Our Top Concealed Carry Insurance Choice
Headlines about people getting arrested for protecting their home and self-defense are not an uncommon occurrence. The law (especially for firearms) has its own twists and turns, which is why attorneys take such large reimbursements for fighting a case.
This is where legal defense insurance programs come in.
Here, we will learn more about the two very popular defense insurance programs and compare their pros and cons. Some details can be a bit twisty, so keep your mind focused.
U.S. Law Shield
Gold: $29/month or $299/annually
$10.95/month or $131.40 annually
Those who want excellent coverage over personal and legal expenses
Those who want basic coverage at low cost
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 the U.S. Law Shield?
The U.S. & Texas Law Shield is a legal defense insurance program for self-defense. In simpler terms, if you find yourself in a self-defense situation and plan to use a weapon against a hostile, resulting in an injury or fatal outcome, the insurance will cover you for all the legal expenses within a specific capacity. You may or may not have a firearm license and the weapon may or may not be yours (unless its a legal weapon). Either way, the plan will still cover you.
U.S. & Texas Law Shield was founded in 2009 by a group of pioneering lawyers, who wanted to cover innocent citizens against the injustice of the legal system in self-defense incidents.
The company provides you with legal assistance and covers the expenses resulting from the legal proceedings, depending upon the type of plan and add-ons you buy. It is comparable to car insurance. You can call their emergency hotline any time to talk to an attorney, 24/7/365. Even on Christmas.
The services of U.S. Law Shield can also extend to activities like hunting, multi-state coverage, minors protection, and much more. You stay covered under this comprehensive insurance, as long as you use a legal weapon, regardless of a state-carry-permit. The company has an extensive list of included covers and optional add-ons. Plus, they have a special Law Enforcement Program for on and off-duty officers.
Apart from all these, U.S. Law Shield also provides timely seminars and self-defense educational resources. So you may learn in-depth about the legal implications of using a weapon in such situations, and be more prepared for such a scenario. Additionally, your membership also earns you some coupons and passes for shooting ranges, weapon shops, and more.
The basic plan costs $10.95/month or $131.40/year, plus a one-time initial start-up fee of $19.95 per member.
U.S. Law Shield Options
Apart from its main comprehensive coverage, U.S. Law Shield also provides you with several other add-ons that can be purchased for a little extra cost. These extras give this program an edge over its competitors, meanwhile giving you extra coverage for contingencies.
Gun Owner Identity Theft Coverage
This package extension protects you from any impending legal action in case your firearm is stolen and used for or planted in any criminal activity. About 200,000 guns are stolen each year in the U.S. from households, cars, baggage, pickpocketing, and by other means.
Under this extra coverage, the company notifies the proper government agencies, places your firearm in TGIC, NCIC, and other databases, and helps you with claiming insurance for the firearm.
Additionally, the company also assists you with obtaining proper paperwork, civil and criminal proceedings, and inaction of any revoked permits. All this for an extra charge of $6.95/month or $83.40/year.
Under the basic coverage of this program, you are entitled to an all-day, year-round emergency hotline to speak to an attorney. If your case is not very urgent, you can speak to an attorney of your choice in the firm. You pay no attorney's fees for any covered events, plus there are no caps, hourly limits, or deductibles on any legal fees.
The basic plan covers you against civil and criminal hearings and offers some educational perks for better awareness of legal boundaries in a self-defense situation. The plan also covers you in situations where you don’t have a carry permit, but have used a legal firearm. However, the plans are not available to residents of some (6) states for purchase.
Under this add-on, you are covered in any legal situations arising from the use of a legal weapon in self-defense, across all 50 states, including Washington D.C and Puerto Rico. If you travel across states with your weapon, you should seriously consider getting this cover, since it covers you regardless of whether you have a carry permit in the state or not.
The plan covers all criminal and civil defense proceedings concerning self-defense and costs an extra $2.95/month or $35.40/year for each member.
Bail Bond/Expert Witness
An expert witness can greatly improve the chances of defending your innocence by providing the judge with a bigger picture and in-depth facts about any subjects related to a crime scene. The company offers a bail bond service of up to $25,000, as well to cover you in case a bond is needed.
Plus, provides an expert witness if and when required throughout your case. This extra add-on costs about $2.95 per person. However, the bail bond and witness expert service are only available for residents of Texas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.
Different states have their own hunting laws. Self-defense incidents and firearm-related accidents can also happen on a hunting trip. This add-on covers all unintended hunting and fishing-related legal violations in all states where the company operates. This is an extremely useful and important add-on for people who spend time hunting in the woods or fishing. These extras cost about $2.95/month or $35.40/year for each member. If you’re only into CCW and/or open carry, this cover is of no use to you.
Minor Children Protection
Serious and fatal use of firearms by minors is a big concern these days. Unknown, accidental, or intentional discharge of firearms by a minor makes him/her prosecutable by law. The Minor Children Protection cover from U.S. Law Shield protects a minor from all such legal costs.
However, it is only applicable for kids under the adult age limit. The cover is quite necessary if the buyer has kids at home. This extra minor protection covers adds $2/month to your policy, or $24 when bought for a year.
What is the USCCA?
USCCA stands for United States Concealed Carry Association. It was co-founded in 2003 by Tim Schmidt and Tommie Schmidt to educate people about concealed carry techniques, and as a discussion forum for firearm enthusiasts. It has a large community of users and also publishes regular magazines on different topics related to gun carrying and legal updates.
The company offers different types of membership programs, which allow you to choose an apt one depending upon your budget and the level of protection you need. The policy gives you 24/7 assistance and covers you against using any kind of legal weapon, alternate weapon, or opportunity. There are no extra add-ons to be purchased, which may be a plus or minus for every individual user.
The USCCA is one of the most popular and widely used legal defense for self-defense programs in the U.S. They gained extreme popularity after they were revoked from the NRA annual meeting in 2017, for introducing a better and more competitive plan.
USCCA has trifurcated its membership options into three different categories with different pricing and sets of features. These plans don’t differ much in their monthly price but can add up to a substantial amount over the long term. So you must check out the features you need.
The Gold Membership program of USCCA is priced at $29/month or $299/year. It covers the user against self-defense legal expenses with a total value of $600,000. This includes $500,000 of civil suit defense and damages, $100,000 for criminal defense protection and up-front attorney retainer, and $5,000 for bail bond (which is only a maximum of 10% of the total bond value up to this amount)
Apart from this, the company also covers you with some miscellaneous expenses which arise during the period of hearings. This includes $350/day compensation(while in civil court), $3,000 personal hardship coverage and $3,000 for psychological support.
Additionally, you get all the perks associated with every membership plan of the USCCA, which includes a magazine subscription, education, training, community programs, and several other perks.
The Gold Membership program is good for people who just want to have a menial self-defense insurance cover for peace of mind. However, if your case is or gets more complicated, you’ll have to bear extra expenses from your pocket.
However, on the other hand, this plan cuts out several inclusions compared to the higher plans, such as advanced training and unlimited community access.
The most common membership plan of USCCA. It is priced at $39/month and a yearly price of $399. The biggest upgrade in this plan compared to the gold membership is the $1.15 million cover for legal expenses in self-defense cases.
This amount is broken down into $1 million in civil suits (civil damages, compensations and firearm theft), $150,000 for criminal defense protection and up-front attorney retainer, and $25,000 for an up-front bail bond funding (which will be a maximum 10% of total bond amount) For example, if you bond has a value of $250,000, you’ll get an up-front of $25,000.
Other than that, the plan covers you for $500/day compensation for civil cases, $4,000 personal hardship coverage and $4000 for psychological support.
In terms of overall features, the plan is very similar to the gold membership plan. However, it has a couple of extra features that includes five years of access to back issues in archive, interactive "Ask An Attorney" monthly webinar, situational awareness training, and entry in the USCCA concealed carry expo.
Additionally, you receive the magazine subscription, basic training sessions, seminars, and community access. The Platinum Membership provides an amazing cover with a huge amount, so you can handle complicated cases.
This is the most premium plan USCCA has to offer. The elite membership costs you $49/month or $499 annually. The plan offers you total protection of $2.25 million for legal self-defense expenses. Which includes $2 million for civil suit defense and damage expenses, $250,000 for criminal defense protection and up-front attorney retainer, and $50,000 up-front bail bond funding( maximum 10% of the bond amount).
Additionally, the plan covers you with a $750/day compensation for civil cases, $6,000 as personal hardship expenses, and $6,000 as psychological support expenses.
The Elite Membership gives you access to everything USCCA has to offer. It gives you full lifetime access to the archive for studying back cases and access to complete video and e-learning training courses. Plus, you also get an Elite VIP experience at the USCCA concealed carry expo. Additionally, this package also entitles you to special VIP concierge treatment at their events.
The Elite plan is great for people who can spare $49 per month and want to be covered for the worst of legal defense situations for self-defense. People who are seriously aware of the protection of their loved ones and carry weapons at every stage in their daily life should opt for this plan.
U.S. Law Shield vs. USCCA - Similarities and Differences
Both these legal defense programs are quite popular among firearm users. However, they have some pros and cons associated with them. They have some similarities and some differences, as well, which we’ll check out further here.
U.S. Law Shield vs. USCCA Differences
U.S. Law Shield offers you unlimited coverage on legal expenses which refers to the criminal and civil defense attorney’s fees. USCCA, on the other hand, offers a limited amount in protection for both types of attorney fees.
U.S. Law Shield is much less expensive compared to USCCA. However, it allows you to choose other add-ons for extra coverage. USCCA has three different categories of membership plans with different coverage amounts. These plans start from $29/month and go up to $49/month. However, they also offer a 365-day money-back guarantee.
U.S. Law shield has a somewhat limited coverage compared to USCCA across the United States. It is available in only 44 states, whereas USCCA is available in 48 (except NY and D.C). Additionally, USCCA covers your spouse inside the house without any extra cost, whereas U.S. Law Shield requires you to purchase a separate membership. USCCA even helps you with getting back your confiscated weapon/s after the case is over. Additionally, U.S. Law Shield doesn't cover you in ‘gun-free zones’, whereas USCCA does.
USCCA gives a daily compensation, along with hardship and psychological support covers, whereas U.S. Law Shield does not.
U.S. Law Shield connects you with a random attorney when you call their emergency helpline, whereas USCCA allows you to choose the attorney of your choice.
U.S. Law Shield vs. USCCA Similarities
Both these services have an emergency hotline for you, which is available 24/7/365. However, one small difference here is that U.S. Law Shield has an attorney attending your call, where USCCA has an emergency response representative.
All payments made for cases are made upfront by both these companies. This ensures that you don’t have to flap your pockets for pulling up the remaining fees.
Both companies work hard to keep their members educated about the recent legal updates, laws, and any other facts and data of importance. They publish magazines, conduct member events, and send-in regular newsletters to the members for recent updates and to maintain a loyal relationship.
Both programs cover all or any legal weapon used by you for self-defense. This also includes any other legal firearms obtained by you on the spot for self-defense. Weapons are not limited to guns but also include bats, knives, sticks, or any other weapon of opportunity.
Top Pick Between U.S. Law Shield vs. USCCA
Both U.S. Law Shield and USCCA have their own advantages and disadvantages. The U.S. Law Shield program is good for people who want basic coverage at a low cost, whereas USCCA is more comprehensive insurance which covers most legal and even personal costs.
The shield does cover attorney expenses without any monetary or hourly caps, but they do not cover any civil damage expenses, whatsoever. Plus U.S. Law Shield also doesn’t have any provision for bail bonds or expert witness (except for residents of OK, TX, and PA). This can be a big deterrent if your case is lost or you are fined for damage compensation.
U.S. Law Shield has different add-ons you may choose as and when required. The emergency hotline with a direct attorney is a big plus, however, you don’t get to choose your attorney immediately. Which isn’t liked by most people.
The individual compensation (daily, mental, and hardship) by USCCA is a great benefit while the case goes on. Plus, they pay upfront for bail bonds and pay for civil damages, in the capacity of your membership plan.
If you live in PA, TX or OK, U.S. Law Shield is a great choice for you because of its coverage and pricing. But for elsewhere, USCCA seems to be the best because of its coverage, states of operation, and compensation structure.
If you purchase the U.S. Law Shield program with full add-ons, it’s going to cost you around 20 bucks a month. But you get so much more with spending just an extra ten dollars per month with USCCA.
Both these programs have their merits and demerits. That said, U.S. Law Shield is great for residents of a few states who want a basic plan at a low cost. But, for more comprehensive coverage, you must opt for USCCA.