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.
Lightning strikes cost about $674 million in homeowners insurance losses in 2013, down 30.5 percent from 2012, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. and State Farm found there were 115,000 lightning claims in 2013, down 24 percent from 2012. The I.I.I. puts the average lightning claim at $5,869 in 2013, down 8.3 percent from 2012. Georgia had the largest number of homeowner insurance claims for lighting losses in 2013, followed by Texas and North Carolina, according to the I.I.I.
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.