Anyone who has ever owned a nice gun has had the same concern: What if something happens to it?
What if it gets stolen? What if there’s a fire? What if it gets lost or broken by the airlines? The list of possible calamities is long. And for those with multiple guns, the anxiety only amps up.
There are similar worries with trophies. Taxidermy represents not only memories but also the time, energy and expenses involved in hunting the animals and having them mounted. Should trophies be damaged or stolen, the loss can be both emotional and financial.
So how do you achieve peace of mind that should something happen to your guns or trophies—or heaven forbid both—that you’ll be made whole? With insurance, of course. In fact, Gun & Trophy Insurance is a family owned business that was started specifically to offer coverage for firearms and taxidermy.
We recently had an opportunity to speak with Gun & Trophy President Cole Cushman and ask about his company and its offerings.
Why did you start an insurance company “targeting” firearms and trophies?
Our agents are active sportsmen and competitive shooters, and we weren’t satisfied with the options available to cover our personal collections. Traditional homeowners companies, specialty programs and association-endorsed plans carry high rates and have difficult purchase processes. And the marketplace for trophy-collection insurance was virtually nonexistent, leaving lifetime investments in hunts and memories unprotected.
Why would someone need to buy separate gun insurance? Aren't firearms covered under regular homeowners policies, or can’t one put a rider on a homeowners policy?
Gun coverage under your homeowners policy is limited if firearms are stolen, unless a separate policy—i.e., a personal articles floater—is purchased. Gun & Trophy Insurance not only covers guns if they are stolen, but it also covers them at their replacement values or at the stated values scheduled or listed on your policy—including extended-warranty coverage, tax stamps and other items excluded by homeowners policies. And they are covered at a far better rate.
How does the cost of your policies compare to the cost of insuring guns on a homeowners policy?
Our rates are 50% to 75% less than virtually every homeowners company. We charge from 15¢ to 31¢ per $100, where homeowners companies charge $1 to $2 per $100.
Gun & Trophy Insurance coverage provides the ultimate protection for all of your guns and trophies, including the cost of the hunts. Homeowners insurance may cover these types of personal property for perils up to a capped amount—generally a total of $2,000 to $5,000—not per gun or trophy. Additionally, many insurers are becoming “gun shy” with their potential liability exposure, which may cause your homeowners policy to be canceled.
How do I come up with accurate valuations for my guns and trophies?
Gun & Trophy does not require valuations or descriptions of firearms, including accessories, unless a single item is more than $10,000. Insureds can select a blanket/unscheduled limit to cover these guns, eliminating the need to notify us of new acquisitions or sales.
Items exceeding $10,000 are scheduled and insured at a stated amount. We leave the decision to the client to list a value, whether it’s purchase price, cost to replace new or a comparable firearm. We give an additional 25% of the scheduled limit if it’s insufficient to replace.
What types of loss and/or damage to firearms does the policy cover? Theft from home or vehicle? Loss and/or damage by airlines, fire and so on? Damage caused by accidents or firing a gun?
Our policies are all-risk and offer worldwide coverage. We also have several enhancements and extensions of coverage tailored to gun owners. Notable coverages include fire, theft, wind, flood, earthquake, breakage and transit/shipping.
There are some limitations—notably theft from an unlocked vehicle; however, we remove this while at a shooting event or while shipping.
If a trophy is stolen, is it true that you will pay not only the replacement cost of the trophy but also the cost of the hunt on which it was taken?
Correct. We have set values for virtually every species that is legal to hunt. Our values are in line with the actual cost invested in the hunt, including airfare, day rates, trophy fees, taxidermy cost and so on. Even if an insured is no longer capable of going on a hunt to replace a particular trophy, our aim is to make that individual whole.