USCCA vs US Law Shield : Which CCW Insurance Do We Prefer?
USCCA and US Law Shield have already been ranked in our Concealed Carry Insurance Comparison but some people have asked for a direct comparison of both even though CCW Safe took the #1 spot.
In this USCCA vs US Law Shield comparison, we’re going to compare the coverage and features of these two concealed carry insurance providers to help you decide which one might be right for you.
For me and my family, however, I chose CCW Safe.
USCCA – CCW Insurance
- Final Grade : A
- MSRP : $27-$44 /mo
US Law Shield – CCW Insurance
- Final Grade : C-
- MSRP : $11 / mo
USCCA vs US Law Shield: Which is the Best?
Which concealed carry insurance should you get, USCCA or US Law Shield?
Well, that’s near impossible for me to answer for a few reasons:
First, I don’t know your risk tolerance, budget for such a product, and your financial situation to handle defending yourself against criminal and/or civil court cases. Although I hope to help you make a decision on which company you should go with, I can’t possibly make the decision about which company you should choose – heck, I can’t even tell you whether you should get this type of coverage at all.
When I started my research of concealed carry insurance companies for our ultimate CCW insurance guide where we rank each company, I was not a customer and wasn’t convinced that I needed such coverage.
However, the more I looked into them and the more I realized how vulnerable I could be if I have to use my firearm in self defense, I signed up myself and my family before the article was published.
I, like many others, thought that I wouldn’t ever use my firearm unless it was justified self defense. However, as ashamed as I should be as an attorney, I didn’t realize how many times someone used a firearm (even if they didn’t fire it as in the McClosky case) that seemed justifiable to me but they were still charged with a crime or sued by others and then were stuck with major legal defense costs (easily in the hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Second, even when I realized I wanted to sign up with a company, it is REALLY hard to compare these companies because their offerings are so unique. This is where I hope to help you make your decision.
As a note, none of these companies actually offer “insurance” – instead, they offer self-defense legal protection coverage.
In this comparison, we’ll explore the coverage options and pros and cons of USCCA and US Law Shield to help you see which is right for you.
If you don’t want to read this whole deep-dive into USCCA and US Law Shield, then you should know that US Law Shield ranked last in our Best CCW Insurance comparison and USCCA, now that they have recently changed their plan/coverage, ranks second to last. However, between these two only, I recommend you consider USCCA.
If you’re open to considering all options for legal self defense protection, we think that the best CCW insurance option is CCW Safe.
USCCA: Our Take
The USCCA is the big-dog in the self defense legal protection space. They claim the largest number of members, they have the biggest organization, and a ton of training resources.
And, although they are the most expensive option available, members get a lot of training resources and support for the money. But, with their recent change in their plan/coverage, they are not the best value for leagl protection.
Things we love about USSCA: Tons of training and resources, highest daily “per diem” amount (more on that below) and they satisfy all three of our “must-have requirements.”
Things we’d change if we could: The total defense coverage dollar amounts are limited, they now treat these limits that they’ll pay to protect you as “confidential,” they reserve the right to make you pay back everything if you get a guilty verdit (where others offer support for an appeal), and a few other issues we found in their new policy .
Check out how they compare to US Law Shield in our full break-down below.
USCCA Pros and Cons
- Great Training
- Highest Daily Per Diem
- Can Pick Your Own Attorney
- Might Have to Pay Everything Back
- Highest Cost
- Capped Coverage
US Law Shield: Our Take
When it comes to “Concealed Carry Insurance” we believe that there are three things that ccw insurance must have : the ability to pick your own attorney, money up front (not just reimbursement), and a daily per-diem payment while in court.
Unfortunately, US Law Shield doesn’t meet 2 out of our 3 “must haves” and therefore we can’t recommend it – regardless of their low pricing, unlimited defense amounts, or other features.
They won’t let you pick your own attorney and there is no per diem available. This may not be a big deal to you but we believe a low cost to get unlimited dollars towards defense isn’t wise if you don’t trust/like your attorney.
Also, their standard plans miss major features that USCCA covers like bail bond funding and expert witness fees. They are available for an up-charge, however, they are not available in all states.
US Law Shield Pros and Cons
- Lowest Price Around
- Unlimited Criminal Defense
- Unlimited Civil Defense
- Bail Coverage is Extra Add-On
- Can’t Pick Your Own Lawyer
- No “Per Diem” Amount
USCCA vs US Law Shield: Pricing
For a single member basic plan, US Law Shield is less expensive than USCCA.
|Frequency||USCCA||US Law Shield|
However, the US Law Shield basic plans is missing some features that they charge extra for if you’d like to add them on.
For example, it’s an additional $2.95 a month if you’d like coverage in every state, an extra $2.00 per month if you’d like to add your minor children to your plan, and if you’d like to add bail bond funding and expert witness fees it’s an extra $2.95 per month.
But this last option is not available in all states.
Even with these extra fees, however, US Law Shield is still less expensive than USCCA’s lowest tier plan.
Winner: US Law Shield
However, looking only at the cost of these concealed carry insurance plans without taking into consideration exactly what you get for the money isn’t enough to make a decision. So, let’s explore more.
USCCA vs US Law Shield: Defense Coverage
This one seems straight forward, but it is tough to compare the amount of money provided for legal defense without addressing one of our biggest issues with US Law Shield – not being able to pick your own attorney.
Also, now that the USCCA has changed their plan/coverage, they no longer publish their limits. This is one of the main reasons they dropped so much in our comparison of the best CCW insurance.
Their new policy repetedly references dollar amount limits for coverage but the policy doesn’t share the numbers. When we asked why the USCCA removed their coverage dollar amounts from the policy and what the current amount swere, we were told that the limits were “confidential.”
So, we’ve included the most recently published amounts by USCCA as we believe through phone calls with them that the amounts are the same/similar. However, another change with USCCA is that their highest tier plan doesn’t offer any more legal protection coverage than their lowest plan.
|Feature||USCCA||US Law Shield|
|Max Criminal Defense||$250,000||Unlimited|
|Max Civil Defense||$2,000,000||Unlimited|
As you can see, US Law Shield does not limit your legal defense coverage dollar amount while USCCA does. However, USCCA does not limit which attorney you can use (mostly). With USCCA’s recent changes, they now require that whatever attorney you choose must agree to their hourly rate (unknown) and their “litigation guidlines” (also unkown).
Sticking purely to the dollar amount of defense coverage available, US Law Shield wins.
Winner: US Law Shield
USCCA vs US Law Shield: Features
If you’re keeping score so far, US Law Shield has won on both membership cost and dollar amount of legal defense coverage.
However, USCCA really pulls ahead when we look at other coverages and features.
|Feature||USCCA||US Law Shield|
|Pick Own Attorney||Yes||No|
|Money Up Front?||Yes||Yes|
|Investigator Fees Covered?||Yes||No|
|Expert Witnesses Covered?||Yes||Only in TX, OK, and PA|
|Up Front Bail Bonding||$50,000/$500,000||$25,000/$350,000 (only in TX, OK, and PA)|
As we mentioned above, I think that there are three “must have” features when it comes to picking CCW Insurance. USCCA offers all three whereas US Law Shield only offers one of the three.
Technically, this should disqualify them from my recommendation but you’re here to see US Law Shield compared to USCCA so we’ll continue.
My “Big 3” requirements are:
- Ability to choose your own attorney,
- Money up front, and
- A daily “per diem” while in trial
For a deeper discussion of these elements, feel free to check out 3 CCW Insurance Must Haves. We’ll compare these main 3 and also some more features of USCCA vs US Law Shield here.
Picking your own attorney: US Law Shield requires you to use their attorney. Although the attorney they choose is almost surely more competent to defend you in a criminal trial than I am, I want to be able to choose an attorney that I like and trust (and one that I can fire if I don’t think they are representing me well).
Money up front: Both providers give you the money you need up front – this is important. Trials can easily get into a couple hundred thousand dollars and if you have that kind of money available to be used for your defense, maybe concealed carry insurance isn’t right for you.
Daily “per diem” rate: While in trial, you’re not going to be able to work and earn money for you or your family. Getting a daily amount can go a long way – especially if you’re in trial for months.
USCCA offers the highest amount of any other provider while US Law Shield doesn’t offer anything.
Bail: The USCCA’s highest plan offers up to $500k in bail bond coverage and US Law Shield has recently increased their coverage for the bail bond add-on to $50k. If you live in, Kansas, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington, however, bail bond coverage is not provided by US Law Shield. Bail coverage is important unless you don’t mind sitting in jail until your trial is over.
Expert Witnesses and Private Investigators: These two types of professionals are important to have as part of your team and they can be very expensive. Although US Law Shield offers unlimited legal defense cost, none of it goes towards investigators and expert witnesses are only covered if you live in TX, OK, or PA.
USCCA vs US Law Shield: Extra Resources
This is the hardest area to compare because both the USCCA and US Law Shield offer many additional resources from online training, seminars, and publications.
I think it is fair to say that the extra resources offered by both companies are a good compliment to your membership.
USCCA vs US Law Shield Comparison Conclusion
If you kept score so far, US Law Shield won two categories of comparison while USCCA only won one.
However, the arbitrary categories/score alone doesn’t quite paint an accurate picture of these two companies.
Again, I can’t tell you whether you should get concealed carry insurance nor which company would be right for your particular situation. However, if you could afford either and you asked me to choose between the USCCA and US Law Shield, I would tell you to go with the USCCA… hands down.
First, US Law Shield doesn’t provide two of my three “must haves.” Being able to choose your legal representation is fundamental – you should select the best attorney that fits you and you should be able to fire them if you don’t like your defense.
Second, other important features like bail bond funding and expert witnesses are only covered by US Law Shield if you live in one of the three states in which they’re available. And things like investigator fees and stolen firearm cost aren’t covered at all.
Here’s the simplest summary I can give: if you only want to consider US Law Shield and USCCA as options and you want the most legal defense money for the lowest cost, then US Law Shield is for you. However, if you want to have more say in where that money is spent defending you and you want some expensive things like bail, experts, and investigators covered, then you should go with USCCA.
However, if you’re looking for what we think is the best legal protection, you should take a look at CCW Safe.
USCCA – CCW Insurance
Although it is at the higher end, you are getting a lot of features.A-
The coverage amount has always been “capped” but now the actual limits are “confidential.”C
TONS of extra features for training, not for legal coverageB
A decent value for training, not for legal coverage.C
Final Grade: B-
US Law Shield – CCW Insurance
One of the lowest cost options available.A+
The legal defense dollar amounts are unlimited but without having a choice in where they are spent, it may not matter.C
Some nice features, but it is missing 2 of our required 3 features and things like bail coverage cost extra.C
Low cost, but not near as many features or coverage as other options.B+
Final Grade: B
USCCA – CCW Insurance
May 30, 2023
May 30, 2023
I am very interested in obtaining liability insurance here in New York State as I’ve been a gun owner for the last twenty four years.
I’ve seen where USCCA discerns between civil and criminal defense with limited coverage for criminal. Could you address that potential difference? Thanks!
“Third, they still have the recoupment clause that means that if you’re guilty at the trial level (before an appeal), they can come after you for ALL the money they spend on your attorney AND all of the money they chose to spend on their own for anything related to their case.”
Just to be clear, which insurance does this or is it both of them?
USCCA has this clause.
What would happen if I purchase both policies? Would that be the best of the best solution?
I think that would be a worst of both worlds scenario. You run the risk of each company saying that certain costs are the responsibility of the other.
I don’t have a problem with not being able to pick your legal council if they publish the law firm they partner with. It is in everyone’s best interest that you have a GOOD attorney to make things go away fast (better for you and better for provider). I’d rather have a 100% vetted attorney than my divorce “wanna be self-defense” attorney.
It sounds like you agree that it is important to be able to have a say in who your attorney is. For example, what if a company chose your “divorce ‘wanna be self defense’ attorney?” If they did that, I’d sure want to have the power to choose someone else – it sounds like you would too.
Also, I am VERY suspicious of a service providers motivation if someone else is paying for them. For an extreme example, let’s make up a company and assume they’re horrible. Let’s call them “XYZ Self Defense Corp.” If XYZ only has to pay if you’re acquitted (NOT found guilty) and they get to choose the lawyer, wouldn’t it benefit XYZ (they’re horrible in my example, remember) to get the cheapest attorney that will lose your case? That way, they have very little money up front (they picked the cheapest/worst attorney) AND they might get their money back if you’re guilty.
No thank you for me – if I’m in that situation, I want the BEST attorney possible – not someone who was chosen by someone else. Now, if your insurance company recommends someone and you like them, then there’s no problem at all. However, contracts and terms really only matter when things are not ideal.
Does your opinion change now that USCCA has uncapped attorney fees, 2mil annually for civil damages, 100K for bail bond and STILL offers protection for any legal act of self defense with any legal weapon in all 50 states? They also do not have a prior relationship clause.
Because of this comment, I went back and read their new policy (this is the second bog change in one year to their coverage/policy). No, my opinion doesn’t not change.
First, making big changes like this, although in the right direction (good work, USCCA), they make me nervous. What if I sign up today and they change it again for the worse (like their did earlier this year) again?
Second, they still seem to not want you to be able to pick your own attorney as they cap the amount they’ll cover if it’s your own attorney that’s not approved by them. This is a non-starter for me. I want my attorney focused on my freedom, not potentially focused on saving money or taking direction from someone other than me.
Third, they still have the recoupment clause that means that if you’re guilty at the trial level (before an appeal), they can come after you for ALL the money they spend on your attorney AND all of the money they chose to spend on their own for anything related to their case. For example, if they decide to spend an extra $1 million traveling back and forth to your hearing on a private jet, something that you never would approve if it was your money, that could count as the total they decided to spend related to your case and you would have to pay it all back! Now, that’s an absurd example to make a point. That’s not going to happen. However, what if they hire an expert that you don’t want but they do? You could be stuck paying them back for that.
Fourth, they still refer to limits in their “unlimited” policy but, just as when they made the negative changes earlier this year, those amounts are hidden and not part of the policy. When I asked about this change before, I was told that the limits are confidential. I can only assume they still are. This scares me away.
I appreciate how hard it can be to keep up with the ins and outs of several companies, and I want to correct a few mistakes that you said about the USCCA.
First, the information that you gave about the caps actually changed last year, and each time the USCCA has made a change it has been an improvement, not a downgrade.
Second, the information that you have about capping the attorney fees and having to approve them first is not accurate, at all. Their policy is openly available and it isn’t there, and I’ve been a member for almost 10 years and ask a lot of questions, and that is not the case at all.
Third, every insurance agent will tell you that it is not legal for an insurance company to fun crime, period. This is not a negotiable, and this can be verified by asking the companies that provide the training materials for licensing. That being said, their policy clearly states that this only becomes an issue AFTER every legal appeal has been exhausted, not before appeals like you stated.
Fourth, the limits are clearly defined in the policy, they are not secret or confidential and are pretty common sense. An insurance policy is a legally binding document, there have to be exclusions to prevent a blanket coverage for uncovered activities and unlawful activities.
There is at least one inconsistency in your comparison. US Law Shield offers bail bonding/expert witness coverage everywhere, as of late 2020/early 2021. It is an additional $2.95/month and is worth every penny. Another lesser known fact about CCW Safe is that they do NOT provide coverage for use of force against a family member, no matter how distant the relationship. Think about that. It alone made me switch from CCW Safe to US Law Shield. Additionally, as far as picking your own attorney, I’m not experienced in who is a good attorney. I don’t want to pick my attorney. I want someone who has done this before to tell me who is going to win. Covering children/additional family member: CCW Safe will cover all family members INSIDE YOUR HOME ONLY. They do not extend any type of coverage to your children outside the home, where they could defend themselves against a bully, etc. In fact you must have a valid concealed carry license to be a member of CCW Safe. So constitutional carry state residents must still have a license to be covered. US Law Shield covers people licensed or not. Two dollars a month provides coverage for as many minor children as you may have, anywhere they may be. US Law Shield also lets you speak to a program attorney to answer any questions you may have. There is no limit to the number of times you can call. No one else offers this. One, 1 hour “meeting” with an attorney would easily cost more than the annual membership. I’ve done tons of homework on this very subject, which led me to switch. When I read incorrect info like this, it makes me wonder if this is being presented in good faith, or if it’s slanted to favor a particular company.
I agree 100% with you. I don’t have an attorney and if, God forbid I need one after protecting my life I do not want the added stress of trying to pick a competent attorney. I trust that US Law Shield would have competent attorneys specializing in firearm/weapons defenses. I also added minor protection and bail/expert witness protection for 4.95 a month. That’s pretty hard to beat in my opinion.
I completely understand where you are coming from. However, as an attorney, I would advise my family/friends to never allow an attorney to be selected by someone who might have motivation to make the representation as cheap as possible. If it were me, I wouldn’t want the cheapest lawyer nor the cheapest strategy. Instead, I would want the best lawyer as I am the one that would go to jail if the lawyer was bad.
I have US Law shield and added the $3 bond/witness coverage and live in Indiana..so that part of your comparison is incorrect. The not offering coverage for use of force against a family member is an absolute deal breaker for the one you recommend..I’d much rather not be able to choose my attorney than be limited on who I’m forced to defend myself against..
I understand. We have a different opinion here. A horrible lawyer, or one motivated to settle for cheap instead of providing the best defense, will get you convicted 100% of the time. If you defend yourself lawfully against a family member and the insurance doesn’t cover it, you still have a great chance of not being convicted. My goal is to avoid jail.
You are absolutely correct on all your points regarding US Law Shield. Of all the benefits offered just having unlimited access to consult with an attorney on gun laws and personal protection matters and all the nuances regarding legal jurisprudence on those topics is priceless. There are both federal and state laws that must be considered and gun laws can and often do vary significantly from state to state. No one else offers that benefit except US Law Shield. As for the argument that you should be able to pick your attorney most people aren’t capable of vetting or able to perform the due diligence required to select a competent attorney to represent them. Besides, in a dramatic self defense event, you don’t have the frame of mind, time or focus needed to select and vet an attorney. You need immediate and competent representation and US Law Shield provides that from the moment you call the incident hot line. Attorneys for US Law Shield are rigorously vetted for the program and you can be rest assured a competent attorney answers the incident hotline when you call and immediately goes directly to the location where the incident occurred to represent and speak for you so that you don’t end up making a statement that may end up incriminating you in legal proceedings. I know one of the lead attorney’s that handles many cases here in Georgia for US Law Shield who has over 30 years experience serving as a prosecuting criminal attorney, sat as a judge on many criminal cases and also served in the capacity as a criminal defense attorney. Many of them were gun/weapon related cases and never lost a self defense case he defended.
Also. be aware that many of the recent changes to USCCA contractual fine print has the inclusion of weasel clauses that should set off warning bells and should have immediately disqualified them from any serious consideration because the exposure to the risk of getting screwed over is way too high. It’s also why I left and went to US Law Shield who stand by you no matter what.
I too agree with Jared Markotan that there were many material misrepresentations made by this attorney which also leads me to believe this is a biased and rather subjective evaluation not based entirely on all the facts.
Jared pointing out additional information does not equal “material misrepresentations” on my part. This is a free site with a free article you just read. I will not be able to include every possible detail that someone could possibly share. I am thankful when helpful comments like Jared’s come in.
You seem to misunderstand the difference between having the right to choose your own attorney vs being required to choose your own attorney. If it’s too stressful for you, by all means take the recommended attorney. That may very well be the best option. However, if the chosen attorney is horrible, I want the right (not the duty) to reject them and get another. That is all. I think this is simple and important. We may disagree.
I am happy to hear of the experience of the attorney in Georgia you are referencing. That is GREAT news. However, if he leaves and they choose someone who you don’t want to represent you (me, for example), I sure hope you have the right to switch attorneys.
We clearly agree on USCCA and the new clauses. As far as I know, I was the first to break the news about these new clauses and lowered their rating significantly.
Ryan ,Sir thank you for you write ups. How do you address the Exclusions about these plans i.e Stalker, former lovers, etc?
Easy enough to figure out. Just Google their individual court records…which carrier has been more successful at defending clients in defensive shootings? Shouldn’t be to difficult to find out.
Would a federal fire arms license protect one from fire arms confiscation laws?
Maybe. In Connecticut, for example, they passed a law that banned certain types of firearms and exempted FFLs. So, in that case, having an FFL meant you could keep certain types of firearms.