, but the companies listed at the bottom of this article (in no particular order) are some of the better companies on the market. This should not be taken as an endorsement, nor should you rely solely on this information in making your decision.
A few important questions need to be asked up front before purchasing any of these memberships. A bad answer to any of these questions does not mean that company is not acceptable, but you need to know what you are paying for.
1. Can you pick your own attorney, or do you have to use someone they select?
2. If you already have an attorney in mind, is he already included in their network? If not, why?
3. Do they have a referral network of attorneys and experts?
4. Do they have a 24 hour response hotline?
5. Does the plan cover you as costs are incurred or does it only pay if acquitted?
6. Does it only cover attorneys fees or other costs as well? (such as bail and expert witnesses.)
7. How long have they been in existence?
8. What organizations are they affiliated with?
9. What is covered?
Use of a firearm, possession (printing, accidental exposure), criminal attorney fees, civil attorney fees, civil damages, weapons used other than firearms, other self defense not involving a firearm?
9. What is the financial backing of the organization?
10. Is it backed by an insurance company and is that company "A" rated?
One plan that is not insurance backed that should be considered regardless of insurance backing is Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network (ACLDN). Its resources make it a contender even without insurance backing.
After carefully considering all of these factors, buy what suits your needs. Don't forget to check your homeowner's policy as well to see if it covers you for reasonable use of force in your home.
A few companies to consider (in no particular order).
Armed Citizen Legal Defense Network- www.armedcitizensnetwork.org
Defenders Choice- www.defenderschoice.com
US Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)- www.usconcealedcarry.com
Special thanks to Patrick Buckley, Esq., Consulting Attorney, Florida Carry, Inc., for his assistance with this article.
Florida Carry, Inc.