What if it's not self-defense, but while away at work, your child breaks into your gun safe and decides to play a dangerous game of Russian Roulette with friends and it ends with someone being shot? Unfortunately, this happens more than we'd think and this too could lead to a claim denial from the insurance company, following a lawsuit from the victims family. Just look at the case of 20th Century Insurance Co vs Stewart, where the California Court of Appeal construed a criminal acts exclusion and determined that it barred coverage. In this case, the insured was playing Russian Roulette and although the gun did not discharge for the first two people he shot at, it did discharge and kill the third person. The court found the insured's conduct was intentional and deliberate.
Of course, each claim could have unique circumstances and different outcomes, but in many cases, people have found that their home insurance would not cover acts, as mentioned above. This is why you should speak with an experienced insurance agent, one who understands these exclusions and can assist you with getting a separate self defense insurance policy. There are different options out there and you really want to understand the differences, as some require you to pay back the defense cost, if you are found guilty of a crime, while others don't have that same policy provision.
If you'd like to learn more, give Ken Goodwin at Pacific Preferred Insurance a call at 805-351-3859.