According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were 185,789 lightning claims in 2009, totaling $798 million with the average claim over $4,000. Thunderstorms are frequent in this area and you are not immune. Learn the impact of lightning on your house.
Keep in mind that lightning doesn’t necessarily have to strike your house to cause damaging surges. Sometimes, lightning can strike the power lines that feed into your home. Sometimes this will cause widespread damage in neighborhoods.
The majority of damage from by lightning strikes is due to the huge surge of electricity that runs through your house. One bolt of lightning can reach temperatures of up to 50,000 degrees, which can easily set your house on fire.
Keep in mind that lightning looks for the quickest path to the ground (much like water leaks). Normally that route is through your home’s wiring or plumbing. In many cases, there will be a fire but it won’t be immediately apparent because it will be inside the walls. If you are home when the surge occurs, evacuate and call the fire department. They will be able to effectively assess your house for any in-wall fires.
This can make determining the full range of damage more difficult for the homeowner. For example, you may not realize for a few days or a week that your doorbell doesn’t work anymore. Try to test everything to get a full idea of the damage that was caused, starting with all electronics that were plugged in at the time of the lightning strike.
Lightning damage isn’t just relegated to your electrical system. Sometimes windows get blown out, tiles dislodged, walls and ceilings cracked.
Record all the damage you’ve identified, from appliances and electronics to wiring and construction. This will help when you work better with your insurance claims adjuster and ensure all the damage is accounted for and subsequently repaired.