Hunter Safety and Gun Insurance Refresher

As hunting season approaches, it is a good idea to refresh your knowledge of a few fundamental hunting safety rules. It is also never a bad time to be sure that you have the right amount of insurance coverage for your hunting firearms in case of a loss or an accident.

Hunter Safety Basics

The most common cause of accidents and injuries among hunters include:

  • Falling from treestands;
  • Incorrect identification of a target; and
  • Self-inflicted injuries.

These basic hunter safety rules will reduce risk of injury or accidents:

  • Keep the barrel of your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times.
  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Be sure of your target and what is in front of it and behind it.
  • Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
  • Wear a blaze orange cap or vest.
  • Use a small flashlight during dim light conditions to identify yourself as a human being.
  • Follow all fundamental firearm safety rules at all times.

To avoid falls and injuries when using a treestand, remember to:

  • Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Inspect your treestand prior to each use.
  • Always wear a fall restraint when you are climbing, sitting or descending from an elevated position.
  • Pull your gun or bow up with a rope. Firearms should be unloaded, with the action open and the safety on.

Don’t forget to be respectful of wildlife, the land, and other people in the area.

  • Respect the landowner of the property that you are hunting on.
  • Show respect to other hunters and non-hunters in the area.
  • Respect wildlife and their habitats by not leaving behind trash or debris.
  • Follow all state laws and regulations.
  • Use equipment that is appropriate for the game that you are hunting, and be sure that you are properly trained and proficient with using it.

Hunting Rifles Are Covered Under Your Homeowners Insurance, But Be Aware of Limitations

Hunting rifles and other firearms are covered under homeowners insurance (like other personal property) for loss, theft or damage. A standard homeowners policy typically provides up to $2,500 in coverage for lost, damaged or stolen firearms.

Keep in mind that most homeowners insurance policies refer to covered perils (causes of loss), such as fire or theft. Some policies cover all perils except ones specifically excluded, while other policies cover only the perils named in the policy—leaving you without coverage for many ways in which you lose your gun. Imagine that you are duck hunting and your shotgun falls into the lake and is unrecoverable. This type of loss will not be covered under your homeowners policy because the way in which the item was lost is not a covered peril.

Most insurance companies offer additional coverage, or a scheduled personal property rider, for firearms. With this type of rider you gain additional coverage for covered perils that are not covered under the basic homeowners policy. Often scheduled personal property riders are not subject to a deductible.

Your homeowners policy also provides liability coverage if you accidentally injure someone with your gun. Again, if you think the limits of the standard policy are not enough, you can purchase additional liability coverage or buy a specialized policy for gun owners.

Gun owners may have to show that rifles and pistols are properly secured in a locked gun case, have trigger locks, and are out of the reach of children.

Are you ready for hunting season? Have you reviewed your current insurance policy to be sure that you are appropriately protected? Contact us today to ensure your coverage hits the mark.

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