By Loretta L. Worters, Vice President, Media Relations, Triple-I
Fire has historically been the main risk associated with the risk of lightning strikes. But as urban density increases and society’s reliance on electrical and electronic devices increases, the damage caused by lightning strikes can be far more severe than what the average home or business owner can afford. realize.
According to a Triple-I analysis of State Farm data compiled to coincide with Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 18-24), $952 million in homeowner insurance claims due to lightning strikes were reported. paid out in 2022 to more than 62,000 policyholders. There’s good news in the data, including:
- The total value of homeowner’s insurance claims due to lightning strikes in the United States fell more than 27% in 2022 ($952 million) compared to 2021 ($1.3 billion).
- The number of homeowners insurance claims due to lightning strikes in the United States increased only slightly, 2.2% between 2021 and 2022 from 60,851 to 62,189, with numbers from the top 10 claim states contributing contributions. about half of the total.
- The average cost per lightning strike claim has fallen 29%, from $21,578 in 2021 to $15,280 in 2022.
Sean Kevelighan, CEO of Triple-I said: “Insurs are moving towards predicting and preventing losses by advocating synergistic resilience with the application of real-time technology. . “Lightning Safety Awareness Week highlights the dangers lightning poses to life and property and how insurers and policyholders are mitigating these risks.”
Homes are not the only structures at risk of light damage. In a recent interview with Kevelighan, Tim Harger — executive director of the Lightning Protection Institute — said an East Coast furniture maker suffered “just over a million dollars in damage” when struck by lightning. fight.
“Yes, there is a typical fire that causes structural damage, but what is affected ‘inside’ is even more costly,” he said. “They have damaged inventory, production downtime, and lost revenue during repairs.”
Investing in a lightning protection system could have saved this business owner – and his insurance company – a million dollars in lost money and avoided business disruption.
“When it comes to protecting homes, businesses or important community facilities, we know that a properly installed lighting protection system has been scientifically proven to work,” says Harger. can minimize damage caused by lightning strikes.
While cities have problems with lightning, parts of the country also have very severe lightning strikes. According to the Congressional Research Service, most wildfires are caused by humans (89% of average wildfires from 2018 to 2022). However, wildfires caused by lightning tend to be slightly larger and burn more area (53 percent of the average area burned between 2018 and 2022) than fires caused by humans.
Losses due to lightning strikes in Florida, Georgia, Texas and California
Unsurprisingly, Florida – the state with the most thunderstorms – remains the top state for lightning strikes in 2022, with 5,504, followed by Georgia with 4,474. However, California has the highest average cost per claim, at $36,319, followed by Texas, at $25,286.
Lightning damage, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Some homeowner policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike.
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