Statistics May Make You Hold Your Loved Ones
a Bit Closer than You Did Yesterday
Statistics May Make You Hold Your Loved Ones a Bit Closer than You Did Yesterday
If you have young kids, you’re probably hugging them a little tighter these days after what unfolded at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, recently, just as you may have held your spouse a little closer after the mass shooting in Vegas a couple of years ago. Whatever your beliefs surrounding gun ownership, any death is a tragedy, no matter how it happens.
And regardless of the ongoing debate about gun control, statistics from the CDC reveal that 45,222 people died from gun-related incidents in 2020. If you do the math, that’s about 124 people daily.
In the week following the Uvalde elementary school shooting on May 24, 2022, statistics gathered by the Gun Violence Archive reveal there were at least 12 more mass shootings over the following three-day holiday weekend, which both the Congressional Research Service and the FBI define as more than four people shot within close proximity and timeframe.
How Do These Statistics Affect My Insurance?
As of right now, being a fatal victim of any gun-related incident will not affect your life insurance payout –even if you have a gun in your house—if your death is ruled manslaughter or homicide.
Gun-related fatalities still trail far behind mortality rates after COVID, heart disease, and cancer. And although suicides account for most gun-related mortalities, most insurance companies honor death benefits for a suicidal death after two years of paid coverage.
An article in Actuary Magazine said that life insurance companies aren’t taking direct underwriting action regarding gun violence but are monitoring the issue. A quote from the article: “The Surgeon General’s reports on smoking and health were controversial; however, this did not deter actuaries from studying the issue.”
The recent rise in gun-related deaths does not affect premiums either. Although risky hobbies or behavior may affect your premium or ability to receive coverage, being at the wrong place at the wrong time is not considered risky behavior.
Did you know? Firearm-related deaths have overtaken car crash mortalities? As stated earlier in this post, 45,222 people died in 2020 of fatal gunshot wounds, as opposed to the 40,698 people who died in a car-related fatality. On average, people spend about eight hours a week in their car. A 2019 report by the Insurance Information Institute cited that the lifetime odds of dying from an assault by firearm compared to a motor vehicle accident was 289 to 107, respectively.
It’s easy to fall into the mindset of “It can’t happen to me. Places like Chicago are more dangerous than where I live.”
But it’s all relative. Chicago may have an average of 700 gun-related homicides a year, but more than 5 million people live there. A rural area may have only 10 gun-related deaths, but it has a smaller population. If you calculate rates between the two populations based on gun deaths per 100,000, the numbers suggest that the bigger and smaller population areas fall in roughly the same average range.
The fact is, we’re all mortal, no matter how we go out. But the stats reveal that the world may be a more violent place than it used to be, which makes protecting your family as much as possible a priority.
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