In this Article:
After we already compared the best concealed carry insurances, it’s time to look at our two top spots in detail: The USCCA vs The US Law Shield, which ranked first and second in our comparison.
Both are excellent options for almost anyone that carries concealed with the intention of self-defense. However there are some very notable differences that you should be aware of before making your choice. Before discussing them in detail, here is a table that compares the US Law Shield plan with the cheapest plan of the USCCA.
|USCCA||U.S. Law Shield|
|Civil defense limit||$2,000,000||unlimited|
|Criminal defense limit||$250,000||unlimited|
|Bail amount||$50,000 (shared with criminal defense budget)||none|
|Compensation while in court||$750/day||none|
When you pick a CCW insurance, you should really look beyond the numbers. Read the fine print, compare their terms. Is everything they offer available in your state? Do they pick an attorney for you or are you allowed to choose? Are you covered after you had a beer? What about gun-free zones like a movie theater?
By now you can already tell that this is not going to be as easy as just choosing the one with the higher limit. That being said, it’s definitely a choice we recommend you make and as mentioned earlier, the USCCA and the US Law Shield ranked first and second out of 5 in our concealed carry insurance comparison, so in our opinion, you are already quite close to picking a very good self-defense coverage. After reading this article you should know what both of them offer and how they compare in terms of coverage.
By the way, none of these are actually considered “insurance”. They are actually pre-paid legal coverage
Why should you even get a CCW insurance? (Don’t worry we’ll keep this short)
If you are reading this article you probably plan on carrying a gun for self defense.
Unfortunately, being able to defend yourself seems to become more and more necessary. When it comes to defending yourself and your family, you really shouldn’t rely on anybody else. But what if the worst case happens and you actually have to use your firearm to defend yourself?
- Who do you call? 911? The police?
- Should you holster your gun?
- Once the police arrive, should you talk to them?
- Will they arrest you? Who do you call then?
And those are the easy questions.
What about the lawsuit and the legal aftermath you might face? Even law enforcement officers are put on trial after they use their weapon in the line of duty. It will happen to you.
You might very well need $100,000 or more up-front in order to defend yourself in court (this is not rare!!). Not many people have that kind of money lying around.
This is where a CCW insurance steps in. This is your first call (after 911) and they will tell you exactly what to do. They will get an attorney ready immediately who takes over any communication with the police. From there they will cover most of the legal fees and make sure you are well represented in court.
If the worst case happens, the small monthly fee you pay for one of these memberships will be the best money you ever spent.
So let’s look at these two very solid options. Keep in mind that there are some states where some parts of the plans don’t apply.
The USCCA is the largest CCW insurance in the US and has around 350,000 paying members. If you knew about them way before you considered signing up for CCW insurance, that’s due to their impressive marketing efforts. When it comes to advertising and having famous people vouch for them, the USCCA is the number 1.
Of course this wasn’t even considered when we ranked them number 1 in our CCW insurance comparison. The reason they came in first spot is their great overall package for a very reasonable price. For $25 you get a $2,000,000 civil defense limit and a $250,000 limit shared between criminal defense and bond amount. That’s very solid. On top of that you get a compensation for court days of $750 per day, which is the highest of any of the programs we have looked at. They will cover all legal weapons, not just guns. They cover the entire US (except New Jersey, New York and Washington). And on top of it they complete this well-rounded package with the option to choose your own attorney. That’s a great option to have, but of course they also have a very solid network of attorneys for you to choose from.
They offer a 365-day, money-back guarantee. Meaning it takes one call and you’ll receive a refund. And if all this wasn’t enough all memberships offer expert witness coordination, firearm theft liability coverage, members-only discounts and much more. Seriously, go over here (click) and check out what else they offer, it’s a huge package.
It’s important to note that 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.
So who is this for? Well, most gun owners really. If you want a very solid all around package, the USCCA is an amazing membership to have and that’s why we ranked them first in our comparison. Go here if you want to see what else they have to offer.
The US Law Shield
First of all, the US Law Shield is a very solid choice as well when it comes to self-defense coverage. Why do we recommend the USCCA over the US Law Shield? It’s simple, we think the USCCA foolproof and the US Law Shield requires a little bit more work in order to set it up to your needs. Why is that? Let’s start again with the numbers…
For a cost of $10.95 (+$19.95 setup cost) you get A LOT of coverage. Actually you get unlimited civil and criminal defense litigation coverage. “Wow” you might think, “that sounds like good value for the money”. And you are right, it is. However, for $10.95 they will not cover your bail and they will not compensate you for days in court. The latter might be a little less important, but sitting in a cell because you can’t afford bail is probably something you want to avoid and bail coverage is something we deem essential when it comes to self-defense insurance. So how did the US Law Shield rank second place in our comparison?
Is it really cheaper?
Unlike the USCCA which covers pretty much everything by default in their cheapest plan, the US Law Shield lets you decide what you want covered. Their basic plan costs $10.95 and is a bargain. It covers the bare essentials and does so very well, with unlimited civil and criminal defense litigation coverage. On top of that you have several add-on options to choose from, including multi-state protection ($35.40 per year) and a package that offers bail up to $50,000 and an expert witness at trial ($35.40 per year and only available in TX, OK, and PA). You also have the option to include minor children in the plan as well as some other add-ons.
You can see where this is going. In the example above where you take the basic plan for $10.95 per month together with the multi-state protection for $2.95 per month and the bail add-on for $2.95 per month you end up at $16,85 per month plus a $19.95 setup fee. Now the plan is actually not that much cheaper than the USCCA and you still don’t get paid a compensation for days in court.
They pick your attorney
Finally we should mention that they pick your attorney. While some people see that as a deal breaker, we do not. Look, they cover your legal fees. They want you to clear your name as quickly as possible. Bad attorneys will be more expensive for them. No, they won’t let you choose Bob, the guy you know from high school who barely passed the bar exam. Incentives are aligned here and you can be sure they pick someone who is able to do the job.
Who is this for? If you like unlimited coverage and think the limits the USCCA offers are not high enough, this is for you. If you want to save a couple dollars per month, the bond add-on covers your state and you don’t need compensation for days in court, this is for you. And finally, if you like any of the other add-ons (HunterShield, minor children coverage) enough to impact your decision, go with US Law Shield. It truly is a very solid option.
USCCA vs US Law Shield, which one is better?
In case it wasn’t clear by now, both, the USCCA and the US Law Shield are excellent options. There are plenty of other companies we have looked at and if we would have to pick two winners those two are our choice. Now picking a leader between those two is hard, as both offer a very similar product for a very similar monthly fee, assuming you configure the US Law Shield to match the USCCA. After reading this article you should now be able to make an educated decision on which one is for you, but unless you are in a state that they don’t offer coverage in, you can’t really go wrong with either one. Do you want to spend $4 more per month and go with the USCCA, which allows you to pick your own attorney and receive compensation for days spent in court? ….or is that something you don’t really need. If you can answer this question, you might have made your choice.
Things you should consider when choosing a CCW insurance
So as you’ve hopefully read above there are many different factors you should consider when choosing a concealed carry insurance. That being said, there are 5 points that you should always be aware of.
Civil and Criminal Defense Limit
The big numbers. What’s enough here? Hard to say, but if you face a lawsuit after you used a firearm for self-defense, the legal fees can surprisingly quickly reach several hundred thousand dollars. What might sound a lot to you right now is peanuts in the world of lawyers and courts. If you want numbers, $300,000 to $600,000 are nothing unusual.
This is something you definitely want. Nobody wants to sit in a cell. Sure, you could post it yourself, but that kind of defeats the purpose of a CCW insurance. We definitely recommend going for insurance that offers bail coverage.
Expert Witnesses and Private Investigators
Both are important to have when facing a trial and both can be very expensive. The US Law Shield covers expert witnesses if you select their add-on, however it’s only available in TX, OK, and PA. The USCCA covers both with every plan.
Compensation while in court
Self-defense trials are expensive. They can also be lengthy. So what if you face weeks of court days and lose your income because you can’t work? Who is going to cover your rent or mortgage and cost of living? The USCCA does and with $750 per day they do so quite generously.
Who picks your attorney?
We decided this is the least important factor, but definitely something you should be aware of. Can you pick your own attorney? If not, who will they pick for you? In the case of the USCCA you can decide on an attorney yourself. The US Law Shield picks one for you. Obviously they will pick one who can clear your name as quickly as possible, that’s not really something you should worry about. However, if you decide to go with US Law Shield it’s certainly no mistake to request some information about the available attorneys in your area. You should be able to talk to them and see if this is someone you’d want to work with.
If you want the most coverage for the cheapest monthly fee, the US Law Shield is a great option, just make sure the Bond and Expert Witness add-on is available in your state. If not, the USCCA is the better choice. They are great if you want an all-around package that truly covers everything, from bond to compensation for days in court and much more.