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Chubb pays $1.3 million to settle charges over NRA insurance program

Chubb pays $1.3 million to settle charges over NRA insurance program

Chubb Ltd. agreed to pay a $1.3 million fine for underwriting the National Rifle Association-branded “Carry Guard” insurance program, through Lockton Affinity, in violation of New York state law, regulators said Monday.

The penalty against Chubb and its Illinois Union Insurance Co. unit follows last week’s agreement by Lockton Cos. L.L.C.’s to pay $7 million to settle similar charges for administering the program. The NRA, in turn, filed a federal lawsuit against Lockton on Friday for failing to maintain the program.

A New York Department of Financial Services investigation found the NRA insurance program unlawfully provided liability insurance to gun owners for acts of intentional wrongdoing, and improperly provided legal services insurance for costs and expenses, for any act of self-defense covered under the policy for gun owners and their resident family members who may be charged with a crime involving a legally possessed firearm, according to a DFS statement.

The Carry Guard program provided coverage in any criminal proceeding against the policyholder or the policyholder’s family members, including coverage for bail money, premiums on bonds, attorney consultation fee and retainer expenses, expenses incurred for the investigation or defense of criminal charges, and costs taxed against the insured or the insured’s resident family member in a criminal proceeding arising out of a shooting. 

The policy also covered expenses incurred by the policyholder for psychological counseling support for the insured or the policyholder’s resident family member.

In addition to paying the fine, Chubb agreed to cancel all it Carry Guard policies. According to the consent order, Chubb issued 681 Carry Guard policies to New Residents between April and November 2017.

In a statement, Chubb said it “recognizes its responsibility to ensure that its policies comply with New York law. Chubb at all times intended and believed its coverage to be in full compliance with New York law.  Chubb believes that this settlement is the best way to resolve the coverage questions raised by the department and is fully committed to cooperating with the department to remediate any issues or concerns regarding the Carry Guard program.”

In March 2018, several insurance-sector companies, including Chubb, Lockton, and MetLife Inc., announced they were no longer participating in National Rifle Association insurance programs.