Lightning is typically associated with thunderstorms but can also occur many miles away from a weather event. Bolts are super-charged and five times hotter than the surface of the sun. Individuals are in danger when lightning is nearby. Strikes cause personal injury, sometimes death. Property is also at risk. A building hit by lightning may catch on fire. Electrical equipment and appliances may be damaged by a lightning-related power surge.
The National Weather Service coined the phrase 'When thunder roars, go indoors.' Staying outside until threatening weather arrives is risky. Taking shelter inside is the best way to protect yourself and loved ones from being struck by lightning. Remain indoors until thirty minutes after the storm passes. Be aware that electrical energy travels easily through water and metal. Above or underground wires and water pipes may carry an electrically charged lightning strike inside your house. Stay away from corded phones, electronic equipment, plumbing, doors, and window.
Millions of lightning strikes occur each year, and Illinois is among the top ten states to experience damage. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reported 2,438 claims in Illinois in 2019, averaging $10,078 per loss. Installing UL-approved surge protectors, lightning rods, or a whole-house lightning protection system can safeguard your home and belongings. Victims often turn to an insurance company for help with lightning-related property damage. Traditional homeowners insurance policies cover dwelling loss caused by lightning or fire. Personal belongings damaged by a a direct lightning hit are covered as well. Limitations apply if the power surge comes from a power line or transformer.
Review your homeowners insurance policy before a loss occurs. Confirm adequate policy limits are in place. Check loss settlement terms as well. Structural losses are typically covered on a replacement cost basis. Loss settlements for personal belongings are reduced for depreciation, but most insurers offer contents replacement cost as a policy add-on. Consider the following tips: