In the old days – I am 54 and have been in the insurance business since 1987 – a lightning claim investigation was a pretty simple process. I would simply review whatever resources were available and determine if a thunderstorm had passed through the area on the day the loss occurred. If a storm could be verified, the loss claim was validated. Lacking other facts to go on, it’s possible that some validated lightning loss claims could have come from other causes. Today, thanks to weather satellites and the World Wide Web, lightning strikes can be verified with pinpoint accuracy.
Why should this matter to you?
Lightning can strike at a considerable distance from your premises and – through the electrical distribution lines that serve your building – result in a power surge that damages your equipment just as a direct lightning strike would.
Because damage was not caused by a direct lightning strike to your premises, it may not be covered by your property policy. But when you purchase equipment breakdown coverage, you don’t need to worry; the damage caused by lightning, or lightning-related surge, is covered.
More information is available about the science of lightning and ways to protect your property:
- The National Weather Service dispels common myths about lightning.
- Eastern Kentucky University’s Smart Computing site offers tips for preventing power surge damage.
- The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has a Lightning Safety Awareness Guidebook.