The deer hunting season has returned to the South Carolina Low Country with the opening day being August 15. The season in other parts of the state opens in a few weeks.

Each year, several hunters in South Carolina are accidentally shot by other hunters. Some are merely wounded and, sadly, some are killed.

How does insurance relate to you if you were the hunter who pulled the trigger and shot the other person?

The “Liability Coverages” of your homeowner’s insurance policy will state something like this: “If a claim is made… for damages because of bodily injury … caused by an occurrence to which this coverage applies, we will …pay up to our limit of liability for damages for which an insured in legally liable”. An occurrence is defined as an “accident”. Unless there is a “hunting” exclusion (read your policy), the homeowners policy will respond to an accidental shooting claim.

Prevention should be the paramount issue and thus each hunter should review all safety procedures each year. Over the years, I taught my two daughters how to shoot and also taught several of their friends. The first question I always asked the youngsters was this –“What is the purpose of a gun?” “For what reason are guns made?” I would get many answers but usually never the one I was looking for. The answer I was looking for was “Guns are made to kill, and they do not care what they kill.”  This made quite an impression!!

Another rule I had was: Check at least twice to make sure your gun is unloaded. If you think the gun is unloaded, check to make sure.

Safe hunting to all!

Henry Lowndes Jr.

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