Prepare for Lightning - Part 2

Traditional homeowners insurance policies cover structural loss caused by lightning or fire. Personal property loss caused by a direct lightning hit is covered as well.

Be certain adequate insurance protection is in place before the loss occurs. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid a coverage surprise:

  • Verify adequate dwelling coverage. Homeowners insurance is based on replacement cost, which is how much it takes to rebuild the house using materials of like kind and quality. Depreciation (age, wear and tear) is not a factor. Insuring below replacement cost could result in a penalty on a partial loss.
  • Damage to the dwelling is settled on a replacement cost basis. However, the payout on a partial loss is initially depreciated. Use this money to begin making repairs. The balance will be paid when the work is complete.
  • Verify adequate coverage on personal property (contents). Homeowners insurance policies cover contents for 50 - 70 percent of the dwelling limit. Complete a room-by-room personal property inventory to confirm this is enough protection. Review policy limitations on jewelry, high value items, business equipment, and more. Look for coverage gaps and talk to your insurance agent about buy-back coverage.
  • Contents losses are settled on an actual cash basis, which means the claim is reduced for depreciation. Most insurers offer contents replacement cost coverage for an additional fee. This endorsement changes loss settlement terms to pay the cost of replacing contents at current value. Ask the insurance anent for cost and coverage specifics.