D.C. Considering Requiring $250K Insurance Policy for Gun Buyers


The District of Columbia is considering a proposal that would require gun buyers to maintain at least a $250,000 insurance policy, CBS DC reports:

The D.C. Council is considering requiring people to purchase liability insurance before they can get a license to own a gun.

The bill would mandate that prospective gun owners maintain at least a $250,000 policy. The policy would cover damages from negligent acts or intentional acts that aren’t undertaken in self-defense.

Lawmakers in a number of states including California, Maryland, and New York have proposed similar bills, likening the requirement to auto insurance — but none have passed the legislation.

Insurers have concerns about the concept, the New York Times reported earlier this year, because insurance does not generally cover intentional or illegal acts:

The insurance industry is wary of some of the proposals to require gun owners to buy liability coverage — and particularly of bills, like one that was filed in New York, that would require coverage for damages resulting not only from negligence but also from “willful acts.”

Robert P. Hartwig, the president of the Insurance Information Institute, said that insurance generally covered accidents and unintentional acts — not intentional or illegal ones. “Insurance will cover you if your home burns down in an electrical fire, but it will not cover you if you burn down your own house, and you cannot insure yourself for arson,” he said.

Some claims stemming from shootings have been covered by homeowners’ insurance — even by policies that said they did not cover illegal acts.