|Standard homeowners and business insurance policies cover fire and other damage due to a lightning strike. Some even cover damage due to a resulting electrical surge - check with your company for details. If you carry comprehensive on your auto policy, it covers lightning damage to your car.
213,278 lightning-related homeowners claims were filed in 2010, causing $1.03 billion in insured losses according to the Insurance Information Institute, with the average claim costing $4,846.
The number of lightning claims rose 14.8% from 2009 to 2010, and the dollar amount of those losses rose 29.5%. During the same period, the average cost per claim rose by 12.8%
Protecting Your Property
Install a lightning protection system on your building. Such a system helps protect your building by providing a specific path for the lightning to travel to the ground without damaging your property along the way. Have a licensed electrician install lighting rods and protection systems, as they need to be properly anchored to work.
Use surge protectors to protect sensitive - and valuable - electronics and prevent electrical fires. For strongest protection, UL listed surge arrestors may be installed on electrical service panels, including incoming phone, cable, satellite and data transmission lines. Note that power strips are not the same as surge protectors and offer little protection.
Unplug it. Not only will you save energy, but unplugging electronics such as computers and televisions while not in use will protect them from potential lightning damage.
Lighting Facts & Safety Tips
Visit the Lightning Protection Institute and Colorado Division of Emergency Management for more lightning facts and personal safety tips.