USCCA Review [for 2023] | Written by a Firearms Attorney
USCCA is one of the most talked about Concealed Carry insurance providers on the market. But is it worth it?
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 we had some issues with their policy in the past, the USCCA has recently updated their terms and we are really impressed with the coverage you can get by being a USCCA member.
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.
In this USCCA Review we’re going to cover:
- What is the USCCA?
- Should You Get Self Defense Liability Protection?
- 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
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 and it is the most common term used to talk about such companies. Technically companies like USCCA offer self defense liability protection. And, in the case of USCCA, it is a member services company that provides training and resources to its members while also giving them access to the “liability insurance” all members enjoy.
The training and resources include online courses in topics like home defense fundamentals, reading material such as their Concealed Carry Magazine, and they even host a Concealed Carry Expo. As you can see, the USCCA is really the big-dog in the self defense insurance space not only because of all of these member benefits and resources, but also because of the level of coverage that USCCA insurance provides.
These resources they provide 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).
Should You Get Self Defense Liability Protection?
It is up to you to determine whether legal protection coverage for CCW is right for you. This is because everyone’s situation, budget, and risk tolerance are unique and I can’t possibly know what’s best for you and your family.
However, I can tell you that I think it is worth the cost especially with what’s going on in the world today.
Well, 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). In fact, after you’ve used a gun to defend yourself, the fight isn’t over – in many cases it has just begun. This is where self defense liability insurance can really make a major difference.
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.
However, if you’re a gun owner (especially if you concealed carry), and you’re concerned about the legal cost of a self defense incident, then you are likely checking out the USCCA on your quest to find the best concealed carry insurance.
Let’s dive in to the costs and coverages you get by being a USCCA member:
How Much Does USCCA Cost?
USCCA comes with 3 different membership levels–each with different costs and benefits.
However, the differences in each tier of membership are in the features and resources from USCCA – each tier gets access to the exact same level of self liability defense protection.
So, if you’re looking solely for legal liability protection, the Gold Tier (least expensive) is the smart choice. However, if you want all of the training and resources USCCA offers, you should check out the Platinum Tier (most expensive).
USCCA Coverage Details
|Criminal Defense Max||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Civil Defense Max||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Civil Damages Max||$2 million||$2 million||$2 million|
|Pick Own Attorney?||Yes*||Yes*||Yes*|
|Money Up Front?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Per Diem Max||$750/day||$750/day||$750/day|
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:
Criminal Defense Coverage: 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 now has no limit to how much they’ll pay for your criminal defense expenses. Unlimited legal coverage is a BIG deal!
Civil Defense Coverage: Even if you’ve been found “not guilty” and your self defense is justified, 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 also provides unlimited defense coverage for civil lawsuits.
Civil Defense Liability: If you lose a civil lawsuit, you may have to pay “damages” (money) to the plaintiff. Although the USCCA doesn’t limit the amount they’ll pay in your defense, they limit the amount of damages they’ll pay if you lose to $2,000,000.
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 $100,000 for bail bond funding. This is the highest amount for any provider.
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 the highest at $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.
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 resources. Also, the USCCA meets all 3 of our “must haves” for CCW insurance whereas some other options do not.
|Feature||CCW Safe||USCCA||Second Call Defense||ACLDN||U.S. Law Shield||Right to Bear|
|Criminal Defense Max||Unlimited||Unlimited||$100,000||Unlimited*||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Civil Defense Max||Unlimited||Unlimited||$1,000,000||Unlimited*||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Civil Liability Max||$1,000,000||$2,000,000||$250,000||$0||$0||Unlimited|
|Pick Own Attorney?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Money Up Front?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Per Diem Max||$250||$750||$500||n/a||n/a||n/a|
*No limit in policy, however, coverage is limited to amount in general fund
1 UNLIMITED UP-FRONT LEGAL PROTECTION
Unlimited legal defense is great but it’s vital that you get money up front (unless you have a few hundred thousand available to wait for reimbursement later).
2 ONLINE TRAINING LIBRARY
USCCA has tons of resources to make you smarter and less likely to need to legal coverage!
3 CHOOSE YOUR OWN ATTORNEY
A large amount of money paid to a useless attorney equals your freedom at risk (and wasted money).
4 COMMUNITY/MEMBER PERKS
For members, the USCCA offers training, gear, industry partners, online communities, and more.
USCCA REVIEW – OUR TAKE
USCCA has great legal coverage and so many extra resources, we think that it’s a good option for ccw insurance.
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 about USCCA: We love that the USCCA now offers unlimited legal protection in the defense of both criminal and civil cases!
We also like that they allow you to choose your own attorney – this 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.
What we don’t like about the USCCA: The biggest concern we have from their policy that it contains a “recoupment clause.”
From their policy, Section I says:
“We shall have the right to seek recovery or recoupment from an “insured” the amount of any payments made to, for, or on behalf of the “insured”, including payments made to third parties, if it is determined that any such payments were made for matters not covered by this Policy or are otherwise prohibited by applicable law.”
This means that if it is determined that your incident wasn’t covered, whether it is found to not be lawful self defense or a law was broken like unlawful firearm possession, you could be required to to pay back all of the money that USCCA spent on your case.
This can be scary because it could mean that if you were found guilty then your incident wasn’t lawful self defense and you could be on the hook for all money paid.
However, we have found no incidents of this clause ever being used and there’s no guarantee that a guilty verdict, on its own, would be enough to trigger this.
To give them the benefit of the doubt, this section of the policy is understandable. They have many members to protect and don’t want to be spending money, that they could be using to defend you, on someone’s case if it wasn’t something that should have been covered.
Our final thoughts: With their new policy with its unlimited coverage for your defense and their training and resources, we think that the USCCA is a strong contender for your concealed carry insurance.
USCCA PROS AND CONS
- Most Features
- Great Training
- Highest Daily Per Diem
- Choose Your Own Lawyer
- Unlimited Legal Defense
- Highest Cost
Although it is at the higher end, you are getting a premium product with a ton of features.
With their new unlimited coverage for defense and $2m cap on civil liability, USCCA has great coverage.
TONS of awesome features – way more than anyone else.
Easily the best value in CCW insurance especially if you are interested in al of the extra features and resources available to members.
Reviewed by Ryan Cleckner
Based on 36 Reviews
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March 16, 2023
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Have had USCCA for five years, but just recently read the bit about having to repay them for expenses if you re ultimately found guilty, or are convinced to take a plea deal. Spoke with a rep, and he said USCCA would stay with you through an appeal, but if you lost that, then what? Double the amount to have to pay back? In a time and/or country where the legal system seems ever more divided into two levels, with DAs and prosecutors on crusades for social justice, this is really disturbing, and seems almost punitive. CCW Safe has no mention of repayment, that I have yet found.
What about then clause in the USCCA contract that says they won’t cover you if you’re charged with a crime? That’s the whole reason why I want the coverage. If I’m charged with a crime and need to defend myself in court.
Haven’t seen that clause nor anything like it in their newest policy – can you help point it out?
It’s in their liability document, section 2.b “Exclusions”. I guess it kind of makes sense that they are not going to provide coverage for if you go and commit a crime, and then want coverage. If you were robbing a store and then used what you believed to be self defense, why would they cover you? It’s like setting your house on fire, and then filing a home owners claim.
It is illegal to “cover” someone charged with a criminal act. The main issue is they can seek reimbursement and do not allow for appeals. If you’re found guilty they basically write you off as such.
You won’t find better self-defense insurance for us Californians than USCCA. Absolutely fact, do your research and you’ll see why.
As of today, it seems the insurance coverages have changed with both CCW Safe and USCCA. Do you still believe CCW Safe is the way to go? Still weighing my options and would love your knowledgeable input.
CCW Safe makes sense for me and my family – your circumstances might be different. I don’t think you can really go wrong as both are reputable companies.
I personally was considering CCW Safe but for us Californians we wouldn’t get much use out of it. CCW Safe is perfect for more pro-2nd Amendment states.
I noticed most of the links per state are either not working or inactive. I am looking to find someone in Illinois. I have had USCCA for years and I am shopping around to see what else may be better, especially for Illinois, where I would like to receive more training. Any information as to who would be a good choice for us in Illinois? Tank you.
I just heard from a police officer that reviewed and spoke with USCCA Reps that they will not cover a “bad” case so does that mean they will not pay your bill or pay your attorney fees until after you one in criminal court or civil court?
According to the USCCA, they now have more than 604,000 members, so indeed a big organization that many CCW carriers trust. I’m shopping for CCW coverage and like the coverages CCW Safe provides as compared to the USCCA, but the training resources provided by the USCCA are a really big plus in their favor.
Great info and on target.
Insurance is one of those things? Love the USCCA program and training but you bring up very valid points and food for thought.
I’m shopping right now and found your article in my research.
I’m in the process of researching and just wanted to clarify a couple things for others who might be doing the same: (1) the USCCA membership page at https://www.deltadefense.com/offers/5f6c9c07df964/join-the-uscca-today clearly shows the $2M civil liability and $250K criminal defense coverage limits; (2) the CCW Safe policy has unlimited defense but a $1M cap on civil liability; (3) loss of earnings coverage per day in the CCW Safe base plan is 1/3 of the amount for USCCA. Both seem like good plans just pointing out some additional differences. Thanks!
Thank you for this! It looks like they put their coverage numbers back up (we’er glad they changed their mind about this). I’ll update the article soon.
Do you have to be a member of USCCA before you can actually see a list if attorneys in your area that would represent you if you needed to be represented
I believe so, yes.
Let’s say new laws are enacted that ban firearms even with a permit, to qualified citizens under our present laws. Let’s further assume the new laws require us to surrender either our firearms or ammo or extended mags or all the above. LEO agrees to enforce the new laws and drops by to demand you surrender your arms etc. If you do not surrender your arms, you are then considered a criminal and no longer qualify to have a concealed carry permit, or have a firearm. You’re a criminal. What good is this ‘insurance’ if we no longer can legally own a firearm. If we defend ourselves against an unlawful order where does USCCA stand then? I can see a future legal environment that would make such Ins a useless waste of money. Are you prepared to go to the mat for your members in a 2nd amendment case?
If I am retired, living on S.S. and pension, will any of these “policies” pay me the per deim in the event of a trial? And do they only pay during the course of the trial for the actual days you are physically in court?
Yes – some of them do pay a per diem for time in court. Please check out our comparison of all services here: Best Legal Self Protection Companies Compared.
Hello Ryan, I’m a 73-year-old male with only one arm. Other physical debilities also. Do not own a gun as of yet. Just pepper gel. Yet I live in the city ranked as the number one worst cities in the US to live in due to high crime rate. Memphis Tennessee. Therefore, I may someday need to act defensively. Just in case, I purchased uscca membership with insurance and would like to know how to find out ahead of time the very best criminal attorney(s) here who accept this insurance, in case I should need such an attorney. I would like to be able to make a phone call now and speak with their office before anything might happen to make sure that they do indeed accept this insurance and if there is a long wait list for clients. Any information you wish to offer would be appreciated! Thank you.
If you have USCCA you can go on their website and see the list of attorneys they work with in your area. Hopefully you have a gun by now, if not get one as soon as you can! Until then USCCA is probably a waste of money for you. If you’re a one armed elderly man no judge or jury will try to convict you for pepper spraying someone. With that though – look up the cone/fog style spray. Much more effective and forgiving in terms of accuracy.
I am not an attorney or giving you legal advice, just being realistic. Stay safe and thank you for your service.
Wowzers this article reads like a paid endorsement from uscca, but don’t worry, the author assured us he’s not bias. Laughable
He has stated in multiple articles he has CCW Safe so I’d say it’s safe to say he is not paid by them.
I want lessons here in Florida. Does Ryan have classes here in Florida. ?