Purchasing considerations for LEOSA insurance
If you have to neutralize a threat, even if it’s deemed a good shoot, who will come to your aid?
You applied for a CCW under LEOSA (H.R.218) the day you retired. But now that you are off the force, you are no longer covered by your agency’s insurance and won’t be defended by the jurisdiction that employed you.
If you have to neutralize a threat, even if it’s deemed a good shoot, who will come to your aid? You might be surprised that the umbrella policy on your homeowners or renter’s insurance probably won’t – and you and your family could be left homeless and penniless after a lawsuit.
Here are some steps to help prevent loss of your home and other assets, or worse, jail time.
Do your research
Around the same time that you are selecting a shadow box for your uniform, working on what to do with your pension and applying for your LEOSA credentials, you also should be checking out the insurance options available that can help protect you if you are involved protecting your life or the life of others around you.
While you could call your current insurance agent, the best bet is to research policies that specialize in coverage for situations when you need to protect yourself, your family, or your friends. An internet search for “CCW insurance policies” will display dozens of choices; so how do you select the option that is best for you?
At a minimum, the insurance you buy should have:
- A 24-hour contact number with a live agent;
- Provide an immediate bond to release you from jail;
- Either provide lawyers, investigators and expert witnesses or will pay for your own team to defend you from both criminal and civil charges.
Additionally, you may want to look for insurance that will pay for civil damages so that you don’t lose your house. It also is to your benefit to look for an insurance company that specializes in people like you who carry under H.R.218. Why? Unlike civilians who always have been civilians, your police service record could be dug up by the prosecuting attorneys and you want to ensure your own attorneys know how to deal with this happening.
If you don’t have your own attorneys who specialize in CCW shootings (and frankly, how many of us do?) then you want to choose an insurance company that has vetted attorneys available to them who do know how to defend someone like you. You wouldn’t go to a Prius mechanic to work on your Ford pickup, so why would you choose an insurance company that doesn’t specialize in working with former officers?
Before laying down your premium to any insurance company, make sure that you ask for and are provided with a list of cases that the company has won and lost so that you can evaluate whether or not you believe that they could defend you. And now that you and your family are protected, let’s get back to the action.
After an event
Assuming that the worst happens, and you have to draw and fire to protect yourself or your family, what happens now?
A former LE or anyone calling on behalf of an LE should say something like, “My wife is a former law enforcement officer. She was attacked and had to defend herself. She is located at the back of the restaurant and is wearing a grey blouse and white pants. Please send police and an ambulance to this location.” Unless you are covering a suspect, your weapon should be holstered so that police don’t perceive you as a threat when they arrive.
When the police arrive, your firearm will be impounded, you and other bystanders will be questioned, and you could be arrested. The best course of action at this time is to again state that you feared for your or someone else’s life, were defending yourself, point out the attacker and any evidence, then call your attorney.
Calling your attorney
Right of bang is not the time to start looking for an attorney. And as mentioned above, no matter how much your former brothers, sisters and CO want to help, they cannot. To repeat, your agency’s insurance won’t cover you and you won’t be defended by the jurisdiction that employed you. But you already purchased specific insurance that will protect you in case you do need to take that shot, right? Now is the time to pull that coverage card out of your wallet and call the single number on it that will be answered by a human whose job is to get you out of jail and start up the machine which is there to defend you and protect your family’s assets.
Having a plan for you and your family when something goes down and selecting the proper insurance is part of being a good provider – even in retirement. You owe it to them.