Three out of four Americans think gun owners should have firearms liability insurance.
Those are the numbers from a new ValuePenguin survey of 1,995 people ages 18 to 77 examining attitudes about the role insurance can play in reducing gun violence.
While some may say it’s not the insurance industry’s place to get involved in the nation’s ongoing debate over gun control requirements, insurance has long been an instigator and standard bearer when it comes to promoting and enforcing gun control measures. safety that protect people and property.
Insurance leads to safety
Insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who buy vehicles with safety features and homeowners who install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, for example. To encourage safer gun ownership practices, insurers could give discounts to gun owners who show they’ve purchased gun safes and implemented other gun safety measures, even in jurisdictions that don’t require them.
And survey participants recognized the parallels, putting support for liability insurance for guns (75%) in the same class as support for liability insurance for homes (72%) or cars (84%).
Currently, most insurers do not require disclosure of gun ownership, ValuePenguin said. Compulsory gun insurance could change that and lead insurance companies to require policyholders to declare gun ownership and perform background checks on firearms, including those purchased from private dealers or gun shows.
Insurance coverage and gun costs
How much liability coverage should a gun owner carry? Between $50,000 and $250,000, said 77% of respondents, with 7% calling for $1 million or more. A majority of those who support coverage (44%) think separate policies should be required for each gun. By comparison, 31% said one policy per owner would be sufficient.
However, more than half of those surveyed (56%) were unaware that their homeowner’s insurance offered some coverage for guns. Most standard policies already cover theft or an accident involving a firearm, up to the policyholder’s personal property coverage and liability coverage limits. Policyholders can choose to pay for more personal property coverage or liability coverage, knowing that the insurance won’t cover them if they’re accused of using a gun to commit a crime or accidentally shooting a household member. Those whose guns are used in crimes may face higher insurance costs when they acquire another firearm.
Who should be held accountable for gun violence?
When a gun is used, an overwhelming majority (82%) of respondents say gun owners should be held accountable even if they didn’t pull the trigger, placing increased responsibility on gun owners to maintain and limit access to guns.
Gun owners should be held criminally liable, said 39% of those polled – highest among parents with minor children (45%) – while 15% said they should be held civilly liable and 28% said they should to be responsible for both.
Poll Says: Americans Support Gun Restrictions
The poll shows that 95% of Americans support some form of gun control. The most supported restrictions focused on mental health (73%), criminal history (70%) and age (60%).
Almost half of those who have never owned a gun (47%) are more likely to say firearms permits should be compulsory, while less than a third (31%) of those who currently own guns, support mandatory permits. Non-gun owners are also more supportive of requiring gun owners to have proof of liability insurance and safe storage.
ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to administer the March 2023 online survey, which uses non-probability sampling and quotas to ensure the sample base is representative of the entire population.
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