YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If you shoot someone in self-defense, will your standard homeowner’s insurance cover you?
WKBN decided to look into Ohio’s laws to see what may happen.
Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Russo teaches concealed carry weapon’s classes. He said if you intentionally shoot someone, the insurance companies may not cover you.
Kevin Bradford, a lawyer at the Canfield offices of Brouse McDowell, said you really have to look at the fine print.
Bradford is an expert on gun laws, although he’s not a criminal lawyer.
“It has been my experience that homeowner’s policies, when it comes to firearms, are generally not very helpful,” he said.
Getting information on this topic from people in the insurance industry was hard. It’s not an issue they like to talk about.
One homeowner’s insurance policy states, “We do not cover any bodily injury… expected to result from the intentional or criminal acts,” though WKBN was later told, “As long as no laws were broken, you are covered.”
A sample policy by the Insurance Information Institute shows that homeowners are covered from “‘bodily injury resulting from the use of reasonable force… to protect person’s property.”
“There are some companies out there that offer insurance for people that are concerned about this sort of thing,” Bradford said.
The National Rifle Association, for example, offers insurance riders specific to self-defense shootings, ranging from $13.95 a month to $49.95 a month.
Bradford has such a policy, though he says in Ohio, a person who proves they fired in self-defense cannot be sued.
“Ohio has a pretty robust protection for a homeowner,” he said.
Bradford said he has never represented anyone in a civil case who has shot someone in self-defense and had been sued.
“It doesn’t really happen that often,” he said.
Bradford said people with concealed carry permits think about the training, the gun and the holster.
“But, they don’t necessarily think through what happens in the instance after the shot is fired,” he said.