Understanding what you are buying is essential before you purchase any product. Educating yourself about concealed carry insurance makes it even more crucial that your knowledge of what you are buying meets your expectations and needs. Finding out that what you bought when the time comes to use the services of the company you choose isn’t what you thought it was is a bad way to get your education. Hopefully, we can make the choices a little easier with this comparison review of two of the leading companies providing concealed carry legal protection, CCW Safe vs USCCA.
Written by Dennis H., former military/preparedness retail store owner
CCW Safe Review
CCW Safe is a legal service membership plan founded by two former police officers and an attorney. These three men saw the need for education, training, and legal support for concealed carry license holders. Their philosophy of education and training first and the best in legal defense if the need occurs is the basis of their company mission.
It must be made clear that CCW Safe is not insurance. It is a membership plan that provides certain benefits to its members to encourage and promote education and training as well as to provide legal defense services.
What CCW Safe Provides
CCW Safe offers a broad array of service, program, and benefits to its members, such as:
- Online training academy free for members of CCW Safe
- Peer support during the trial period
- Psychological support and counseling sessions
- Newsletter and social media program
- “Red Flag” coverage
- All legal weapons covered where the plan is effective
- 24/7/365 call center with immediate access to an attorney
- Network attorneys available or you can choose your attorney
- Wage loss protection built into the plan
- Crime scene cleanup costs included up to $3,000
- Coverage available in 47 states and Washington, D.C. (New Jersey, New York, and Washington State excluded)
- Unique plans for retired law enforcement, constitutional carry states, non-permit holders, and home defense
Unique Plans from CCW Safe
CCW Safe offers several plans unique to this organization. Some of these plans stem from the experiences of the founders of CCW Safe. Two of the founders are retired law enforcement with an understanding of the unique needs of retires LEO’s who also carry a concealed weapon.
- HR218 Plan – If you are a LEO, no matter whether you are active, retired, or former, you may fall under the auspices of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act. This federally enacted legislation, also known as HR218, CCW Safe, has a special plan for anyone who qualifies under HR218.
- Constitutional Carry Plan – If you live in a state that honors the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution and allows the open or concealed carry of a firearm without a permit, you may qualify for the Constitutional Carry Plan. There are some stipulations and some benefit restrictions on this plan.
- Home Defense Plans – If you are like thousands of Americans, you have chosen to keep a firearm or other legal defense weapon in your home for the protection of yourself and your family. You do not carry concealed, have a license, or have any intention of doing so. CCW Safe recognizes that you may face the same sorts of legal and financial problems if you defend yourself in your home. To answer this need, they have designed a plan for jus this situation.
CCW Safe claims that they are the only legal defense organization for concealed carry permit holders who have successfully defended a real criminal case against one of their members. After an extensive search, we could not find another documented case where any other company can make this claim. If you are interested in reading about this case, you can find the information at this link.
USCCA came into being in 2003 when the founders realized that the safety of their young families was their responsibility. In thinking through the implications of that awakening, the two founders realized that they were not alone. They quickly saw that anyone if responsibility exposed themselves and their families to risks that went beyond the obvious.
Out of that realization came the USCCA with its priorities on training, education, and providing legal defense support to its members. Their mission statement clearly shows that training and education are the primary tools for preparing concealed carry holders should they be forced their firearm or another weapon to defend themselves and their family.
The basic benefit plan offered by USCCA includes:
- An extensive library of training videos for concealed carry holders covering a wide range of topics
- Access to certified live trainers and training sessions around the U.S., tailored to your state
- Numerous publications available online covering such topics as weapon deployment, preparedness, and awareness, shooting skills, self-defense guides, and checklists
- The Concealed Carry Magazine delivered to your door eight times a year filled with informative and educational articles, tips, and tricks.
- 24/7/365 emergency access to the USCCA Critical Response Team
- Upfront legal funds for attorney retainers and bail bonds
- Coverage for both civil and criminal legal actions
- Coverage for the use of all legal weapons
- Extensive online resources for reference and training
USCCA is probably the largest legal membership plan in the United States currently. A large and extensive member network gives them some financial stability.
We cannot document a criminal case where USCCA has provided the funds to pursue a legal defense for one of their members. There may be cases, but our research did not find a single instance. I would think that this would be a huge selling point for a company, and they would point to these successes with pride. On the other hand, the member involved may not allow the use of the information for those kinds of advertising purposes.
Regardless, USCCA is one of the most highly rated legal defense organizations in the U.S. Comments and reviews all return favorable reports. Their plans are well crafted and offer substantial benefits to concealed carry permit holders and their families.
CCW Safe vs USCCA: Head to Head
Looking at the benefits and options available from each company on a point by point basis can make your decision on which company is best for your needs. Here is a quick reference on how these two companies stack up.
NOTE: We are comparing the standard permit holder plans, not any special plans.
|Member Plans||Defender Plan – $179 per year |
Ultimate Plan – $499 per year
|Gold Membership –$22 per month Platinum Membership – $30 per month Elite Membership – $47 per month|
|Coverage and Caps||Defender Plan |
– Unlimited Attorney Fees
– Unlimited investigator fees
– Unlimited expert witness fees
– All trial costs covered
– $250 per day wage loss during a civil or criminal trial
-Unlimited Attorney Fees
-Unlimited investigator fees
-Unlimited expert witness fees
– All trial costs covered
– $350 per day wage loss during a civil or criminal trial
-Appeals and firearms replacement during trial
|Gold Plan |
– $500,000 maximum for civil defense and damages
– $100,000 maximum for criminal defense, bail bonds, and attorney retainer
– $1,000,000 maximum for civil defense and damages
– $150,000 maximum for criminal defense, bail bonds, and attorney retainer
– $2,000,000 maximum for civil defense and damages
– $250,000 maximum for criminal defense, bail bonds, and attorney retainer
|Any Legal Weapon covered||Yes||Yes|
|Spouse/Family coverage||Available for an additional fee||In your home, your spouse and family are covered. For coverage outside the home, an additional fee is required.|
|Payments made upfront?||Yes||Yes|
|Firearms loss/replacement coverage||Yes, but shared in the personal hardship coverage||Firearms replacement program|
|Ongoing attorney access||Yes||No|
|Psychological Support Plan||Yes||Yes|
It is easy to see from this comparison table that both companies will provide adequate resources if you need to call on them. There are some differences and there are some similarities that are worth noting.
The Differences, Similarities and Restrictions
The Differences between USCCA vs CCW Safe
Looking in more detail at the plans reveals several differences.
- Bail Bond Coverage – CCW safe offers up to $100,00 in bail bond coverage in their top tier plan. USCCA limits their bail bond coverage in their top tier plan to $50.00. The level of coverage can be significant should the need for an excessive bail bond be required. You might have to fund the difference out of your financial pool.
- Wage loss compensation – Typically, if you must miss work to make a court appearance, your employer will not pay your wages. Having a compensation plan can save your family from financial stress. USCCA gets the edge in this category with a $750 per day benefit in their top tier plane while CCW Safe pays on $350 per day in their top tier plan.
- Caps and Limits – The number one reason most people subscribe to a legal defense plan is just that, legal defense. Criminal and civil cases can be time consuming and expensive. Costs can run well into six figures. CCW Safe offers no caps on their legal defense coverage. USCCA does put caps on the coverage they provide in all three tiers of membership. If your biggest concern is the financial risk, then CCW Safe may be your better option.
The Similarities between USCCA vs CCW Safe
Truthfully, the similarities between these two companies are easy to see. Each offers a full range of benefits and features to support their members and their member’s families. These similarities include:
- Training – Both companies offer comprehensive and in-depth training programs for members. These offerings include video training, written information, and referrals to on-site training by certified professionals.
- Education – The extensive amount of material that is available from each company is impressive. There are not many topics that are not covered, and both companies offer access to non-emergency contact with a qualified service representative to answer questions or make referrals to someone qualified to answer the question.
- After Incident Support – There are always more needs than just the financial challenges after a self-defense incident. Both companies offer extensive support systems, including peer support, psychological treatment and counseling, funding for site cleanup, and firearms loss and replacement, just to mention a few.
- Personal Service – Each of these companies provides 24/7/365 emergency hotlines. Both also support 24/7 non-emergency support lines for member questions about everything from account status to help with finding firearms or self-defense training.
Both plans have certain restrictions on their coverages for subscribers. Each company has a contract, terms of service, and other legal documents that specify these restrictions in detail. It is essential that you read and understand all these documents and know the limits you may face. In general, these restrictions are:
- If you are involved in a criminal act, you are generally excluded from the coverage of your plan
- If you commit an act against a family member, your benefits may be voided
- If you are charged with a criminal act or involved in a civil action as the result of a negligent discharge, you may not be covered under your plan.
- Acts of domestic violence are not usually covered.
- If your concealed carry permit is invalid or expired, your coverage is typically void.
There can be many more exclusions and exceptions. The only way you can know for sure what is included or excluded in your plan is to read the plan documents. You should do this before you begin a membership with any company providing legal representation services.
I think that both companies, CCW Safe and USCCA, deliver valuable options to their membership plans. Two considerations are usually first in people’s minds as they start considering a subscription to a legal defense organization.
- Cost – The budget considerations are always a factor when people are considering a subscription to a concealed carry legal defense organization. Finding the balance between cost and benefit is a rational concern.
- Benefits – This boils down to whether your concern is the financial risk or the overall package. If your primary interest is to mitigate the financial risk you may incur, an unlimited cap plan is probably high on your list. If education, training, and other services are essential, a more balanced plan may be right for you.
In the end, I always look at the financial risks that I am incurring. IN today’s litigious society, a self -defense incident will, more than likely, involve both a criminal and a civil legal action. Anything that ends up in court is expensive. I will almost always opt for the choice that gives me the greatest protection from financial disaster.
In this instance, both companies are excellent choices, but my thumbs-up must go to CCCW Safe because of their unlimited caps on civil and criminal trial expenses.