Your house will never be struck by lightning, it can’t happen to you, so you don’t need to worry about it, right? Actually, you should be, especially for those of us in Texas where thunder and lightning storms are a regular occurrence. Lightning strikes homes much more often than many believe, which means that there is the potential to have a lot of damage done that can lead to a high amount of losses. Per the National Lightning Safety Institute (NLSI), 1 out of 200 homes will be struck per year. That doesn’t sound like a lot but in a large population, that’s more than we may think. Sure, we are safer in our homes, than say, those working outside, but it’s a good idea to be mindful. Not to mention, the especially expensive part of this is that the destroyed items are electronics which, of course, are always expensive. So, here’s what you need to know to protect them!
Lightning & Your Home
Assume it’ll happen to you
This is first on the list for a reason. Again, many people assume that a lightning strike won’t happen to them because, well, it’s so rare. The thing is, it happens a lot more than most people think, especially with large and powerful storms getting more and more common, especially on the Texas Gulf Coast, or Florida.
The thing is, damage related to a lightning strike doesn’t necessarily happen only if there is a direct strike. It can damage homes if it strikes nearby and the energy current transmits through the ground, snaking up through the electrical circuits in your home. There is also the potential of a shockwave damage your electronics in a radius close enough to where it does strike.
Have proper coverage in place
Since you can’t exactly unplug your house from the grid, you’ll want to ensure that you’ve got proper coverage in place so that you can relax and know that if it does happen, you’re covered. Your insurance agent will be the best person to talk to so that you can understand what coverage you have, what you should add, and what it covers (and does not cover). Plus, if you have an agent like Paula Smith Insurance, they are locals and they likely have the same coverage or can recommend what is best for your area, as they live here, not like a 1-800 # who may work and reside in another country or state.
Be as preventative as possible
Another detail is that you should be as careful as possible as far as prevention. While you can’t protect against the shockwave of a lightning strike nearby (which can damage electrical systems around it), you can do your part to protect against current-related damage by unplugging your sensitive electronics and more. Back in the day, this was standard, but it’s rare for many people to do this now!
Be ready to act when the lightning strikes
In this case, we mean it literally. As soon as you notice lightning has struck, you’ll want to call emergency services in case there is a smoldering fire that you can’t detect. The next call should be to your insurance agent to alert them. They’ll walk you through the next steps for inspecting the damage and filing a claim.
Remember that coverage for lightning strikes and damage can cover both the damage to the property (including personal electronics, your electrical board, garage door opening systems, and more) as well as living cost coverage if you are forced to live in a hotel or something similar until your home’s damage is repaired! There are many moving pieces so the best way to be sure you are covered is to discuss the coverage with your insurance agent.
While no one ever wants to have to deal with a lightning strike to, or near, their home, it’s always best to know that you are covered just in case! It can make a huge difference, and it’ll be one less stressor to think about amidst the chaos that will inevitably follow!