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Firearm Legal Defence Won’t Cover Gun Bans: Q&A With Lead Broker

Firearm Legal Defence, Canada’s original insurance plan for gun owners, said it defends hunters, farmers and sport shooters who face wrongful criminal charges, but can’t protect against government gun bans., Sept. 22, 2019

Zach Schwingenschloegl of CapriCMW, the lead broker for Firearm Legal Defence, made the comment to this week by e-mail.

The interview is below. CapriCMW is based in Kelowna, British Columbia.

About Firearm Legal Defence

  • Price: $95 per year for $250,000 per claim, up to $1 million per year. Annual fee falls to $85 for members of a shooters’ rights association.
  • Covers thousands of individuals and businesses across Canada.
  • Recommended by the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA).
  • Created by Brian Lovig in October 2012 and owned by his company, Paladin Defence Ltd.
  • Sterlon is the third-party claims defender. Lloyds of London is the underwriter.
  • Policy details

Q&A on Firearm Legal Defence With Zach Schwingenschloegl of CapriCMW

Why would shooters and gun owners need specific insurance?
Canadian gun owners are being punished by the legal process. You can follow the law in Canada and still find yourself being charged by an officer whose knowledge of the law is lacking.

People have forgotten what insurance is for. At the end of the day, insurance is a whole bunch of people putting money into a pot so that a few people can use it if they ever need it.

What is legal-expense insurance?
It’s different from personal-injury coverage or liability coverage.

Liability is for bodily injury and property damage. All the associations have some level of insurance for third-party liability, if you hurt someone or damage their property.

Legal-defence insurance is to defend against charges of: improper storage, transportation, display, handling, use and — say your licence was declined to be renewed.

A liability policy wouldn’t respond to any of that. It only gets triggered if someone gets hurt or if someone’s property gets damaged.

What if you hurt yourself?
That typically falls under Accidental Death and Dismemberment. Most people have benefits through work on top of their provincial health insurance.

Have you had any claims for armed self-defence against a human?

There were three big cases in Canadian news in the past year or so.

[On Edward Maurice of Alberta, who had charges against him dropped in 2018]: I was very happy to read that he was acquitted. But no one ever spoke about the legal bill. No one ever spoke about the financial burden that he will face for the rest of his life.

You also have a legal-advice hotline?
Yes, the telephone legal advice is a free service that comes with your policy. You can call and speak to a lawyer about any personal legal matter, not just a gun related question. Tax, probate/inheritance, selling firearms, willing firearms, firearm-transportation rules, firearm disposal.

For example: “I have a firearm I don’t want anymore.” Or: “I just came home from a trip and my gun is gone.” As this is a free service, you could use it every day and it has no impact on your premium as it’s not a claim on your policy.

Why did you expand coverage last December?
There was an opportunity to increase the protection for our clients so we jumped on it.

We raised our coverage level to $250,000 per claim last December from $150,000, added coverage for personal injury (should you be injured by someone else with a firearm) and extended the coverage to include archery, all without increasing the annual fee of $95.

We also added options to increase your limit and extend the coverage to your family. Rather than focus on being the cheapest we will continue to strive to expand coverage to protect Canadian gun owners.

Our focus is not being the cheapest, our focus is on being the best. We’re looking to continue being the best and the broadest.

Why do you give a discount to members of the main shooters’ rights associations?
Simply put, the associations are fighting to ensure we can continue our enjoyment of having firearms.

If you’re willing to spend your hard earned money supporting them, then as a thank you we’re happy to offer a discount. We’re here to protect all gun owners in Canada. That’s why we give the same discount regardless of association: CSSA, NFA, CCFR, etc.

How would a client be covered in case of gun bans?
If firearms are banned then there’s no law to be wrongfully charged for. That’s why its extremely important to support the associations like the CSSA to help make sure a ban never comes.

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