When lightning strikes your home
Most people know Florida as the lightning capital in the U.S. A legitimate claim considering lightning struck seven homes in the Panama City area last week, during a severe thunderstorm. In fact, last year Florida paid out the most in homeowners insurance claims from lightning strikes and electrical surges. 10,385 claims totaled $67.8 million according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
“As long as your home is sufficiently covered by your homeowners insurance policy, you are covered for lighting strikes and related damage,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency. Actually, lighting falls under “perils” in your homeowners insurance coverage.
Since we are in the midst of storm season, we want to familiarize you with the following tips on how to protect you and your home during a thunderstorm.
The best place to be during a thunderstorm is inside your home or office. Do not touch anything that can conduct electricity including: electrical appliances, metal surfaces such as a sliding door or anything connected to your plumbing system. Avoid anything served by your gas lines such as water heaters, ovens, furnaces and fireplaces.
Additionally, lightning strikes can be responsible for power surges- a sudden spike in electricity that can cause real damage. Most homeowners insurance policies including those at GreatFlorida Insurance offer financial protection against power surge damage.
As a general rule of thumb, Great Florida Insurance recommends you annually review your homeowners insurance. Make sure your coverage is consistent with the current replacement cost of your home and valuables. In the unfortunate event of a lightning strike and resulting damage to your home.
Lightning Protection System
A lightning protection system is designed to protect a structure. The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) describes a lighting protection system as, “The highly conductive copper and aluminum materials used in a lighting protection system provide a low resistance path to safely ground lightning’s dangerous electricity.” Essentially, an updated version of the lightning rod. It intercepts a strike and directs it to the ground without impact to the structure, occupants or contents.
Surge Protection Device
A surge protector offers some safety to your electronics from power surges and strikes. Do not confuse it with a power strip, which merely offers more electrical outlets and does not offer any real protection from electrical issues. Cnet.com explains, surge protectors offer some level of protection against power spikes. The level of protection varies based on how many joules, (unit of energy). “Generally, the more the joules, the better.”