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Homeowners insurance generally does cover damage from lightning strikes, though there are some exceptions to keep in mind. Here’s when it will cover you, and how to make sure you’re sufficiently protected from the costs. Our guide explains how and when your insurance company would cover or pay out for lightning strikes, and what homeowners can do to mitigate damages or issues when filing claims.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover Power Surge Damage
There are a few instances where your homeowners insurance company may not cover damage due to a power surge.
The power surge occurred due to general negligence
Your home has been vacant for over 60 days
The power surge occurred due to maintenance issues
As we mentioned before, some insurance companies will not cover artificially generated electrical damage to tubes, transistors, or electronics that are part of appliances or fixtures in your home.
How To Submit A Claim If Your Home Is Damaged By Lightning
After experiencing a disaster, Wilson recommends staying in touch with your homeowners insurance company to let them know what’s going on at your home and take the following steps when submitting insurance claims:
Ronda Lee is an associate editor for insurance at Personal Finance Insider covering life, auto, homeowners, and renters insurance for consumers. She is also a licensed attorney who practiced litigation and insurance defense.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Lightning Damage To Electronics
Many homeowners insurance policies cover lightning damage to electronics, but some companies may be reluctant to pay out what you are owed.
Ultimately, whether your homeowners insurance covers property loss as the result of a power surge rests on the details of your own policy. However, according to the Florida Homeowners Insurance Regulations, standard homeowners insurance policies include coverage for personal property, which may include any electronics that are damaged after a lightning strike. Electronics are some of the most common casualties when inclement weather causes a power surge.
However, getting compensation for these damages is not always easy. You will have to provide evidence that shows that a lightning strike did cause your losses and not your own negligence. This is where working with a legal professional can prove to be a useful resource.
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How To Tell If Your Car Was Struck By Lightning
In order to be able to tell if your car was struck by lightning, generally, you simply need to turn it on. If the car was struck by lightning, it is likely that the electrical panel will be damaged. This means that most cars that are struck by lightning will not be able to turn on at all. However, lightning sometimes does not make it all the way to the electrical panel. Occasionally, you will just find some burn damage on your vehicle. Look for marks in the paint and check your tires for damage. If lightning hits your car it often blows tires and leaves behind a mark.
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Number Of Lightning Strikes
- During a thunderstorm, don’t let dry conditions fool you. Lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from an area of rainfall.
- Lightning causes an average of 41 fatalities yearly.
- The air surrounded by a lightning strike can heat the surrounding air as much as 18,000 to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s about five times hotter than the first layer of the sun.
- Each year, the United States experiences 20 million flashes of lightning. Florida and other Gulf Coast states see the most lightning Pacific Coast states see the least.
- A single strike of lightning can pack up to 300 million volts of electricity.
How To A Claim For Lightning Damage
Below are the steps you should take when filing a claim for lightning damage.
Take photos and videos of the damage as evidence
Be prepared to supply the insurance company with information about the property youâre claiming a loss on, like the estimated cost of belongings that were damaged.
Contact your insurance company tofile a claim and secure coverage for the damage. You may need to pay adeductible before your insurer can pay the rest, which is the out of pocket money youâre responsible for before insurance kicks in.
Make temporary repairs if necessary while you wait for the claims process to be completed. Save any receipts or evidence of payment so you can be reimbursed by your homeowners insurance company.
Prepare for the claims adjuster. The claims adjuster inspects the damage to your home, either in person or remotely, and evaluates whether or not your policy will cover the cost of repairs.
Obtain repair or rebuild estimates from contractors in your area. Having your own estimates from licensed contractors can be useful in the event you find that your insurance company’s initial reimbursement offer is too low.
Receive the claim payout and proceed with repairs. If you have a mortgage on your home, the insurance company will send out two checks, one to your lender and one to you. The lender will typically put this money into an escrow account and release the payments as the repairs are completed.
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Does Full Coverage Cover Lightning Strikes
The good news is that lightning strikes, as well as fire caused by lightning, are covered perils in almost all homeowners insurance policies, with no exclusions. … Personal property, which can include electronics, appliances, furnishings, or other interior possessions damaged or destroyed by a lightning strike.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Lightning Strikes
Lightning is one of Natures most magnificent, yet destructive forces. An average bolt of lightning can contain as much as 10 billion watts of power. When lightning strikes a house or tree, it can cause devastating damage and fire.
But what about your car? If you are unfortunate enough to have your vehicle get hit by lightning, will your insurance company pay for the damage? Even though lightning strikes to cars are quite rare, lets review some safety tips to remember should you be caught in a storm while driving, as well as how your insurance would cover such a claim if a strike actually occurred.
Even though the chance of lightning hitting your car is minimal, here are some things to do if you happen to be driving during a lightning storm.
- Get Off The Road If you feel that lightning is nearby, it is best to pull over to a safe spot. After you park, do not touch any part of the car that is connected to the vehicles outside structure.
- Put Your Flashers On During storms, the sky can get dark quickly, which can reduce other motorists ability to see you. Turning on your hazard lights is a good way to alert drivers to your presence, in addition to your headlights.
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Power Outage Insurance Claims
Your home insurance may cover spoiled food after a power outage, depending on the type of event. For example, some insurers will cover food that spoils from a power outage due to a problem covered by your policy, such as a lightning strike. But your policy wont cover spoiled food if you accidentally knock out your power while renovating your home.
Food spoilage is covered up to a certain limit. For example, your policy might offer up to $500 for spoilage. A deductible will also apply to the claim. So if you have a $500 deductible and $400 in food spoilage, you would not be reimbursed.
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- Lightning strikes are unpredictable and uncontrollable
- If youre in your car when lightning strikes, you can take certain steps to reduce your risk of injury
- Certain types of car insurance pay for lightning strike damage
- Review your car insurance coverage regularly to make sure it is the right policy for you and covers everything you need it to
Lightning is one of those things that is impossible to control and nearly impossible to predict, particularly in certain areas of the country, such as Florida. It can strike with little to no forewarning.
Lightning strikes to automobiles are exceedingly rare but cars do get struck by lightning.
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Will My Car Insurance Cover A Lightning Strike
- A lightning strike can be covered by car insurance
- Comprehensive car insurance offers coverage against a variety of damages
- You may want to wait to file a claim if its close to or under your deductible
Will car insurance cover a lightning strike? It turns out it likely depends on the type of car insurance policy that you have.
While its traditionally more expensive, comprehensive car insurance will help you pay for repairs after a lightning strike, as long as it meets your deductible.
As one of the primary car insurance types, you shouldnt have any trouble finding one of the best car insurance companies willing to give you an affordable policy that will protect your finances from any future lightning.
If youre looking for affordable car insurance cover for a lightning strike, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay.
Install Lightning Surge Protection Devices
Lightning strikes on or near a power line or utility service are a frequent cause of power surges. Point-of-use surge protection devices , combined with a good grounding system, should protect your electronic and electrical appliances from most electrical surges. An SPD does not suppress or arrest a surge it actually diverts the surge to the ground.
Service entrance SPDs provide protection for your entire electrical system and are usually installed at the electrical panel or at the base of the service meter. These devices help prevent the entrance of overvoltages, which can cause a fire. Surge protection devices are typically installed in conjunction with a lightning protection system.
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Will My Insurance Cover My Home Or Business From Lightning Strikes
According to the Insurance Information Institute, standard homeowner’s insurance and business insurance policies should cover lightning-related damage — including fire damage stemmingfrom a lightning strike. A comprehensive auto insurance policy also will provide protection from lightning damage. The Insurance Information Institute says that certain business insurance and home policies will provide coverage for power surges set off by a lightning strike.
State Farm Insurance cautions consumers about the limitations of lightning policies. For instance, you may not get fully repaid because of equipment deprecation or the cost of your deductible. And if utility work or some other non-lightning source causes the power surge, the damage may not be covered, or the coverage may be subject to significant limitations. Fortunately, cautious home or business owners can get special surge protection coverage for power surges not tied to lightning.
What Happens If Your Car Gets Struck By Lightning While Driving
A typical cloud-to-ground, actually cloud-to-vehicle, lightning strike will either strike the antenna of the vehicle or along the roofline. … A portion of the discharge may find its way into the vehicle’s electrical system and may damage or destroy electronic components, potentially leaving the car inoperable.
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Filing A Claim For Lightning Damage
If you need to file a claim for damages incurred by a lightning strike, here’s what you can expect:
- After you file the claim, an adjuster will inspect the damage to your home.
- If the cost to repair your home exceeds the deductible of your policy, you will need to make a decision whether to file a claim.
- If you choose to file a claim, the adjuster will offer you a settlement for repairs.
- You receive the settlement from your insurance company in two increments. The first half of the settlement to be used to begin making repairs. The second will be for the remaining cost of the repairs after they have been made. “If you are offered an on-the-spot settlement, you can accept the check right away,” Worters says. “Later on, if you find other damage, you can reopen the claim and file for an additional amount.”
- When both your home’s structure and personal property are damaged, you generally receive two separate checks from your insurance company one for each category of damage. You should also receive a separate check for additional living expenses you might incur if your home in not uninhabitable until repairs are made.
- Note that most policies require claims to be filed within 60 days from the date of disaster.
It is important to note that comprehensive car insurance will cover your car if it’s damaged by a lightning strike.
Best For Online Service: State Farm
If you prefer to get quotes and manage your insurance policy online, we recommend State Farm. Though State Farms rates were only about $120 less than the statewide average, its the only competitive insurer that offers online quotes. For Michigan residents who live far from a local agent, online service may be a top priority.
State Farm is well-known for its dependability. It has an NAIC complaint index of 0.2, meaning that it receives only one-fifth as many complaints as a typical insurer of its size nationwide. Furthermore, the company has outstanding financial stability: A.M. Best rated it A++, which is the highest rating A.M. Best offers. This means that State Farm will likely be able to pay out your claim, even in situations of high claims demand or economic downturn.
What Happens If Your Boat Is Struck By Lightning
The reason is that when lightning exits your boat, it can leave via a thru-hull fitting or even through the hull itself. Even if the force of the bolt doesnt blow out a thru-hull or cause hull damage, it may cause a gradual leak that could go unnoticed and sink your boat.
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What Causes A Lightning Bolt To Hit Your Car
Whether you are driving down the road when lightning strikes or your car is parked somewhere, lightning has the potential to cause damage. The metal frame of your car could act like a lightning rod. Unfortunately, there are many factors we dont understand that could make your car more vulnerable than others.
As for how much damage it causes, it depends on whether the lightning was a direct strike or if it bounced off of another object. It will also depend on where on the car the strike hits.
Some states across the U.S. are more prone to lightning strikes than others. Most of the top cities that are lightning-prone are found in the South. If you live in or are visiting one of the southern states, its important to know what lightning can do to your car.
Some of the damage include:
- blown tires
- damage to electrical system
- interior and exterior burns
In addition to damages to the car, passengers might sustain injuries. Many of the injuries are because of touching doors and electronic components when lightning strikes.
Its important to know that you can file a claim with your auto insurance company if you sustain damage and/or injuries. It will help to cover the costs and get the needed repairs taken care of.
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