Could insurers be the answer to gun control?
A new survey says yes.
A ValuePenguin survey of nearly 2,000 Americans found that 75 percent believe gun owners should be required to purchase liability coverage for their firearms. Support for firearm liability insurance was almost as high as support for liability insurance on homes (72 percent) or cars (84 percent).
Generation Z—ages 18 to 26—backed insurance requirements the most, with 82 percent in favor. This was also true among six-figure earners (80 percent) and parents with children younger than 18 (78 percent).
Forty-four percent of survey respondents said each firearm should have a separate policy, while 31 percent thought a single policy would be adequate.
With respect to how much coverage should apply, 77 percent of Americans believed gun owners should have between $50,000-and $250,000 in liability coverage, while 7 percent thought that $1 million or more in coverage would be adequate.
Most Americans (82 percent) believe gun owners should be held liable for damage or injury sustained by their gun, even if they did not pull the trigger. Parents were more likely (87 percent) to hold firearm owners responsible for others using their guns.
Among current gun owners, 41 percent thought they should be held criminally liable, while 17 percent felt they should be held civilly liable. Twenty-two percent that they should be held both criminally and civilly liable.
Nearly 100 percent of Americans surveyed believe in placing restrictions on firearm access. Of those surveyed, 73 percent said they believed in restrictions centering on mental health, 70 percent on criminal history, and 60 percent on age.
Non-gun owners were more likely to lean towards mandatory firearm permits (47 percent), compared with current gun owners (31 percent). Non-gun owners were also more supportive of requiring gun owners to have proof of liability insurance and safe storage.
Respondents felt gun ownership should require proof of training (52 percent), a permit to own a gun (41 percent), proof of safe storage (37 percent) and proof of gun liability insurance (33 percent).
Among gun owners, 89 percent felt a sense of safety, while only 52 percent felt safer knowing others were armed. Among non-gun owners, only 14 percent saw firearm ownership as a way to feel safer. Millennials were the most likely to report feeling safer with a gun (57 percent), with 31 percent reporting feeling safer knowing others have guns.
A surprising revelation was that more than half of Americans (56 percent) do not know that homeowners insurance does offer coverage for guns.
While many insurers do not require disclosure of gun ownership, mandating firearm insurance could change this, Value Penguin notes.
The results were reported by Maggie Davis, a staff writer for Value Penguin on the company’s website in late April.