With the 2016 Hurricane season over and 2017 season soon to be on us, it is a good idea to review your homeowner’s policy for coverage exclusions. Your insurance agent has probably let you know whether you live in a flood zone and whether additional flood insurance was mandatory and highly advised. But, what about lightning?
Typically lightning strikes, as well as fire caused by lightning, are covered as perils in almost all homeowner’s insurance policies. But, there may be exclusions. Read the fine print. For example, your policy may not cover damage from an electrical surge that occurs when lightning strikes the power line that runs to your home.
A lightning strike can create a fire inside or outside your home, ruin sensitive appliances, electronics and wiring inside the walls, and even shock and injure occupants.
If a lightning strike happens, the most important thing is to safeguard your family and yourself.
- Make sure your house is equipped with smoke and fire detectors. Lightning is so hot that fires caused by direct strikes are instantaneous. If you smell smoke or feel heat during a storm, evacuate the building immediately.
- Make sure all of your appliances are plugged into grounded outlets that offer surge protection. This will not protect against a direct strike, but it may help if there is an electrical surge in a storm. For maximum safety, unplug computers, televisions, microwaves and other electric appliances during storms.
- If you live in a high strike area, consult professionals about installing lightning rods or whole house surge protection.
Even with such precautions, it only takes one direct lightning strike for your home to be damaged.