Insurer dropping some insurance coverage for gun shops

Vermont Watchdog – by Emma Lamberton

WATERBURY, Vt. — Vermont gun retailer Henry Parro is under fire from an unexpected source — his own insurer.

On Oct. 11, Philadelphia Insurance Companies informed Parro that his 34-year-old gun store in Waterbury was about to lose its insurance policy.

The reason the insurer gave, however, should concern gun shop owners everywhere.  

“The reason for nonrenewal is due to a revision to the Company’s Underwriting Guidelines in which sales or rental of NFA Title II (aka class 3) weapons, modern sporting rifles, semi-automatic rifles, or components or accessories for any of these firearms are no longer an acceptable exposure,” the notice of nonrenewal states.

The development has left Parro, owner of Parro’s Gun shop and Police Supplies Inc., scrambling to find another insurer.

“It’s part of the overall anti-gun agenda we’re seeing across America,” Parro told Watchdog.

According to the gun shop owner, semiautomatic weapons are the most popular gun in Vermont, and the new guidelines make it nearly impossible for gun retailers to stay in business.

Semiautomatic firearms, mislabeled as “assault weapons,” by anti-gun politicians, refer to any gun that reloads bullets automatically when the shooter pulls the trigger. Small 9 mm hand guns fall into this category, along with the popular Ruger 10/22 autoloading rifle that shoots .22-caliber bullets.

Two months before getting the notice, Parro, in an interview with Watchdog, spoke out strongly against Democrat gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter’s proposed ban on assault weapons. Minter is also a Waterbury resident.

The threat of losing insurance policies could pressure businesses and private citizens to surrender their guns, perhaps even as effectively as legislation.

In 2013, Kansas passed a concealed carry law allowing public teachers to carry guns in school for self-defense. However, EMC Insurance Companies told schools they would drop their insurance if weapons were allowed on school property. The insurer covered 90 percent of public schools and, despite legislation passed to keep children safe, the Kansas Association of School Boards pressured teachers to not bring weapons to school.

Parro is urging individuals and businesses under Philadelphia Insurance Companies to drop the carrier. “If you’re a homeowner [who owns guns] or a sports enthusiast, take a long hard look. They’re not gun friendly.”

Philadelphia Insurance Companies, one of the largest commercial property and casualty niche insurers in the nation, claims it continues to support shooting sports. “Our commitment to the industry has not wavered,” a spokesperson told Watchdog.

The representative said semiautomatic gun sellers could still request new, non-admitted quotes. Non-admitted policies are not approved by a state’s insurance commissioner, meaning a policyholder can’t appeal to the state if a claim is mishandled.

Parro is not interested. “They’ve shown their true colors,” he said.

Vermont doesn’t regulate semiautomatic weapons, but that could change if Minter gets her way on an assault weapons ban. Minter supports a ban on certain guns to help decrease domestic violence — a position gun rights advocates refute.

In 2014, Vermont had four domestic violence-related homicides involving firearms, as noted on page 17 of the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Commission Report. It also had the third lowest number of deaths by firearms out of 50 states.

Parro said if Minter wins Tuesday’s election, Vermonters will stock up on guns before she bans semiautomatics.

“Business will go through the roof. Sales will be brisk, supply short, and demand high.”

One thought on “Insurer dropping some insurance coverage for gun shops

  1. If you have an insurance policy with this company of any affiliates you should cancel them and insure with another company.

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