FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Press Office: Loretta Worters, 917-208-8842; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK, June 21, 2022—More than $1 billion in lightning-caused U.S. homeowners insurance claims were paid out in 2021 to 60,000-plus policyholders, with 40 percent of that figure ($523 million) attributable to California alone, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I.).
Based on national insurance claims data compiled to coincide with Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 19-25), the Triple-I found:
“The average cost per claim is volatile from year to year,” said Loretta Worters, a vice president with the Triple-I, “but it has been particularly high in the past two years because of lightning fires throughout the country.”
The outsized 2020 insured loss payout number nationwide was caused in part by California’s CZU August Lightning Complex fire, which was sparked by lightning. The multiple blazes impacted Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties and caused at least one fatality. Alaska is currently fighting a wildfire in the southwest part of the state due to lightning.
“Not only does lightning result in deadly fires,” said Worters, “it can cause severe damage to appliances, electronics, computers and equipment, phone systems, electrical fixtures, and the electrical foundation of a home. The resulting damage may be far more significant than a homeowner realizes. Delays in supply chain are also sending appliances and electronics prices higher.”
Florida–the state with the most thunderstorms—remained the top state for the highest number of lightning claims in 2021, with 5,339, followed by Texas, Georgia, and California, respectively. California, which had 3,381 lightning claims, had the highest average cost per claim at $154,574.
Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Some homeowners policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike.
Facts and Statistics: Lightning
Video: National Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 19-25, 2022)
National Weather Service: Lightning Safety Tips and Resources