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[Review] CCW Safe Self Defense Insurance, Read Before Joining

We think every concealed carrier should consider self defense insurance. These products cover associated legal fees in the event you need to defend yourself against criminal or civil legal action.

CCW Safe Self Defense Insurance —

To clarify, I use the term “insurance” when discussing CCW Safe and other similar products, even though the product may not fit a legal description of insurance. These plans function like insurance, so we refer to them as “self-defense” or “concealed carry insurance.”

Our company has always taken pride in doing deep research into the companies in this now very competitive space and CCW Safe is no different. I've been to the corporate headquarters for many of these companies and call owners, founders, or top-level leadership friends for most of them.

I'm not trying to brag, but I want you to understand that I'm uniquely qualified to have an opinion on the topic having read the actual membership agreements word by word from these various companies and having interviewed many members who have “filed claims.”

The Important Things Are Often The Things You Can't Put In A Comparison Chart

For the last 5 years, we have hosted on our site the most comprehensive, non-biased, comparison chart in the industry. So, if researching multiple insurance policies and comparing their differences sounds as fun as a dinner date with the women of “The View”, I have good news. We've done a lot of the heavy lifting with comparison.

Our comprehensive chart shows all the important differences between all the major players in this space and you will find the full chart down below in this article. However, the purpose of this article is to take a deeper look at CCW Safe and maybe give you some insights into things we can't really put into a chart.

kyle rittenhouse

CCW Safe, Born From Experience in Self-Defense Shootings

CCW Safe began as co-founders Mike Darter, Kyle Sweet, and Stan Campbell considered the challenges that face a citizen forced to defend themselves in court because of their use of force. Mike and Stan used deadly defensive force during their Law Enforcement Careers, and Kyle, a two-time National Attorney of the year has years of experience defending officers in use of force cases and is a former law enforcement officer himself.

These men realized that officers needed experienced legal representation after a use of force incident. However, limited options existed for the citizen concealed carrier.

Put differently, when the leadership of CCW Safe sits down to consider what benefits they will provide their members and how they will serve and support someone who is involved in a critical incident, they do so with the experience that comes from having shot at people and been shot at themselves. Not only have they been in those incidents, but Mike Darter dealt with a lawsuit over his use of force as an officer.

Who Answers Your Phone Call?

Perhaps one of the most important things I can share about CCW Safe is the answer to this question. When you call the 1-800 “HOTLINE” for CCW Safe, the person who is first in line to answer the phone is an attorney. Not just some attorney who couldn't hack it in the private sector. Don West.

Don West is, at the time of this writing, CCW Safe's National Trial Counsel, and widely considered as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country. You may be familiar with his name in association with the George Zimmerman trial in which Don was the co-counsel for the defense.

Episode 434 concealed carry podcast with CCW Safe Don West

Listen to this podcast episode with CCW Safe National Legal Counsel Don West and find out what really goes into a self-defense trial.

If Don can't answer, don't worry. The call will route one by one to the rest of the critical response team, which comprises 2 other highly experienced attorneys and 2 retired homicide detectives.

CCW Safe competitors ALL have some sort of hotline 1-800 number but from my experience and research, nobody else is connecting you with people as extremely experienced and familiar with your situation as CCW Safe.

Boots on the Ground

One other thing I have found highly unique and valuable about CCW Safe is their approach to “boots on the ground.” From their experience as investigators and attorneys, they understand the high value of getting out in front of legal challenges as fast as possible.

To do this, when a call comes in from a member (or the family of a member) to report an incident, they immediately decide about what local resources they need to maximize a positive outcome. In any serious incident, like one in which shots are fired and someone may is injured or killed, they dispatch members of their response team to the locale.

A few years ago, I interviewed Stephen Maddox (listen to the interview here) and he told me that CCW Safe team members got to the city where the incident took place within 12 hours, despite it being on a weekend. Within 36 hours, the CCW Safe critical response team had secured a competent local attorney, met with Stephen's family and employer, and had discussions with local law enforcement and investigators about the incident.

I feel great about being a member of CCW Safe because their competitors limit themselves to finding you a lawyer and then writing checks. CCW Safe goes beyond writing checks and gets hands-on quickly to maximize the odds of success and to assist you with every aspect of the aftermath that you might not have otherwise thought of.

How Does CCW Safe Coverage Compare to the Competition?

Now that I've highlighted some of the “features” I think are hard to put into a chart, let's talk about the more traditional benefits you may be familiar with in relation to this kind of service.

Obviously, you must decide what things are most important to you and your specific needs. Also, when comparing different companies, it's important to look at more than just the coverage amounts. You should also take into consideration other ancillary expenses. For example, if a plan has high coverage for attorney fees, but not for expert witnesses, you may reconsider that plan. A self defense case has many facets, and you want to use everything in your defense. Here is a good chart from the CCW Safe website that breaks down how much money gets spent on these unique elements of your defense.

Chart courtesy of CCW Safe

Below I'm going to share our BIG “Comparison Chart” but let me first call out some places in that comparison where CCW Safe really shines:

  • Unlimited Attorney fees in both criminal and civil defense
  • Highest bail bond coverage in the industry
  • No Recoupment clause. A recoupment clause is a clause in the member agreement that allows the provider can come after the member to recover all the expenses paid out on their behalf should a court find the member guilty of a crime. I know that sounds ridiculous but some companies have such a clause. Luckily, CCW Safe isn't one of them.
  • Red Flag coverage. If you are served with an “extreme risk protection order” and need legal representation, CCW Safe will cover that like any other incident.
  • Your family members are also covered inside your home if they should need to use force.

And one last thing to point out before you engross yourself in the comparison chart below…

While the below chart focuses on the most expensive, top-tier, plan each company sells, CCW Safe has some amazing coverage with their lower-cost plans and I'll share some of those details further below in this review.

Side-by-side comparison of all major self-defense coverage plans—

Armed Citizens LDNCCW SafeFirearms Legal ProtectionRight to BearSecond Call DefenseUS Law ShieldUSCCA
Click HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick Here
Cost$135 p/yr$519 p/yr$19.95 Setup/Person; $21.95/mo, $239/yr$11/month & $125/year$34.95 p/mo or $399 p/yr$19.95 Setup, $10.95 p/mo or $131.40 p/yr$499 p/yr
Insurance?Not InsuranceInsurance BackedInsurance BackedVaries by StateInsurance Backed
Bail Bond Premium Coverage$25,000$100,000$25,000Additional Fee$25,000Varies by State$100,000
Choose Your AttorneyYou ChooseYou Choose - They ApproveYou ChooseYou ChooseYou ChooseThey ChooseYou Choose
Criminal Defense Attorney Fees$25K immediately + more after board reviewCovered / No LimitCovered - No LimitCovered - No LimitUp to $150,000Covered - No LimitCovered / No Limit
Civil Defense Attorney Fees$25K immediately + more after board reviewCovered - No LimitCovered - No LimitCovered - No LimitUp to $1,500,000Covered - No LimitCovered - No Limit
Civil DamagesNoUp to $1,000,000NoNoUp to $300,000NoUp to $2,000,000
Recoupment ClauseNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
Appeals Covered?YesYesYesYesCase by caseYesYes
Any Legal WeaponYesYesYesYesAny Legal FirearmYesYes
Expert WitnessesYesYesUp to $5000YesYesVaries by StateYes
Red Flag Law CoverageNoYesYesNoNoYesMembers might be eligible for coverage by "Legal Defense Foundation"
50 State CoverageYesYesYes for all Premium PlansAdditional FeeYesAdditional FeeYes
Ongoing Training & ContentYesOnline Content, NewsletterNoOnline Training & TipsNewsletter, online content, videosNoProtector Academy
Available Nationwide?YesNot available in NY, NJ, & WA32 States OnlyNot available in NJ, NY, & WANot available in NY, NJ, & WANot Available in AK, CT, DE, ME, NY, & RINot available in NY, NJ, & WA
24/7 Emergency HotlineYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Spouse/Family Covered?Additional FeeCovered in Home / Add. Fee OutsideAdditional FeeAdditional FeeAdditional FeeAdditional FeeCovered in Home / Add. Fee Outside
Payout Upfront or ReimbursementUpfrontUpfrontUpfrontUpfrontUpfrontUpfrontUpfront
Post-Incident Firearm ConfiscationNoReplacement ProgramReplacement ProgramYesReplacement ProgramNoCovered under $10,000 "incidental expense allowance"
Lower Cost Plans Available?NoYesYesNoYesNoYes
Ongoing Attorney AccessNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
Compensation While in CourtNo$350 / Day$300 / Day, Max of $1500No$500 / DayNo$750 / Day
Psychological SupportNo40 Sessions up to $150 per hourYesYes40 1-hour sessionsNoNone
Personal Hardship CoverageNo$4000 in Clean-Up Fees$1500 in Clean-Up FeesNo$2000 in Clean-Up FeesNoUp to $10,000 (combined with firearm replacement)
Click HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick HereClick Here

What Stuff Doesn't CCW Safe Cover?

This review wouldn't be genuine if I didn't also point out some potentially important things your CCW Safe Membership won't cover.

  • Force used against other family members
  • Force used against people who are in member's house with permission or by invitation, excluding servicemen, delivery, contractors, etc…
  • Any force that is not in self-defense

police line mass shooting

Weighing The Pros and Cons of CCW Safe Plans —

CCW Safe offers the most comprehensive coverage in the areas you need in court. A professional team that is top in their field of expertise and customer service is what they have. They aren't an insurance company or marketing agency full of bureaucracy that is trying to make a few bucks from gun owners; they are a bunch of guys who have experienced the emotions and pressures that come after a use of deadly defensive force.

CCW Safe’s plans are competitively priced, and in my estimation, provide better value on the whole.

Some people voice a fair objection to CCW Safe’s lack of coverage where the member uses force against a family member, former/current domestic partner, or someone who is in the home with permission. Some people have special circumstances where someone from one of these classes of people represents a more likely threat to the member than a random dirtbag.

If you fall into this category, reach out to CCW Safe to ask questions pertaining to your specific situation. Questions about how spousal abuse, active protection orders, and other specifics would affect your membership are best directed to the team at CCW Safe.

One other drawback that competitors often point out about CCW Safe is their contractual ability to choose or approve your attorney. That is true. Most of the other competitors will allow their members to pick any attorney they want.

CCW Safe reserves the right to vet the attorney you choose to ensure they are competent in the practice of the relevant field of law. This doesn't bother me personally because I've seen that process in action and I'm confident in their ability and desire to help me get quality legal representation.

What Insurance Plans Does CCW Safe Offer?

First, if you live in New York, New Jersey, or Washington State, your state prohibits a company like CCW Safe from providing self-defense coverage. The only exception is for Law Enforcement Officials living in New York. Thankfully, I don't live in one of those states.

If a CCW Safe membership is making sense, let's look at the unique plans they offer.

CCW Safe has two categories of plans:

  • Permit plans: Plans for those who have a concealed carry permit
  • Non-Permit plans: Plans for those who live in a “constitutional carry” state where no permit is required to carry a concealed firearm
  • HR-218 Plan: Plan for active, retired, and former law enforcement officers who carry under the HR-218 law

Permit Plans —

CCW Safe offers 2 different Permit Plans to suit someone with a concealed carry permit or license.

The Defender Plan is very affordable at only $19 a month and is often the plan I recommend for anyone who is looking for an economic option. Unlimited defense coverage for only $19 a month is amazing.

The Ultimate Plan, which is what I currently have, gives you the most comprehensive package and for those who are married and want their spouse to have similar coverage, the Ultimate plan is a no-brainer.

Plan NameDefender PlanUltimate Plan
Cost Per Month$209 / Year - $19 / Month$519 / Year - $47 / Month
Criminal & Civil Defense CostsUnlimitedUnlimited
Investigation & Expert Witness FeesUnlimitedUnlimited
Bond Coverage$500,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is additional$1,000,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is INCLUDED
Civil LiabilityAdditional $220 / Year$1,000,000
Add Spouse CoverageAdditional $100 /YearIncluded
Red Flag Law CoverageUp to $5,000Up to $10,000
Lost of Wages during trialUp to $250 / DayUp to $350 / Day
Professional Counseling SessionsUp to 10 session (up to $1500)Up to 40 sessions (up to $6000)

 

Law Enforcement / Military Plans —

CCW Safe is the only competitor in the industry that has tailored plans just for active and retired law enforcement officers and members of the US military. These plans provide a competitive and more economic option to those who come with experience and training to deal with high-stress dangerous scenarios.

Officers carrying under HR-218 could choose either plan, but active military or honorably discharged military veterans would be restricted to the Protector Plan.

Plan NameProtector PlanHR-218 Plan
Cost Per Month$179 / Year - $16 / Month$399 / Year - $37 / Month
Available to:Active/retired military or law enforcement, and honorably discharged military veterans WITH a permitActive, Retired, and Former Law Enforcement carrying under the HR-218 law
Criminal & Civil Defense CostsUnlimited CoverageUnlimited Coverage
Bond Coverage$500,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is additional$1,000,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is additional
Civil LiabilityAdditional Cost$1,000,000
Add Spouse CoverageAdditional $100/YrAdditional $100/Yr
Red Flag Law CoverageUp to $5,000Up to $5,000
Professional Counseling SessionsUp to $1,500Up to $1,500
Loss of Wages during trialUp to $250 / DayUp to $250 / Day

 

handgun with coffee and donut on table

Non-Permit Plans —

CCW Safe tailors the non-permit plans for those in constitutional carry states or someone who only has a gun for home defense. Just like the permit plans, residents of New York, New Jersey, and Washington states are ineligible for coverage.

These plans are similar in coverage to the plans available to those with a permit but with slightly more cost. If you live in a constitutional carry state I would recommend obtaining your state's permit anyway both for the reciprocity benefits and because it will give you access to the CCW Safe permit plans I reviewed above.

Plan NameHome Defense PlanConstitutional Carry PlanFreedom Plan
CoveredIn the residence onlyEverywhereEverywhere
Cost Per Month$299 / Year - $27 / Month$299/ Year - $27 / Month$609/ Year - $55 / Month
Criminal & Civil Defense CostsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Investigation & Expert Witness FeesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Bond Coverage$250,000 Bond for Primary, Spouse, and Children under 18$250,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is additional$1,000,000 Bond Coverage for Primary - Spouse is INCLUDED
Civil LiabilityAdditional $220 / YearAdditional $220 / Year$1,000,000
Add Spouse CoverageIncludedAdditional $100 /YearIncluded
Red Flag Law CoverageUp to $5,000Up to $5,000Up to $10,000
Lost of Wages during trialUp to $250 / DayUp to $250 / DayUp to $350 / Day
Professional Counseling SessionsUp to $1500Up to $1500Up to $6000

How Much Money Does CCW Safe Cost?

Depending on the plan you choose, between $16 and $55 a month to start plus any add-ons you purchase to your plan. Scroll up again and review the different plans and identify which might best serve you.

Also consider, members of Guardian Nation (which also costs money) get a 20% discount on CCW Safe membership. Guardian Nation membership features the best online training programs, discounts, and access to gear and products in the industry. Combined with CCW Safe, you get the Knowledge, Skills, Gear, and Coverage you need.

Which CCW Safe Plan is Best?

It is impossible for me to tell you which plan suits your needs best. My recommendation is to look at the plans and narrow them down to two options based on your specific circumstances. Then contact the team at CCW Safe and let them guide you into the perfect plan for you and your family.

Would I Use CCW Safe?

The simple answer is yes. I am a member of CCW Safe. I choose CCW Safe because I think it is the best product, at the best price. If I needed to call anyone to help me or my family after using force, it would be the guys at CCW Safe.

[Review] CCW Safe Self Defense Insurance, Read Before Joining

We think every concealed carrier should consider self defense insurance. These products cover associated legal fees in the event you need to defend yourself against criminal or civil legal action.

Pros

  • Experience
  • Comprehensive
  • Competitively Priced
  • Several Plan Choices
  • No Recoupment Clause

Cons

  • More Expensive Than Others
  • Will Not Cover Force Against a Family Member

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10 Responses to [Review] CCW Safe Self Defense Insurance, Read Before Joining

  1. John T. August 31, 2022 at 7:06 pm #

    Great explanation of coverages, although I detect some bias. I’m not saying that is bad, but it is there.
    At the present time I have USCCA, and I have US Law Shield through my employer. I am a certified NRA pistol and CCW instructor. I tell all of my students that they need to look into carry insurance. I advise them that there are numerous choices and that they need to do some homework before choosing a company.

    In my opinion CCW Safe and USCCA are the top tier of all of the available products out there. I like the training that USCCA offers online and their Concealed Carry magazine is great. I do not like the “recoupment clause” at all. I live in a state that in most instances you are GUILTY if you have to defend yourself, so I have that going for me.
    I am on the fence right now as to whether I should move to CCW Safe or stay with USCCA. I have to do my homework now.

    I appreciate Jacob’s insights and all of the CocealedCarry.com articles, reviews and information.

    Thank you.

    • Jacob Paulsen August 31, 2022 at 7:12 pm #

      John, I do have a biased opinion. I suppose it is going to come through no matter what I do but hopefully I’ve also presented facts here that regardless of my opinion present valuable information for anyone doing the research.

      • Al September 11, 2022 at 5:50 pm #

        Being unbiased is important before making a decision, but after determining the right choice, naturally one will be biased towards that choice because of reasons.

  2. Joel September 4, 2022 at 6:03 pm #

    Great overview. Many thanks. I currently have USCCA coverage and just learned to my disappointment of their position of recoupment. Ugh. Thinking now about canceling and re-upping with someone else.

  3. Troy September 17, 2022 at 5:50 am #

    I’m not one to jump on something this important without reviewing, and weighing all the options. I’ve been thinking about CCW Safe for awhile since Ryan Cleckner (GunUnv) put out his review. I am a USCCA member and did not know (or maybe forgot) about the “Recoupment” clause. I need to see this for myself. Thanks for the homework!

  4. Troy September 17, 2022 at 6:27 am #

    Yep, it’s there! Section 3. I. Recovery or Recoupment. Look for yourself! I also found it interesting in Section 1 E. It states that they have the right to vet the attorney you choose. Just like CCW Safe.
    Read it for yourself on their website. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find a pdf self-defense policy link. Now I really have some think to do.
    Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. 👍

  5. Troy September 17, 2022 at 6:27 am #

    Yep, it’s there! Section 3. I. Recovery or Recoupment. Look for yourself! I also found it interesting in Section 1 E. It states that they have the right to vet the attorney you choose. Just like CCW Safe.
    Read it for yourself on their website. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find a pdf self-defense policy link. Now I really have some think to do.
    Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. 👍

  6. Troy September 17, 2022 at 6:27 am #

    Yep, it’s there! Section 3. I. Recovery or Recoupment. Look for yourself! I also found it interesting in Section 1 E. It states that they have the right to vet the attorney you choose. Just like CCW Safe.
    Read it for yourself on their website. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find a pdf self-defense policy link. Now I really have some think to do.
    Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. 👍

  7. Troy September 17, 2022 at 6:27 am #

    Yep, it’s there! Section 3. I. Recovery or Recoupment. Look for yourself! I also found it interesting in Section 1 E. It states that they have the right to vet the attorney you choose. Just like CCW Safe.
    Read it for yourself on their website. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find a pdf self-defense policy link. Now I really have some think to do.
    Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. 👍

  8. Troy September 17, 2022 at 6:27 am #

    Yep, it’s there! Section 3. I. Recovery or Recoupment. Look for yourself! I also found it interesting in Section 1 E. It states that they have the right to vet the attorney you choose. Just like CCW Safe.
    Read it for yourself on their website. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. There you will find a pdf self-defense policy link. Now I really have some think to do.
    Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. 👍

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