Our Top Concealed Carry Insurance Choice
CCW Safe and USCCA are among the most popular and widely used legal self-defense programs on the market.
Both of these are packed with features enough to entice a prospective buyer. However, there are certain differences between them.
This article will elaborate on the pros and cons of each of these programs, eventually helping you to choose one for yourself.
Gold: $29/month or $299/annually
HR 218 Plan: $399/annually
HR 218 Plan:
Those who want excellent coverage over personal and legal expenses
Those who want clean-up costs and have a CC permit
Our Top Concealed Carry Insurance Choice
The USCCA is not an insurance company. A policy has been issued to the USCCA by Universal Fire and Casualty Insurance Company. That policy provides the association and its members with self-defense liability insurance, subject to its terms, conditions, limitations, and exclusions.
What is CCW Safe?
CCW Safe was founded by a trio consisting of a lawyer (Kyle Sweet) and two retired police officers (Stan Campbell and Mike Darter). Mike has been involved in shootings, whereas Stan is a certified national self-defense instructor and has extensive knowledge of the subject. The national trial counsel of CCW, Don West also has a commendable career record, with notable involvement in the famous ‘George Zimmerman’ case as co-counsel.
The company is not a "CCW insurance provider’"officially, but technically a "legal service membership plan". The company covers your legal expenses, as well as assists you with finding an attorneys to defend your case. Unlike many other legal defense service providers, it also compensates you for your work damages and health while your case is on trial.
The company is self-funded and relies on membership fees and its investments to cover its operational costs. This makes it immune to any legal obligations of an insurance company.
CCW Safe has a myriad of features, which make it a very popular choice among firearm owners, the best of which is that it doesn’t place any cap on the legal expenditures on criminal defense cases. It also features a high amount of bail coverage. There are a few more notable features about the CCW Safe program, which we’ll elaborate on further in this article.
CCW Safe Options
CCW Safe has a multitude of membership plans, with varying degrees of protection for legal defense cases. These plans have been divided into permit and non-permit plans, which clearly indicates and explains which plan you should choose. Here’s the list:
HR 218 Plan
The HR 218 plan has been designed specifically for active or retired Law Enforcement Officers, who qualify for a LEOSO (Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act). The plan provides unlimited coverage for civil, criminal, and administrative actions against self-defense incidents (off-duty only).
The plan offers $1 million coverage for civil damages and up to $1 million in bail bonds. It also covers firearm replacement during the trial, so you may attain possession of your weapon. Your spouse and children (under age 18) are also covered at no additional cost, given that the self-defense incident happens inside your house. These family members will also be covered by a $250,000 bail bond.
Other than these basic features, the plan also provides a $250/day work loss compensation (while on trial), ten counseling sessions (up to $4,000), and $3,000 compensation for home/crime-scene cleanup. The plan requires the applicant to submit proof of retirement or former agency ID to verify eligibility for this plan. Additionally, the member is only covered in areas where the possession of guns is not restricted. The plan costs $399/year for one member.
There’s also a cheaper alternative to this known as the ‘protector plan’ for active/retired law enforcement officers with a CCW permit. It has $500,000 in bail coverage, and other add-ons for civil damage compensation, bail coverage upgrade, and spouse coverage.
The Defender Plan has been designed for people with a valid concealed carry permit, against any legal action resulting from a self-defense incident. The member must have a valid resident or non-resident concealed carry permit (FOID cards not eligible) and can use any legal weapon in any legal-possession premises, to be covered. It also covers your spouse and children (under age 18) at home. Unless they are prohibited from using firearms.
This plan covers all civil and criminal legal attorney’s fees upfront, along with all other trial costs, which also includes investigators and expert witness charges. The plan also provides a $500,000 bail bond coverage to the member, and firearm replacement during the trial.
The member is also reimbursed for $250/day for work loss, up to ten sessions (up to $1,500) for a licensed counselor, and up to $3,000 for crime scene clean-up (if needed). The plan also covers any appeals and expungements, which is also an amazing benefit, given the cost and effort associated with it.
The plan costs $179/year per member and is highly inexpensive compared to other CCW Safe plans. However, this difference does come at a cost.
Firstly, the plan is only for valid CCW permit holders. Secondly, the plan doesn’t have any civil liability coverage (which can be added for $220)
This is by far the best legal defense permit plan offered by CCW Safe. The plan covers all criminal and civil defense legal fees along with expert witnesses and investigators fees with no hourly or amount caps. Plus, a $1 million civil damage coverage for the primary member.
The plan also covers your spouse for legal defense expenses, including a $1 million bond coverage for both. However, civil damage coverage for other members has to be bought separately.
Both primary member and spouse must have a valid carry permit. All family members (under age 18) residing at the house of the primary member are also covered (with a $500k bond), provided they are inside the house and are not prohibited from using firearms.
The plan pays $350/day work loss compensation, up to 40 sessions (up to $6,000) for a licensed psychological counselor, and $3,000 in home crime-scene cleanup.
This plan comes with digital membership cards, so you don’t have to carry a physical card everywhere. It costs around $499 per year and is only available for an upfront annual payment, which may overrun your budget.
As the name suggests, non-permit plans have been made for people who don’t have a CCW permit, but still, want legal defense coverage for unexpected situations. There are two non-permit plans offers by CCW Safe, namely the Constitutional Carry Plan and the Home Defense Plan, both of which are priced at $299/year per member. They do provide additional add-ons for extra coverage and inclusions.
The major difference between these two non-permit plans is that the Constitutional Carry Plan covers you both inside and outside your house, whereas, the Home Defense Plan is only valid for at-home self-defense incidents.
These plans cover the legal and criminal defense expenses without any upper caps, along with expert witness and investigator fees. Plus, they also compensate the member with a $250/day for work loss, $1,500 for a licensed mental health counselor (up to ten sessions), and up to $3.000 for crime scene cleanup. Additionally, these plans cover the member and spouse (plus minors) for a bail amount of $250,000.
Both these plans require you to pay upfront annual fees and are not available in monthly installments. You can also add civil damage and extra members for the plan upon checkout. These plans are great for non-permit holders who want to get the maximum protection against such incidents.
What is the USCCA?
USCCA is one of the most popular legal-defense for self-defense programs on the market. It stands for the United States Concealed Carry Association and was founded in 2003, by Tim Schmidt and Tonnie Schmidt.
The company offers legal defense membership plans, along with training and education to its members for better evaluation of such situations. USCCA has an extensive list of features that it offers in its different program tiers.
It provides comprehensive coverage to the member as well as their spouse (for an extra amount). USCCA provides its legal services in all 50 states of the U.S., however, the coverage is not available for purchase by residents of NY and WA.
The plans of USCCA also cover civil damages, however, the amount is deducted from the overall maximum compensation value of your plan. The program also has a firearm theft/loss protection, but that is shared with the personal hardship coverage amount.
You get CCW Reciprocity Map With Permit Expiration Reminders and CCW Alerts When Crossing State Lines with the USCCA member app.
All the membership plans from USCCA have their own compensation slabs for work loss, hardship, and psychological support. They also let you choose an attorney of your choice for legal defense.
Additionally, USCCA has one of the most comprehensive and valued education and training programs, when compared with other service providers. They also publish a magazine (eight editions a year) to educate their members about the latest legal updates and other relevant information.
USCCA presents its prospective buyers with three membership plans. Each has a different maximum coverage amount and other perks. The plans are known as Gold, Platinum, and Elite. Let’s elaborate on them:
This is the most basic membership plan one can opt for with USCCA. It offers you $500,000 in civil defense and damage protection, and $100,000 in criminal defense, bail bond funding and attorney retainer for criminal cases. Which adds up to a total of $600,000. The bail bond is capped at $5,000 (10% max of total amount).
The plan grants you access to the education and training program, with somewhat limited access to lessons. However, you can still access the community forum for asking any questions.
This membership plan costs you $29/month or $299 annually. The plan also includes the USCCA Legal Defense Foundation which deals with aspects like gun confiscation without due process and restoration of gun rights cases. You also get access to one-year of back issues online on their portal, so you may get some extra information about possible outcomes of such a case.
The plan is good for people who like to get basic coverage for everyday carry and live in one of the most gun-friendly states.
This is the middle and most balanced tier of USCCA membership. The Platinum Plan provides you with total coverage of $1.15 million. This includes $1 million in civil defense and damage protection (civil damage will be paid with the amount that is left after civil defense fees), and $150,000 in criminal defense, bail bond funding, and attorney retainer. The bail bond is capped at $25,000 (10% max of total amount)
Apart from the cover amount, situational awareness training (video) and free daily advanced show entry into the USCCA concealed carry expo are the only things that differentiate it from the gold membership plan.
The plan includes the training and membership sessions and additional discount on tactical gear from member stores. This plan costs $39/month or $399 annually.
Additionally, you get complete access to five years' online archive of back issues to help educate yourself better.
This is the most expensive, and the most premium subscription plan USCCA has to offer. It provides a civil defense and damage coverage of $2 million. Apart from a $250,000 coverage for criminal defense, bail bond funding, and attorney retainer. The bail bond is capped at $50,000 (10% max. of the total amount)
A member gains full online access to the lifetime archive of USCCA with detailed notes on back issues. Plus the membership also allows the user to participate in the interactive ‘ask an attorney’ monthly webinar. The plan opens up full features of the mobile app for members. Plus, it includes access to 70+ lifesaving digital guides and ebooks on the online portal for a more detailed education on related subjects.
The online video training lessons include instructions on situational awareness and the use of deadly force in a self-defense incident. Plus access to a 10+ hours e-learning training systems.
This plan also earns you a VIP concierge and treatment at the USCCA concealed carry expo. The plan is ideal for people who want a good amount of protection against legal self-defense incidents. The $2 million coverage is ample to cover costs in most extreme cases.
CCW Safe vs. USCCA - Similarities and Differences
Both CCW Safe and USSCA offer the same service to their users. However, there are still some differences in their plans, the type of cover they provide and other perks and benefits associated with each of these programs. Let’s check out their similarities and differences in detail.
Note: The compensation values of these plans have been compared based upon the top membership program of each company.
CCW Safe vs. USCCA Differences
The first and foremost difference between CCW Safe and USCCA is the amount of coverage they provide for civil and criminal cases. Where USCCA has a maximum coverage of $2.2 million in the elite program, CCW Safe provides unlimited coverage for both civil and criminal defense attorney fees. This is a huge consideration.
Civil Damage and Bail Cover
USCCA provides a maximum bail bond coverage of $50,000 compared to a maximum of $100,000 offered by CCW Safe. The civil damage expenses in USCCA are shared with the defense limit, whereas CCW Safe provides $1 million in civil damages in the ultimate plan.
Ongoing Attorney Access
USCCA provides ongoing attorney access to the members whereas CCW doesn’t. This can be a setback in some cases.
While both these plans cover their members in all states, USCCA is not available for purchase by residents of NY and WA, which is a drawback for people living in one of these states.
Concealed Carry Permit
USCCA doesn’t require a concealed carry permit for the member. It covers the members in all conditions where the use of a firearm was legal. CCW has separate plans for CC and non-CC permit users.
CCW does show monthly price for many of its plans, however, they require you to commit for at least a year’s payment. Whereas USCCA offers monthly plans, which can be canceled at any time, with a 365-day money-back guarantee.
USCCA lets you choose your own attorney if you want. Whereas CCW Safe chooses an attorney for you from their network.
Compensation and Clean up
CCW Safe provides $350/day work loss compensation, up to 40 sessions (up to $6,000) for a licensed psychological counselor, and $3,000 in home crime-scene cleanup. USCCA used to provide these benefits but has since discontinued them.
CCW Safe vs. USCCA Similarities
Both these companies have an emergency hotline which is accessible 24/7/365. Their customer support is quite efficient and supportive.
This is a great feature offered by both companies. While undergoing a case, all your expenses are paid upfront, so you don’t have to empty your bank account or get a loan. Additionally, both companies do not require you to pay back the money spent on the case if you are found guilty, which is an amazing benefit, compared to several other services.
Lower Pricing Tiers
Both USCCA and CCW Safe have different pricing tiers and plans to suit the needs of every budget. You can also have extra coverage for your spouse at a minimal extra cost. Both companies also offer several monthly payment options.
Cost ($499 and $497)
The cost of both these services is almost the same, give or take a cup of coffee. The USCCA Elite membership costs $497 per year, whereas CCW Safe’s Ultimate Plan costs $499 per year upfront.
Firearm Loss/Theft Program
You get a firearm loss/theft program inclusive in all the plans of both USCCA and CCW Safe. However, the USCCA program is shared with the personal hardship coverage, where CCW Safe has a full-fledged firearm replacement program.
Top Pick Between CCW Safe vs. USCCA
That is a very, very hard question. Considering the fact that the prices of both these programs are comparable.
The simple answer to this question is - Your Discretion. Where CCW Safe provides unlimited coverage compared to a max of $2.2 million by USCCA, the latter has an extensive education and training program, which is the best in the industry. Plus, the regular magazines hitting your mailbox every 50 days keeps you updated and reminded that you have self-defense coverage.
On the other hand, CCW Safe has $1 million in civil damages, whereas USCCA shares it with the civil defense limit. Furthermore, USCCA allows you to choose your attorney and has a better daily compensation program than CCW Safe.
If you live in WA or NY, USCCA is definitely not for you. Additionally, if you are more concerned about the coverage amount, CCW Safe will be the best choice for you.
Both these programs have their own advantages and disadvantages. Where USCCA has a more extensive library of educational and training content, along with a prompt customer support service, CCW Safe covers you for any civil or criminal expenses without a cap. Use your own discretion, requirements, and preferences before choosing either of these programs.