USCCA is one of the most talked about Concealed Carry insurances on the market. But is it worth it? More importantly, are you covered adequately or is there some hidden fee or missing coverage that no one is talking about?
Well, unlike other articles out there, I am a firearms attorney and I’ll take a deep look into their policy, and in this USCCA review, I’ll let you know what you can expect and whether or not USCCA is worth it. However, I’m not YOUR attorney so this is not legal advice and only you can decide whether ccw insurance is right for your situation (and which provider to choose).
USCCA Review Summary: Although USCCA provides many training resources, I chose CCW Safe for myself and my family.
The USCCA recently changed their coverage/program. If you’re looking for ccw training, the USCCA is still a great resource. However, if you’re looking for good legal protection, you should check out CCW Safe.
But before we begin, I want to let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links that can help us keep our ammo budget going but they will NOT affect your price nor do they affect our advice.
USCCA – CCW INSURANCE
United States Concealed Carry Association Insurance
In this USCCA Review we’re going to cover:
- What is the USCCA?
- How Much Does USCCA Cost?
- What Does USCCA Cover?
- Pros and Cons to USCCA
- USCCA vs Other CCW Insurance
- USCCA Review: Our Take
- Final Grade on USCCA
In the next couple of sections I’m going to cover the features and pricing of USCCA. However, if you’d like to just jump to whether I trust them, whether or not they are better or worse than the other CCW insurance options out there, and why we chose CCW Safe as our #1 option, check out our Best CCW Insurance Comparison.
What is the Us Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)?
The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) offers legal protection for self-defense scenarios and many other resources for ccw education and firearm training to their 300,000 members. Although it isn’t really “ccw insurance,” it’s the easiest way to explain what they provide.
These resources can help protect you with your legal defense costs and they provide training and resources to help you before, during, and after a self defense scenario. (make sure you see a preview of their “what would you do?” training scenario videos in our review below).
It is up to you to determine whether legal protection coverage for CCW is right for you. Defending your defensive gun use in criminal and/or civil trials can be very expensive (spending a few hundred thousand dollars, or more, is not unheard of).
As an attorney, one of the first things I tell my clients when they’re trying to figure out how to handle a particular problem is “it’s often better to avoid a fight than it is to win a fight.” That’s because “winning” can be VERY expensive when legal costs are involved.
How Much Does USCCA Cost?
USCCA comes with 3 different membership levels–each with different costs and benefits.
These are just the basics. Here’s an extended breakdown of what each of these membership levels entails.
We have included the coverage amounts that USCCA used to publish before they changed to their new coverage plan.
THESE ARE NO LONGER ACTIVE/VALID COVERAGES
Based on conversations with the USCCA, it seems as if they are now offering the “Elite” limits of coverage to every member, however, they are no longer publishing their limits. When asked what their new limits are after we found many references to limits in their new policy without specifically listing them, we were told that they are “confidential.”
What they have told us: every member gets the same amount of legal protection coverage regardless of which plan they choose. So, “Gold” gets the same legal protection as “Elite.”
|Civil Suit Defense and Damages||$500,000||$1,000,000||$2,000,000|
|Criminal Defense Protection (Up-Front Attorney Retainer)||$100,000||$200,000||$250,000|
|Up-Front Bail Bond Funding||$5000/$50,000||$25,000/$250,000||$50,000/$500,000|
|Compensation while in Civil Court||$350/day||$500/day||$750/day|
|Personal Hardship Coverage||$3000||$4000||$6000|
|See Details||See Details||See Details|
What Does USCCA Cover?
Not all CCW insurance offers are the same. As you might know, some CCW insurance programs won’t let you choose your own lawyer or they won’t give you the money up front (two of our three “must haves” in CCW insurance that we cover in our USCCA review below).
Also, with so many different options between CCW insurance providers, it might be tough to get a clear picture of what they offer.
So, to help you with USCCA, here are the coverages you can expect if you join their program. Again, these are their old coverage amounts before they changed their plan. We believe that these are still valid limits but we can not verify them.
We’ll also get more into their coverage further down in the review.
Criminal Defense Protection: Even if you believe that your defensive gun use is justified self defense, you might still be prosecuted. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can be expensive and the USCCA pays up to $250,000 towards your criminal defense.
Civil Defense & Liability coverage: You might have to defend yourself against lawsuits from the person you shot, their family members, or others. Because defending these lawsuits (even if you win) can be expensive, the USCCA provides up to $2,000,000 in civil defense coverage (depending on your plan).
Up Front Money: If you need financial assistance with legal fees – you need it up front. Reimbursement might sound good enough, but that means you might have to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars on your own first. The USCCA provides the money, as it is needed, up front.
Bail: Unless you want to stay in jail until your trial, you might want bail money coverage. The USCCA provides up to $50,000 for bail bond funding.
Per Diem: While you’re in court for trial, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to work. After weeks or months, this can be a serious strain on your finances. So, we always recommend CCW insurance that pays you a daily allowance while you’re in trial (called a per diem). Some CCW insurance options don’t pay anything while USCCA pays $750 per day.
Training and Resources: I mentioned above that I often tell my legal clients that it’s often better to avoid a fight than it is to win a fight – this couldn’t be more true when it comes to a gun fight! However, if it’s time to use a gun to defend yourself or a loved ones, you better know what you’re doing. The USCCA provides training and resources to help you avoid fights and if you get into one, what to do once you’re there.
What’s Not Included With USCCA:
No Sales in NY, NJ, WA: Just recently the local governments for these three states banned the sales of “CCW insurance” programs. This doesn’t mean that your CCW insurance won’t work if you’re visiting there, it just means you can’t buy it if you live here. However, this is a limitation for all CCW insurance services right now.
Unlimited Legal Coverage: Unlike other options, like CCW Safe, USSCA has limits to the amount of coverage available for civil and criminal legal defense. Although the USCCA has limits, they offer so many other things that they are still a viable option.
USCCA Vs Other CCW Insurance:
Of all of the concealed carry insurance options available, the USCCA is the largest (over 300,000 members) and they offer the most training resources. Also, the USCCA meets all 3 of our “must haves” for CCW insurance whereas some other options do not.
However, based on their recent changes to their coverage, they moved from #2 to #4 on our list of Best CCW Insurance providers.
|Feature||CCW Safe||Second Call Defense||ACLDN||USCCA||U.S. Law Shield|
|Criminal Defense Max||Unlimited||$100,000||Unlimited||$250,000||Unlimited|
|Civil Defense Max||Unlimited||$1,250,000||Unlimited||$2,000,000||Unlimited|
|Pick Own Attorney?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Money Up Front?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Per Diem Max||$250||$500||n/a||$750||n/a|
1UP-FRONT LEGAL PROTECTION
It’s vital that you get money up front (unless you have a few hundred thousand available to wait for reimbursement later).
2ONLINE TRAINING LIBRARY
USCCA has tons of resources to make you smarter and less likely to need to legal coverage!
3CHOOSE YOUR OWN ATTORNEY
A large amount of money paid to a useless attorney equals your freedom at risk (and wasted money).
For members, the USCCA offers training, gear, industry partners, online communities, and more.
USCCA REVIEW – OUR TAKE
USCCA used to have great legal coverage and so many extra resources, we easily recommended them as a good option for ccw insurance. However, even with their old coverage, we decided upon CCW Safe for ourselves and our families for a reason – it’s why CCW Safe earned the #1 spot in our Best CCW Insurance Guide
Now that the USCCA has changed their policy and coverage details, we no longer recommend them for legal protection. We’ll cover their changes, and how and why they affect our decision, below.
For any concealed carry insurance option, we strongly recommend looking for three basic ccw insurance requirements:
- The ability to choose your own attorney,
- Money up-front, and
- A daily allowance to help offset time off work
USCCA has all three. We’ll cover each.
What we like(d) about USCCA: Picking your own attorney is a big deal. Believe it or not, there are options for CCW insurance that require you to use the attorney they choose. We haven’t used them so we can’t possibly give an informed decision on the quality of their legal representation.
However, it concerns us whenever a client doesn’t have the ability to choose another attorney if they don’t like the one they have and/or the risk of appearance that the person or entity actually paying for the attorney has a different interest than the client (lowest cost instead of best coverage).
Again, we’re not saying that this is what is going on. We’re only saying that we have concerns whenever situations like that exist and ALWAYS recommend having the choice over your own attorney! If you agree, then you might appreciate that USCCA allows this (we do).
Another thing that is important to us is getting paid up front.
Reimbursement might sound like it is just as good as money up front, however, most people don’t have the few hundred thousand dollars that might be required to cover the costs until reimbursement happens.
If you’re paying for legal coverage that will help pay for your attorney – please make sure that you actually get the money up front to be able to pay your own attorney! Mark down another reason we like the USCCA.
The third requirement that USCCA meets is a daily per diem. A per diem is a daily amount of money, an allowance, that you get paid while in trial. This is very important! Your trial might last months and you likely won’t be able to earn money during this time.
Although a per diem probably won’t replace your income, it will definitely help and USCAA offers the highest per diem rate of any option we’ve seen (some don’t even offer any per diem allowance).
USCCA generally seems interested into educating you on how to avoid or survive gunfights and also how to handle yourself immediately after an incident.
For example, on the back of the membership card, they’ve included simple instructions for you to remember such as CALLING 911 FIRST!, then calling USCCA, and even instructions on how to deal with police officers.
USCCA also has a library of online training and member resources that makes USCAA a step above everyone else. Heck, even their free training and resources are super useful.
For example, USCCA offers a free series of “What Would You Do?” videos wherein they discuss a particular scenario and then cover some of your best options.
Check out this video from their “What Would You Do?” series on car jacking. If you become a USCCA member, you get the full analysis and breakdown.
If you’d like to see how the USCCA compares to other CCW coverage options, check out our Best CCW Insurance article.
However, there are a couple things that we wish were better and concerns we have with their new coverage policy…
What we don’t like about USCCA: Unlike some of their competitors, USCCA doesn’t offer unlimited legal coverage for criminal and civil defense. Instead, USCCA limits how much they’ll pay. They used to publish that they capped civil defense coverage at 2 million dollars and criminal defense at $250k. However, they no longer publish their limits.
We read through their new policy and found many references to their coverage limits. We bounced from section to section of hte policy to see what these limits were and they’re nowhere to be found. So, we emailed the USCCA asking why they no longer shared their limits and what the limits were. We were told that their limits are “confidential.”
Even though we included above that we like that the USCCA lets you pick your own attorney, their new policy requires that an attorney that you choose must agree to their “litigation guidlines” and “hourly rate.”
This is a concern for us.
Picking your own attorney is important because you should be able to get the best representation to keep you out of jail. According to their new policy, if your lawyer’s strategy doesn’t match with what the USCCA wants or your lawyer charges more per hour than what the USCCA will pay, then you can’t use that lawyer.
Our biggest concern in the new USCCA policy is this: they reserve the right to come after you for all costs and money they paid to defend you if you get a guilty verdict.
I get it, it sounds reasonable at first. They want to protect lawful self-defense and if you’re guilty, then they can argue that it wasn’t lawful. There’s a public policy argument against covering illegal activity.
However, if you pay attention to self defense cases at all, you are aware that the first court, the trial court, sometimes gets things wrong and an appeal follows.
According to their new policy, you could be getting a bill from the USCCA if the first court gets it wrong. We doubt that it is likely to happen but it was very odd for us to see this part specifically added to the new policy when it wasn’t in the old one. Other coverage options, like CCW Safe, cover appeals.
We also noticed some other issues with their new policy that invited questions. For example, they cahnged their definition of covered “self defense” to include that it must be “unprovoked.” The addition of that word in the new policy stuck out to me – what does the USCCA consider “provocation?”
If you’re wearing a red MAGA hat, are you provoking an attack? If you stick your finger in a trespasser’s face and demand they get off of your property, are you “provoking” them?
We asked both of these questions to the USCCA and were told, “if you are going to claim self-defense, you can’t have been the one responsible for escalating a conflict to the point of the parties fearing bodily harm”
Their answer is fair, however, it doesn’t asnwer where they draw the line for the new definition they made.
Our final thoughts: With their newly “confidential” limits to coverage, their new policy reserving the right to recover all money spent if you get a “guilty” verdict, their new requirements for your choice of attorney, and some of their other changes, we no longer recommend them for ccw insurance.
We think that the USCCA is still a good company and they offer good training resrouces. But, for legal protection, we think that CCW Safe offers a better product for a better price for us.
USCCA PROS AND CONS
- Great Training
- Highest Daily Per Diem
- Choose Your Own Lawyer
- Might Have to Pay Everything Back
- Highest Cost
- Limited Coverage
|Although it is at the higher end, you are getting a lot of resources.|| |
|The coverage amount has always been “capped” but now the actual limits are “confidential.”|| |
|TONS of extra features for training, not for legal coverage|| |
|A decent value for training, not for legal coverage.|| |
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