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Lightning Strikes and Home Insurance

Posted June 29, 2013 | Filed under topic Fun Facts About Home Insurance

We’ve all been in a thunder and lightning storm, but have you or your property ever been struck by lightning? Chances are quite good you haven’t been struck yourself (and even if you were there is about a 90% chance you lived through it),

The odds of an average person living in the US being struck by lightning in a given year is between 1/750,000 and 1/500,000, while the odds of being struck by lightning in a lifetime is 1/6250 (estimated lifespan of 80 years).-Wikipedia

but chances are much better that you’ve had property damage due to a lightning strike. The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) reports that in 2012 nearly $1 billion was paid out from 151,000 lightning strike related home insurance claims making the average payout of $6,400.

Lightning strikes can cause a wide range of damage to property such as brush fires, house fires, damaged electronics and even very dangerous and dramatic events such as knocking a tree down onto a house or vehicle. Mother nature has an amazing amount of power. Never underestimate it and always take proper cover during a storm.

Home Insurance Claims Paid for Lightning Strikes

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Number of Paid Claims 246,200 185,789 213,278 186,307 151,000
Insured Losses $1,065.5 M $798.0 M $1,033.5 M $952.5 M $969.0 M
Average Cost Per Claim $4,329 $4,296 $4,846 $5,112 $6,400

To protect your property make sure you have home insurance (and of course you need to have health insurance for yourself as well). As you can see from the table above the average cost per claim over the last five years for property damage due to lightning strikes has ranged from $4,296 – $6,400. Ask yourself if you have that kind of cash ready to go at a moments notice (and possibly much more since this is just the average).

The I.I.I. has also compiled a list of the top 10 states ranked by the number of claims paid for lightning strikes in 2012. Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania round out the top three states.

Top 10 States for Home Insurance Claims Paid for Lightning Strikes

Rank State # Claims Total Losses Avg. Claim
1 Georgia 13,000 $73.2 M $5,600
2 North Carolina 8,500 $46.0 M $5,400
3 Pennsylvania 7,300 $28.0 M $3,800
4 Louisiana 6,700 $33.6 M $4,500
5 Texas 6,500 $65.3 M $6,700
6 Tennessee 6,000 $47.3 M $7,800
7 Alabama 5,700 $37.9 M $9,700
8 Ohio 5,500 $24.0 M $4,400
9 South Carolina 5,300 $24.0 M $4,400
10 Illinois 4,400 $30.4 M $6,800

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