Many GEICO auto & home insurance customers are canceling their GEICO policies over the latest Internet buzz about GEICO being against gun owners and the gun industry. This negative publicity arose when a cancellation letter was posted online, for an auto insurance customer being canceled by GEICO, because their vehicle is used in conjunction with a company that deals in the weapons industry. This letter has led some people to believe GEICO will cancel their personal auto insurance policies, if they transport guns or work in an occupation related to the weapons industry. Some people are upset, and switching to different car insurance companies, because they see the cancellation letter circulating on the Web, as proof GEICO is taking a side in the ongoing national gun debate, showing it is anti-gun, and does not support your second amendment right to own a gun. This cancellation letter may show GEICO is prejudicial against the weapons industry, but many people are misinterpreting the meaning of the cancellation letter, and how their GEICO auto insurance will be affected if they are a gun owner, transporting guns in their car, or work in the fire arms industry. This blog post will explain the real implications of the cancellation letter, and how to choose an insurance company not opposed to your second amendment rights.
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First, if you have a GEICO personal auto insurance policy, you do not have to worry about your auto insurance policy being canceled or having a claim denied, because you are a gun owner, transport guns in your vehicle, or you work in the weapons industry.
The cancellation letter is for a commercial auto insurance policy, which insures vehicles owned and used by a business, not for the personal auto insurance most people have for their cars. I don’t know of any companies, even GEICO, caring or asking any questions about guns, gun ownership, or your connection to the weapons industry, in order to qualify you for personal auto insurance. If you are asked by an insurance company or agent about being a member of the NRA, it’s most likely to do with qualifying you for an association discount, not to determine your eligibility for personal auto insurance.
For home insurance, insurance companies will ask you about guns. Usually, this is because the basic property insurance policy (homeowners, condo, mobile home, renters) has limited coverage if guns are stolen, and the agent wants to determine the proper amount of coverage for you. Agents will ask you about the type, number, and value of your guns, to make sure you have the option to buy enough insurance to replace them if they are stolen, and any claims are settled so your guns are replaced with the same kind and quality.
Sometimes people choose to insure their guns specifically, as scheduled personal property, like other valuable items such as jewelry, or a stamp collection. Some gun owners feel answering specific questions about their guns, such as serial numbers, are an invasion of privacy, but the information may be needed by insurance companies if you want broader coverage for your gun collection.
How do you find a pro-gun insurance company, and avoid anti-gun insurance companies?
As a business practice, insurance companies do not take a political position on guns. However, insurance companies have rules & procedures to avoid what they consider excessive risk. For example, it would be wrong to conclude a home insurance company is anti-dog because it will not insure a home with an aggressive Pit Bull.
There are no pro-gun or anti-gun insurance companies, but some companies may have more restrictive guidelines for certain types of weapons. Some companies have more advantageous coverage for gun owners. As a gun owner, you want to be aware if your company has any unfair guidelines in assessing the risk of fire arms.
Many insurance companies are not concerned with the increased risk of an expensive claim due to guns being kept in your house. However, some companies may require no loaded weapons be kept in the house, or weapons need to be kept in a gun safe, or they may decline to insure you if you own assault weapons. You can find out more in my blog post here about guns and home insurance. You also need to know how home insurance policies can differ when covering you from lawsuits arising from self-defense. When shopping for home insurance, choose a company with coverage and guidelines most friendly to your needs as a gun owner.
So, what was the GEICO cancellation letter about? The GEICO commercial auto insurance policy was canceled due to the use of a truck, owned by a business making gun parts, because of its involvement with a company dealing in the weapons industry.
It’s not unusual, for companies selling commercial auto insurance to businesses, to not offer it to certain types of businesses, the company considers undesirable risks because of the likelihood of expensive claims. For example, a company I worked for would not insure apartment buildings for commercial property insurance. Likewise, certain types of use of a vehicle may be unacceptable for a company’s commercial auto insurance. For example, a commercial auto insurance company may not insure a vehicle involved or capable of dumping operations (such as a dump truck).
I would like to know from GEICO their specific underwriting guidelines pertaining to vehicles used in the weapons industry, and why they do not insure these risks. So far, there is no response from GEICO. You can follow this fiasco on the GEICO Facebook page.
You can send a more effective message to GEICO (other than posting your disagreement on their Facebook page), to rethink their commercial auto insurance guidelines pertaining to vehicles used in the weapons industry, by choosing another insurance company to insure your cars. When insurance companies lose business, they become more sensitive to the needs of their customers. Give your business to the companies best meeting your needs and values.
I wish everyone took this approach to shop & choose a company with the best rates, and send a message to insurance companies charging a lot more for the same coverage than other companies, that they need to lower their rates. By voting with your pocket book, gun advocates can change the minds of companies with an anti-gun bias, and every insurance consumer can influence over-priced insurance companies to reconsider their rates.
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