Last month we wrote about lightning and your home and how to be safe. This month we will talk about when lightning strikes and your car.
Lightning and thunder are common issues whenever a storm rolls up, and we know that happens pretty regularly in the Texas Gulf. You may know how to protect yourself, which is great. But, do you know how to protect yourself when you are in your vehicle? And what about your vehicle itself — is it protected against lightning strikes? Here’s what you’ll want to know about what exactly happens when lightning strikes your car.
When lightning strikes your car
Don’t assume you’re safe
There is a myth that makes it seem as though your car getting hit by lightning is no big deal. The rubber in the tires will protect you, and your car will be fine, so you will be fine. Let’s take a look at these things and either way, you should take extra caution.
If your car is hit directly by lightning, the current will travel through the metal framework of your car, to your tires, and then down to the ground. As you know, electrical currents travel through direct contact. Suppose you happen to be touching anything attached to that metal framework (including the steering wheel, radio, and door frame). In that case, you could end up shocking yourself.
You’ll also find that the impact may blow out one or more tires. The high voltage of the electric strike will also very likely destroy the electrical system in your car, including your radio.
Will my car be drivable after a lightning strike?
It really depends on the situation. In some cases, the damage could be so minor that it might just be a strange story to tell to friends. But it can mean that you lose tires and your entire electrical system. Note that your electrical system controls your car’s operations; it isn’t just your audio system! No matter what, a lightning strike directly to your car is always serious!
What is covered by insurance?
If lightning strikes your car directly, it’s got to be covered by insurance, right? In some cases, it is, and in others, no. Most comprehensive coverage does include protection from lightning strikes. It will cover the cost for blown tires, damage to the electrical systems, fire damage to your car (if applicable), and even personal injury to you or anyone in the car.
If the damage to your car is minor, you aren’t required to have your policy pay it out. You can pay out of pocket even by notifying your insurance agent of the strike.
If there are a lot of expenses, however, you’ll find filing a claim to be worthwhile, even with the deductible factored in! After all, electrical damage and personal injury can add up so quickly that you’ll find the coverage payout to make the difference.
Not sure what to think? Contact your agent
That’s a lot of information, and it’s understandable if you’re not entirely sure what’s covered and what’s not. It’s not like lightning strikes occur every single day, right? Contact your Farmer’s Insurance agent at (281) 488-8880 and find out what is covered and what isn’t for your specific policy, in particular!
While it’s a nice thought to think that lightning strikes are harmless and rare enough that you don’t have to worry about it, it is essential to understand your risk and how to avoid it – well, the best you can. Focusing on properly understanding your risk and how to protect yourself will help you do that for a safer drive.