Firearms Travel Insurance - Yes or No?
My first safari happened in 1995. I had wanted to go on one for years and years, but certain circumstances always stopped me (no money). Finally, the decision was made to go in '95, so I planned to bid for one at the Safari Club International (SCI) show at the beginning of the year.
What I wanted was a Cape buffalo hunt along with something else. What the something else was, I had zero ideas. Then, I met an outfitter at the show who donated a buffalo/sitatunga hunt. I knew not of sitatunga, so that sounded like a good hunt to me. Lo and behold, eight months later found myself gleefully boarding a South African Airways 747 SP en route to Botswana by way of Johannesburg, South Africa.
I took two rifles on that hunt, a Remington 700 in .416 Remington Magnum and a Winchester Model 70 .300 Winchester Magnum. The hunt was successful. I got my Cape buffalo (four shots with the Remington) and learned what a sitatunga was - a swamp antelope. I collected other game also.
My second hunt was in 1998. On this hunt, I was after an elephant. I had written some articles about double rifles over the years and managed to use a .577 Nitro Express double on the elephant. After I returned to the United States, I began having thoughts about the value of the firearms I took to Botswana. The Remington and the Winchester weren't all that valuable; however, the .577 was another story entirely. Its replacement value would have made a substantial down payment on a nice house.
I went on a number of safaris over the next ten years, each time taking different rifles. I even was able to take a Smith and Wesson 500 Magnum revolver on one safari in South Africa and one in Zimbabwe. These guns were my property, so I didn't worry too much about something happening to them. I had talked to my homeowner's insurance agent about coverage or attaching a rider to my existing policy but never came up with a workable plan.
So now it's 2022, and times have changed. Both Safari Club International (SCI) and Dallas Safari Club (DSC) have firearm insurance available. SCI's firearms insurance policy covers your guns and optics for all occurrences, such as fire, theft, loss, and unexpected damage. It is Primary insurance with zero deductible. Coverage is available for firearms, scopes, gun cases, holsters, spotting scopes, and even bows. Any covered item that is currently manufactured will be covered at full replacement value. In addition, each item insured will be individually valued.
SCI's gun insurance cost is $1.25 per $100.00 of insured value with a minimum of $2,000 coverage. The list price is used for firearms in current production. The SCI's insurance program features
- Worldwide, all risk coverage
- No waiting period
- No deductible
- Full replacement value
- 12-month coverage
The policy is available online, or the forms can be downloaded as a PDF from sca_gunapp.pdf.
DSC's firearms insurance coverage is provided by Core-Vens Gun Insurance. They have provided coverage for shooters and hunters in the United States since 1987. Today, their worldwide coverage offers protection for all out-of-country hunting safaris. This coverage protects your guns from theft or actual damage on a Special Risk Coverage Form.
If you are a DSC member, you can get an additional $10k coverage for personal property and equipment used while on safari.
As of 2022, coverage prices are:
- $100,000 - $350 per year
- $200,000 - $608 per year
- $500,000 - $1,058 per year
- $1,000,000 - $1808 per year
Download a fillable sportsman application from their website corevensguninsurance.com
And last but not least. Contact your homeowner's insurance agent to see if your policy will cover your firearms while out of the USA. Things may have changed since I looked 20 years ago.