The average cost of homeowners insurance claims from lightning strikes increased by 11% in the United States between 2017 and 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Our Bonita Springs property damage attorneys at Pittman Law Firm, P.L. explain how lightning strikes can affect your home and reveal the top 10 states for lightning loss claims in the U.S.
What Kind of Damage Is Caused by a Lightning Strike?
A lightning strike may sound like a rare event, but this phenomenon is likely more common—and dangerous—than you think. According to data collected by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) between 2007 and 2011, local fire departments across the U.S. responded to an average of 22,600 fires started by lightning each year. These disasters led to an average of nine fatalities and $451 million in property damage annually.
Lightning damage can be incredibly costly even if it doesn’t lead to a fire. Because homeowner’s electronic systems have become increasingly connected over the years, especially as smart home technology increases in popularity, homes are increasingly susceptible. Lightning strikes can damage expensive appliances and electronics, fry wiring in your home’s walls, and even shock someone in your household, causing serious injuries.
U.S. Lightning Loss Claims in 2019
Last year, there were 76,860 lightning loss claims documented nationwide, according to the III. These cost consumers $920.1 million, an average of $11,971 per claim. The III also documented claims by state, revealing those that had the most lightning losses in 2019.
The top 10 states for lightning loss homeowners insurance claims in the U.S. were:
- New York
- North Carolina
That’s right—Florida is number one on the list. In 2019, 6,821 claims were filed statewide valuing $93.2 million in total, making the average cost of each claim about $13,669. Due to our state’s susceptibility to stormy weather, from hurricanes to thunderstorms, this may come as little surprise. In fact, Florida sees somewhere between 70 to 100 days a year with at least one thunderstorm and is considered the lighting capital of the U.S.!
The average homeowners insurance policy should cover lightning strikes, but we recommended reviewing your policy to make sure. If you need help making a claim for lightning loss, or you filed a valid claim that has been denied or otherwise challenged by the insurance company, we can help.
Contact our Bonita Springs property damage attorneys today at (239) 603-6913 or online to schedule your free consultation.