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NEW YORK, June 19, 2019—The number of lightning-caused U.S. homeowners insurance claims decreased in 2018—the third straight year it has done so—yet the average cost per claim has soared since 2016, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The I.I.I.’s findings, based on national insurance claims numbers, determined:
“With increased labor and construction costs as well as a consumer appetite for smart home products, it’s not surprising that lightning-related homeowners insurance claims costs have risen,” said James Lynch, chief actuary and vice president of Research and Education at the I.I.I.
Lynch added the average cost per claim rose eight percent from 2017 to 2018. “However, the average cost per claim between 2016 and 2018 increased 21 percent,” he said.
State by State Numbers
Florida – the state with the most thunderstorms— remained the top state for lightning claims in 2018, with 7,108, followed by Georgia (5,539) and California (4,909), a new addition to the line-up. Texas, which had ranked second in 2016, fell to fourth place (4,559).
Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Damage caused by lightning, such as a fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Some policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike, which can cause severe damage to appliances, electronics, computers and equipment, phone systems, electrical fixtures and the electrical foundation of a home.
In recognition of Lightning Safety Awareness Week, June 23-29, the I.I.I. and the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI), a national organization that promotes lightning protection education, awareness and safety, encourage homeowners to install a lightning protection system in their homes.
“Unlike so many other natural, manmade and insurable catastrophic events, lightning damage is a more preventable occurrence,” said Bud VanSickle, LPI’s executive director. “Certified lightning protection systems are readily available to significantly mitigate loss due to lightning strikes. Insurance companies as well as policyholders benefit from certified lightning protection systems that reliably protect residential and commercial properties from catastrophic lightning events.”
To locate an LPI-certified lightning protection system installer in your area, click here.
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THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org