The insurance industry also appears to be wary of such measures as currently proposed in some states. That’s because insurance generally covers accidents, not intentional or illegal acts, says Mr. Hartwig of the Insurance Information Institute. For example, insurance covers homeowners if their house burns down in an electrical fire, but not if homeowners deliberately set fire to their homes.
As proposed, legislation currently under consideration in state legislatures makes “no distinction between acts that were accidental or unintentional versus those that are intentional and illegal,” he says. “That is a major distinction in the world of insurance. Insurers do not insure illegal acts. We cannot insure acts of murder, acts of intentional violence.”
And if legislation was rewritten to cover only accidents or unintentional injuries or deaths, the efficacy of the bill would be questionable, he suggests.
That’s because only 1.9 percent of deaths by firearm in 2010 were deemed accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rest are homicides or suicides.