Comparing CCW Safe VS USCCA: Which is Our Top Choice?
I have thankfully never had to use self-defense insurance like CCW Safe or USCCA before, so, it's kind of hard for me to say “which is better, USCCA vs CCW Safe?” in any kind of authoritative manner.
What I can try to do, however, is to answer this question:
Which self-defense insurance company is best based on facts found on each prospective website, our own chart, and other, lesser known information?
Before we get to the lesser known stuff, let's get the chart out of the way so you can visually compare the benefits that each company offers to their members.
CCW Safe and USCCA Side-by-Side Comparison —
|Cost||$519 p/yr||$499 p/yr|
|Bail Bond Premium Coverage||$100,000||$100,000|
|Choose Your Attorney||You Choose - They Approve||You Choose|
|Criminal Defense Attorney Fees||Covered / No Limit||Covered / No Limit|
|Civil Damages||Up to $1,000,000||Up to $2,000,000|
|Any Legal Weapon||Yes||Yes|
|Ongoing Training & Content||Online Content, Newsletter||Protector Academy|
|Available Nationwide?||Not available in NY, NJ, & WA||Not available in NY, NJ, & WA|
|24/7 Emergency Hotline||Yes||Yes|
|Post-Incident Firearm Confiscation||Replacement Program||Covered under $10,000 "incidental expense allowance"|
|Compensation While in Court||$350 / Day||$750 / Day|
|Psychological Support||40 Sessions up to $150 per hour||None|
|Red Flag Law Coverage||Yes||Members might be eligible for coverage by "Legal Defense Foundation"|
As you can see from the above chart, the two companies are very comparable, with many of the core benefits and the pricing structure. There are a few points, however, where they diverge.
First difference between USCCA and CCW Safe —
First, CCW Safe offers you $100,000 in bail coverage under the shown plan, while USCCA offers $50,000.
Second, we see USCCA offers $750/day compensation while in court with CCW Safe giving $350/day. Will you ever need the daily compensation with either benefit?
My suggestion is to figure out what is important to you, more bail coverage, or daily compensation. My opinion is that I want more bail coverage, because I don't want to fight my legal battle from behind bars. But you may feel differently, and that is fine.
It is my hope, however, that if by reading this to the bottom, you'll be able to decide for yourself: CCW Safe VS USCCA—which brings me to my next point in a roundabout sort of way.
What about the other companies —
I don't want to go any further without saying that USCCA and CCW Safe aren't the only companies who offer coverage should you need legal protection after you defend yourself. We have put together the industry standard chart comparing the major players.
If you are seriously considering self-defense legal protection, as you should, use our chart to compare the programs before making the choice.
Now let's look at each company and find out some things that don't appear on a chart.
Experience Matters —
Police Officers started CCW Safe. In fact, co-founder and CEO Mike Darter patterned the concept for CCW Safe on his experience as an officer involved in an on-duty shooting, resulting in a lawsuit.
The court eventually threw out the lawsuit, but that experience led to the creation of CCW Safe.
Once Mike Darter retired from the police department, he understood that police officers have a certain amount of protection that civilians don't. He wanted to provide a similar team of experienced legal defense to civilians involved in self-defense incidents he had as a Police Officer. The men involved in CCW Safe are all former police officers who have experienced the reality of an officer involved shooting. As well as a top-notch legal defense, that includes none other than CCW Safe.
To date, they're the only self-defense legal protection program who can say they helped someone get acquitted through a murder case.
That person, Steve Maddox, shared his story and the various ways that CCW Safe came to his aid in an interview we recently did with him. Click here to read, or listen below, but I can tell you CCW Safe was boots on the ground within 12 hours, renegotiated his severance when he had to leave his employer, hired private investigators & expert witnesses, and did other things that frankly will SHOCK you if you look into it.
It is this kind of experience that I'm looking for in a company defending me, because I trust experience above other factors.
Compassionate people —
Besides their experience, you get compassionate people that care about the job they do.
While we can't speak to the specifics, someone we know who had to use CCW Safe to defend against a lawsuit said once he made the call to the company, they answered, and had people on the ground not long after that first phone call.
We're told by that person, the CCW Safe Critical Response Team is unparalleled in that regard.
This person was also a member of two other legal programs, and he called the companies on a major holiday. CCW Safe is the ONLY company who answered the phone!
Well, that's not entirely true. Another company answered the phone. However, they told him they call back the next day because of the holiday. Uggg, Imagine that the company you pay to help you, says, “call back tomorrow, we're not available.”
After you've been involved in a critical incident and you're paying hundreds of dollars per year for a service, you expect that company to fulfill what they said they'd do—drop what they're doing and help you.
That's what CCW Safe apparently did for that person, while the others, who will remain unnamed for now, were of zero help at all!
We've talked to several other people who used CCW Safe, and the level of service blew them away. They said the team went to extreme lengths, ensuring they took care of everything.
CCW Safe gives extreme effort to put people on the ground to begin helping the client. In summary, this is all stuff you can’t put into a chart.
USCCA is no slouch, either. Most people don’t think about the fact that USCCA is more than just “concealed carry insurance.” Yes, they will cover you and have covered others in a true self-defense incident, but they do more than that.
They offer a more tangible product than the other companies do, in the form of their magazine and training.
While that may not be a big deal to some, think about it from my perspective for just a moment, if you will—
If you sign up for some sort of legal coverage for self-defense with any other company, you could pay thousands of dollars over the course of your life and never need to use it.
I mean, that's the hope, right? Personally, I'd rather not use my gun in self-defense, but that chance is always there and I am willing and quite able to do so if needed.
You'd pay thousands of dollars and get nothing in return for it. Peace of mind is great. But I'm talking about a tangible good here.
Not so with USCCA.
With USCCA, you also get their magazine, something you won't get with anyone else. Some might scoff at this and others may not even read it. However, the magazine is something tangible that members get.
The magazines are actually decent, and it helps offset the price by providing a physical good eight times per year.
Another benefit of the magazine is a roundabout sort of thing—
I've heard some stories of people forgetting that they had coverage after their use of a gun in self-defense. If you're getting a magazine a few times per year, it also serves as a reminder that you can call up USCCA if you need them.
USCCA also has great customer support and their training is excellent.
In summary, one thing I appreciate about USCCA is the magazine and other content-related benefits from a company that does extensive training.
So, who is better, USCCA or CCW Safe?
I can say, is that both companies offer competing products with some differences, and it's those differences that may be important to your specific needs. For full disclosure, our company has a partnership with the guys at CCW Safe. We think the total package is the best out there. However, we know you may find another company's product more useful for your needs.
If you're considering CCW Safe, I think it's important to mention that our Guardian Nation members get a 20% discount on their CCW Safe membership. This is a massive benefit that we can offer because of our affiliation. You can learn more about that Guardian Nation offers by clicking here.
Remember, you can compare all the different companies' policies by checking out our chart.
You have auto insurance in case you're ever in a car accident. You have homeowner's insurance in case a tree falls on your house or some other unforeseen disaster occurs.
Doesn't it make sense to protect yourself after you've protected yourself? Drawing your gun could be the simple part. The hard part is keeping yourself out of jail in an increasingly anti-gun world.
The cost of doing so, the cost of remaining a free American in this world, is astronomical. A recent story I heard cost $300,000 to keep the legal gun owner out of jail. I, personally, don't have that kind of cash sitting around.
Offsetting the cost with a monthly self-defense legal coverage plan like USCCA or CCW Safe just makes sense.
Odds are, you'll leave the house and not get into a car accident. A tree will probably never fall on your house. And yes, the chances are high, you will never use your gun in self-defense. But …
… what if?
The full chart has a lot more information on it, comparing many other companies in this self-protection legal coverage space. You can view it, here.
A fair comparison, thanks! My one quibble: Concealed Carry Magazine is more than just “decent.” It’s one several industry awards (that’s from the magazine publishing industry, not exactly a hotbed of gunnies) and is top-quality in terms of graphics, layout, etc. The content is also first-rate. I read each issue cover to cover (yes, even the special section in each for women), and I’ve learned a great deal by doing so.
Oops, I meant “won,” not “one.” Too big a hurry.
So, a little confused. In one area (50 state coverage) you say both USCCA and CCW is available. Yet, two rows down in Available Nationwide, you state USCCA in not available in NY & WA. What’s the difference?
50 State coverage means that if you are a member you are covered in all 50 states but despite that, residents of NY & WA cannot be members. So if you live in PA, for example, you can join USCCA and you will be covered in NY. But if you live in NY you cannot join USCCA at all. Whereas CCW Safe can be joined by a resident of any state and also will cover all members in all 50 states
Thanks for the insight regarding coverage. I’ve been a member of USCCA for a number of years and love Concealed Carry magazine. However, I only recently learned (and your chart proves it) that as a resident of New York State, I no longer have coverage under USCCA’s program. To the best of my recollection, I was never even notified that I was no longer eligible for coverage because of my residency. It’s good to know there is an alternative.
From the CCW Safe website:
NOTE: The following states NY, NJ and WA do not allow coverage for self defense incidents. Residents from these states cannot purchase this plan. However, Law enforcement can be covered in NY; Existing members can be covered in WA, but no new members can be covered.
Joshua Gillem, can’t thank you enough for your added insights to the analysis. I like getting the magazines, myself, although the quality of the content seems a bit pale in comparison to some other long standing magazines (for instance Shooting Illustrated). I like to leave the magazines in the house so that the family knows “Dad is serious about this stuff,” …and he is. Appreciate you guys more than words can say. Thank you again!
So if bells and whistles with peace of mind is what you want get USCCA & If You Want unlimited help to stay free get CCWSafe ?
That is correct! Additionally, the chart in the article has a glaring error. CCW Safe also allows you to choose your own attorney. If you do not have a preference, then they will recommend one in your area that has experience in self defense cases.
The CCW Safe membership agreement clearly says they can choose your attorney. In practice CCW Safe allows the member to chose the attorney and CCW Safe either approves or denies the member’s choice. The chart is accurate in that regard and the CCW Safe executive team reviewed and approved the chart.
They allow you to choose your attorney provided that attorney is qualified to their standards. If your cousin is a divorce lawyer for instance, they aren’t going to pay him to defend you on a murder trial. They want their members to have the best possible representation. That’s why they do it. And frankly, they’re experts in self defense law. So if they aren’t willing to pay an attorney because of his qualifications then I don’t want to be depending on that attorney to get keep me out of prison. Even if it is my cousin.
It was in 2018 that I asked but a slight correction to your chart. I asked CCW safe about lawyers. While they do admit they have a list of lawyers you’ll have to use, they did say that if you have a lawyer you want to work with locally to you, you are more than welcome to let them (CCS Safe) know and the would work to see if that lawyer would be willing to go through CCS Safe’s vetting. If your lawyer agrees and passes the vetting, your lawyer will then be added to their list of available to you if you ever need CCW Safe.
Darren, I’ve reviewed their agreement and spoken with their Founders and lead legal counsel about it. On paper their agreement clearly states that they have to approve or provide your attorney. They will not cover you if you choose any attorney you want. You have to get an attorney they either recommend or approve of. So I think you and us are on the same page about what their policy is and how they act in practice but for the purpose of our chart putting something that suggests you can choose your attorney potentially creates a false impression since on paper you cannot and in practice you may or may not be able to have the attorney of your choice.
I have CCW safe at the $129/year level. I’ve been a member for 2 years now. They do have some good videos and info available. You can tell that, at least at my plan level, they try to cut costs in order to keep fees low. For example, I don’t get a wallet card so I print my membership number with their emergency phone number on it. My plan is up in September and I just looked at their site and $149 seems to be the cheapest, so it may go up when I renew. I do like USCCA’s training videos though.
After listening to Andrew Branca about this type of insurance, there are a lot of gotcha’s in the fine print. Things like if you are convicted of a crime, the civil insurance coverage goes away.
I’d like someone to review the actual contracts and produce a comparison page covering what coverage can disappear when things go sideways.
I suggest watching Andrew’s DVD or online course called “Self Defense Insurance Explained” if you haven’t already. Andrew has reviewed all the agreements from these 2 companies and hasn’t turned up any big gotchas.
What does “ongoing attorney access” mean? The chart says USCCA has it and CCW-Safe does not. Exactly, how does that difference work?
Stephen, the idea is that you could contact that company at any given time with a legal question and they would have an attorney on staff or otherwise on contract that could respond to your question. USCCA doesn’t have attorney’s on staff for that purpose but they have a team who will research your question and if unable to come to a clear conclusion they will contact an attorney on your behalf and get an answer for you. I’m not aware of that being a common request or something they do with any regularity but their membership agreement does say it is available. CCW Safe actually does have at least 2 attorneys on staff (that I know of) and it would seem from experience that if you sent them a legal question they would be likely to respond but it isn’t listed in their membership agreement as a benefit.
I have three questions, first is this type of insurance policy governed by State Insurance Regulations, second what is the ratio of reserves to pay claims?Third Is this a defense coverage for criminal prosecutions or is it strictly for civil? I’m shopping. Thank You
I serve on a Church Security Team as an armed security member. I am former Law Enforcement, have a current CCW & Armed Security card. If I was involved in a self defense situation, while acting in this capacity, would CCW Safe and/or USCCA provide coverage? Thank you…
Jorge, it is not our intent to help people decide which would be better for their situation. We feel both companies are ethical and will do what they say. I suggest using the above information and the information in our chart at http://www.concealedcarry.com/insurance to compare the coverage and make the best decision for you.
I looked at the same issue on USCCA’s site earlier this year and found the exact same questions asked of them. Their response was if you were a paid member of the church’s security team USCCA personal insurance didn’t cover you. If you were a member of a voluntary group providing security as a church member USCCA’s insurance would cover you.
I’ve corresponded with them both on this:
CCW Safe – only the Ultimate Plan covers volunteer security (unpaid) at house of worship.
USCCA – all plans cover volunteer security at house of worship.
Once you are paid, you are no longer volunteer security and neither covers you.
I’ll also note the following points I found important:
-Criminal defense funds are unlimited with CCW Safe, capped at 250K with USCCA;
-Civil Defense funds are unlimited in CCW Safe, whereas with USCCA it is shared with Civil liability, together capped at $2M (prob enough? don’t know).
-The attorney choice issue has been covered and favors USCCA. I’ll say that I emailed CCW Safe for name of attorneys in my area that are in their network and I was happy with it.
-USCCA provides attorney phone support for random questions and a LOT of benefits (training videos, magazine) that you will definitely benefit from whereas 99.9% of us will never have to use the insurance benefit part of it. So how important are these to you?
I’m preferring CCW Safe due to the unlimited defense coverage funds, I can take care of the training and education on my own from other sources I pay for.
Jorge, not sure about CCW safe, but if you’re a volunteer (NOT paid or professional) you are covered.
What is, ”ongoing attorney access ”?
The idea that if you have an legal inquiry you can contact the provider and they will have an attorney answer your question. So basically access to an attorney ongoing outside of an incident.
Yep. But they give you a discount if you pay for the full year in advance.
Would either plan cover an arrest for carrying under LEOSA (legally)? Also would either or both plans cover for a section 1983 lawsuit?
CCW Safe has plans specifically for LEOSA covered individuals. All the founders and executive team are former law enforcement so they have membership plans designed for that specifically.
Which plan do you use Jacob?
Eddie, as the President of ConcealedCarry.com I do not make public what plan I use because as a company it is important to us that ConcealedCarry.com remain neutral and non-bias. Telling everyone what plan(s) I am a member of would make it hard to maintain our neutrality.
Appreciate your honesty and integrity. Have enjoyed your podcast for many years.
USCCA (and most others) are insurance, CCW Safe (& US Law Shield) are defined benefits plans.
The challenge with insurance is that if you are not acquitted, they don’t cover you for civil and if you check the most recent USCCA agreement changes you could be compelled to reimburse them for your defense. This includes plea bargains.
Defined benefits do not have the reimbursement requirements.
Please read the agreements. They are available on most of their sites.
Not entirely true concerning CCW Safe’s 50-state coverage. My brother is a resident of WA state (Seattle area) and he cannot obtain CCW Safe there. He just sent me a copy of the letter he received from them stating that, with additional comments by CCW Safe that they are fighting the state for the right to have coverage there. What else do you expect from an ultra blue state.
It was true at the time this article was published. Here is more information about the deal with Washington and the other states that are pushing these guys out. https://www.concealedcarry.com/law/states-blocking-self-defense-insurance-and-what-to-do-about-it/
Can I pay yearly fee for the “PLUS” protection plan utilizing “PAY PAL”?
Do you have a preferred attorney for the Las Vegas/Henderson, Nv. area?
Bill you would need to contact those providers directly to inquire about payment methods and their preferred attorneys.
I have coverage from both company’s. The mid level from USCCA and the Retired L.E. coverage from CCWSAFE. Each offers a couple things the other doesn’t. I’m a member of my church security team. CCWSAFE does not cover that, USCCA does. CCWSAFE has unlimited attorney fees as well as unlimited costs on Expert witnesses and Private Investigators. A court case can cost more than USCCA covers. It’s worth it to me to have both, and both will work with each other. I carry a firearm with me everywhere I go. In 45 + years of being armed, I’ve never had to shoot anyone. I pray I never have to, but if the worst does occur, I want to know I won’t lose everything I’ve worked for and don’t want to do time.
I was curious about this as well and wondered if the two companies would work together or not if services were needed. I don’t think I would be able to afford both at this time, but that seems the way to go to ensure best case coverage. Stay safe!
Check out ACLDN, alot more cut and dry without all the add ons that do not amount to nothing
One thing that concerns me about the unlimited coverage with CCW Safe is how unlimited is it? Do they cut off coverage depending on what needs to be covered? Are there limits?
Sorry to rehash this topic, but I just started my insurance research. While I noticed that USCCA and CW Safe are both good in their own right, my concern is with the
USCCA defense limit. Is $250,000 for criminal defense realistically enough in these days of mainstream/social media? Yeah, USCCA gives you extensive training
videos, but I keep being drawn to CW Safe for its unlimited criminal defense fees. Is $250,000 really going to give me the “best” defense resources?
I have been going back and forth between the two and decided CCW Safe was my choice basically due to the $250K cap on defense. If you read through USCCA, many things like bail come out of the $250K so it will go quick if you really needed i
From the USCCA website: No Limit Defense Expenses
Defense Expenses Incurred in the Defense of a Civil or Criminal Proceeding or Investigation are Paid in Addition to the Limit of Liability for Covered Occurrences
Correct Ron. The article above you are commenting on is outdated.
I’ve been a member of USCCA for about a year. Upfront, attempting to fairly evaluate the company’s financial ABILITY to provide advertised member services, I asked for a) financial condition statements or some other means to confirm the company’s financial credibility or b) to provide confirmation that the company is underwritten by a strong, equitable insurance underwriter that does possess such financial strength. USCCA refused to provide financial statements or any other financial data and confirmed that the company’s potential financial commitments and exposure to its members is NOT underwritten by any insurance carrier nor other financial institution. This leaves the subscriber with no assurance, whatsoever, that the company is even financially postured to provide the coverage that it advertises. It would be interesting to know CCW’s position on same.
My reply is a couple years untimely; however, I’m also wondering about the financial stability of these firms and feel it should be published and used by consumers as a decision metric. I did some research around CCW Safe’s underwriting and found the supporting data to be very limited. For example, within CCW Safe’s it is stated they created 2A Insurance, a captive insurance company, that is reinsured by Port Royal Insurance Company Ltd, SAC. The named re-insurer is a Bahama firm without any published information (address, contact, financial rating). Making the whole business a bit suspect.
Tom, I can only give my personal assurance that both the companies in this article are very stable. I know people personally who have been beneficiaries of the provided financial coverage. These companies invest heavily to make sure they are prepared to receive “claims” and take care of their members. They receive claims about daily and I assure you they take good care of their people within the scope of what they offer in coverage. CCW Safe which you referenced is setup the way they are to insulate them against insurance industry regulations and the potential for a 3rd party to claim discretion on how they cover their members. It may seem offputting but its an incredibly well tested model and designed to maximize your protection as a member.
CCW Safe absolutely will not cover defending you in court if a violent ex-spouse or a violent child attacks you. While USCCA’s limits are frustratingly low $250,000.00 is a whole lot better than $0.00
The most important distinction between USCCA and CCW Safe is a little know clause buried into the fine print, called the “Recoupment Clause.” What exactly is this? Well this Clause, simply put, states that if you do everything right, legally fire your weapon in self-defense… have an amazing case that would win 99-100 times, and use their service which you are paying for, but for some reason you lose after being in court for 3 months, you have to pay back all of the legal fees that USCCA paid up front. 100% of every dollar they gave you for your defense. That could easily be in the millions depending on they type of case you might be charged with by some over zealous prosecutor. As soon as I found that out, and learned all of the great benefits CCW Safe has, including NOT having a “Recoupment Clause”, I changed immediately and have never been happier. Watch for those hidden clauses in the fine print, BUYER BEWARE!
Todd makes an excellent point, and USCCA’s “Recoupment Clause” is the biggest reason I went with CCW Safe. For the most part these two offerings are very similar, but this clause was a deal-breaker for me.
Take the Kyle Rittenhouse case as an example. With a different jury this could have easily gone the other way, and then what he did would, I guess, technically be considered a crime. From what I’ve read elsewhere, if you’ve committed a crime USCCA’s “Recoupment Clause” might kick in.
I may be wrong in my understanding of how this USCCA clause works, but this is definitely a grey area, and I decided to avoid it.