Nationwide Insurance reports that there are over 20 million lightning strikes across the United States. Florida is the lightning capital of the world and home to a high percentage of such strikes. Each lightning strike can carry over 100,000 volts of power and a strike can result in significant damage, even far away from the point of impact. As a result, hundreds of thousands of insurance claims are filed each year due to lightning strikes. Our Miami property insurance claim lawyers find that average claims can total over $4,000 dollars, with some ranging far higher and these claims cost the insurance company more than $1 billion in losses.
Will the insurance company cover my home or business?
Most standard homeowners' insurance and business insurance policies will cover lightning related damage, including any fire damage coming from the strike. Certain types of homeowners' insurance policies will also cover power surges triggered by lightning strikes.
Homeowner's should be cautioned that they may not be fully repaid for certain items associated with lightning strike damage. For instance, you may not be repaid for equipment depreciation and you will need to cover the cost of the deductible. All homeowners should know what their deductible is so that they can be prepared to pay this sum if necessary in the event of a lightning strike. Further, if the utility company is responsible for the surge or some other non-lightning strike source causes the damage, the insurance company may not cover the damage or might severely reduce your claim. Homeowners concerned with potential lighting strike surges can obtain an additional surge protection policy that covers specifically power surges not related to lightning.
Why is lightning damage so costly?
Lightning strikes and the power surges associated with these strikes can send strong currents of energy through electrical wires, cables, phone lines, and at times even plumbing or duct work. This energy can jump across sources, causing electrical arching. Electrical arching can set off fires. The American landscape abounds with electrical sources that are increasingly close to homes and businesses, placing more homeowners at risk.
What steps can I take to protect my home?
Start by reviewing your homeowners' insurance policy so that you understand what your coverage is in the event of a lightning strike. Enhance your coverage if necessary to provide full coverage for your home. Look specifically at your coverage for surges that are not directly lightning related, as many power surges can occur from other causes.
There are important steps you can take to protect your home from power surges, such as the following:
- Using surge protectors to protect individual electronic devices, including computers, TVs, and printers.
- Obtaining equipment breakdown insurance to protect your home if power surges cause damage to products like your computer or TV and associated losses like lost income or emergency repairs.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Over 130 Years of Collective Experience
If your home has been damaged due to a lightning strike or other natural disaster, contact the Miami Homeowners' Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano We have over 130 collective years of experience representing policy holders across South Florida. We have the experience and knowledge to provide you with top notch legal representation. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.