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Is Civil Liability Insurance Really Necessary?

By Attorney Marc J. Victor

April 12, 2024

 

 

Key Points:

 

Why AOR Does NOT Cover Civil Liability

The Attorneys On Retainer program is a law firm agreement, NOT an insurance policy or prepaid legal plan.

As a law firm, AOR’s primary goal is to provide our clients with the best legal representation possible in the event of a self-defense-related incident. If the three qualifying criteria are satisfied for a “self-defense-related legal matter,” AOR will vigorously and professionally defend its clients in the resulting criminal and civil defense matters.

However, if a civil judgment is entered against you, AOR does not cover any civil judgment that is owed to the plaintiff (ex. medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, etc.).

An insurance-backed company that offers civil liability coverage likely offers it through its insurance policy and has the financial protection to cover up to $1 million in damages if a civil judgment is entered against you. However, if the insurance company determines that your self-defense incident was considered a “criminal act,” or you accepted a plea or were found guilty, they may decline coverage entirely for all matters.

 

Using Insurance Programs to Cover Civil Liability

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make, and you have numerous options to explore. You might consider consulting your homeowners’ insurance provider or look into getting umbrella coverage for additional civil liability options.

Homeowners Insurance Policy: There are some homeowners insurance policies that cover both property and liability protection. Your personal liability coverage may include civil lawsuits, but the lawsuit must be related to a covered claim. To ensure you’re covered by both property and liability protection, review your existing policy.

Umbrella Insurance Policy: Umbrella insurance offers additional coverage beyond the limits and protections provided by existing policies. It extends coverage to include injuries, property damage, specific legal claims, and personal liability scenarios.

 

Combining an AOR Membership with Insurance-Backed Programs

Some of our AOR members have also enrolled in additional insurance-backed programs solely for the civil liability coverage, this is totally up to you. We have no problem working with other competing companies if a self-defense issue arises. However, you may want to discuss with the other provider if they are willing to work with AOR.

If you decide to enroll with another insurance-based provider solely for civil liability coverage, it’s essential that you review your contract completely. You may discover that your coverage could be denied due to exclusions for being convicted of a criminal act if you accept a plea.

 

The Reality of Facing a Civil Lawsuit from an Attackers Family

Even if you are cleared of all criminal charges from a self-defense incident, the attacker or even the family of the injured/deceased attacker may bring a civil suit for damages.

The attorney representing the attacker’s family will assess your financial stability to determine the feasibility of pursuing a civil lawsuit. If you’re independently wealthy and you have a lot of money outside the equity of your own home, you could potentially become a target of a civil lawsuit. However, if you don’t have liability insurance or sufficient income or assets, it may be impossible to pay out money the court has ordered you to pay.

The Price of Bringing a Civil Lawsuit

Typically, an attorney will charge the person pursuing the case by the hour. At first, they might ask for $20,000 to $30,000 to get started. But for most people, that’s a lot of money. However, if you have a big insurance policy from another company, it might encourage a lawyer representing you to accept the case.

For people who don’t have a lot of money and whose main asset is in the equity of their home, you may be protected from judgment creditors by your state’s Homestead Exemption Laws. If it does, you might not need to worry about this at all. But be sure to check your state’s homestead exemption laws as they do vary by state.

 

Our Priority Is Winning Your Civil Case

Our main goal in representing you is to achieve a positive result in the civil case, preferably without any judgment going against you. Our team of Attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your interests and achieve the best possible result.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Attorneys On Retainer Program, or how it works, please call 866-404-5112 to contact us today.

Criminal Defense Attorney and founder/owner of Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm, Marc J. Victor, specializes in major felony and self-defense cases. With experience as a legal commentator, he is also a long-time freedom activist and a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

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