Yes, out of all the companies leaving the NRA behind, the one whose name most of us don’t recognize is perhaps the most important.
“The NRA’s self-defense insurance loses crucial partners
In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, the National Rifle Association has lost relationships with a number of big corporations that are facing public pressure: Delta, Hertz, and MetLife to name a few. But perhaps no severing of ties cuts the gun group deeper than the end of its partnerships with insurance underwriter Chubb and the brokerage Lockton Affinity.
Last spring, the NRA worked with Chubb and Lockton Affinity to create a product called Carry Guard, a subscription service that provides concealed carriers with tips, training and insurance to cover liability and legal costs stemming from self-defense shootings. Subscribers pay between $13.95 and $49.95 per month for varying levels of coverage.
On Friday, Chubb disclosed that, three months ago, the company had decided not to renew its contract to underwrite the policies, and Lockton on Monday said it will no longer act as broker and administrator for Carry Guard.
“It’s a major step back,” Peter Kochenburger, the executive director of the Insurance Law Center at the University of Connecticut Law School, told me today. “To keep this going, the NRA will have to find another insurance company to underwrite this. It’s hard to imagine another publicly traded company, or a company like State Farm, stepping in.”
When Carry Guard debuted last April, it provided a way for the NRA to cash in on unprecedented political triumphs. With Republican allies in charge of the White House and both houses of Congress, NRA figures like CEO Wayne LaPierre and lobbyist Chris Cox spoke optimistically about the possibility of enacting national concealed carry reciprocity legislation, which was passed by the House in December and would massively expand the ability of Americans to carry guns in public for self defense purposes. The NRA aggressively marketed Carry Guard as a means of more readily exercising that right, a capstone to three decades of lobbying and organizing to encourage armed self defense.
Horrified critics, including the mother of Trayvon Martin, argued that Carry Guard amounted to “murder insurance” that would encourage trigger-happy civilians to eagerly shoot at any perceived threat.
When the group held its annual meeting in Atlanta in May 2017, a Carry Guard banner several stories high hung from the side of the city’s main convention center. As recently as last Wednesday, the NRA’s homepage featured a prominent plug for Carry Guard. But today, all mention of the program has vanished from the main page (a drop-down menu links to a separate Carry Guard website, which still lists Lockton as administrator and a Chubb subsidiary as underwriter).
That doesn’t necessarily mean Carry Guard is out of business, says Kochenburger: “The insurance industry is quite large. It’s dominated by big companies who aren’t going to rush to replace Chubb and Lockton, but there are a lot of smaller companies that specialize in unusual risks.”
– Alex Yablon, reporter