Does Home Insurance Cover Lightning Strikes?


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: JANUARY 24, 2023 | 1 MIN READ

Yes, a homeowners insurance policy covers a lightning strike and the damage caused by lightning. The home insurance coverage includes your dwelling, other structures, trees, personal property, and additional living expenses. Standard homeowners insurance policies will cover lightning strikes as a standard peril.

How a lightning strike is covered under a home insurance policy

Homeowners insurance companies classify damage from lightning under three different categories.

  • Direct hit
  • Near miss
  • Ground surge

These classifications vary in the type of damage they cause and how an insurance claims adjuster investigates them.

Direct hit

A direct hit of lightning to your home is an obvious cause of damage as it will show where the lightning struck the house. It also causes the most damage. A direct hit can cause fire, smoke damage, electrical wiring damage, and even cracks in your home. You could also sustain bodily injury when lightning strikes inside the house.

A direct hit to a tree on your property can also cause extensive damage. The tree could fall or cause a fire when hit by a lightning bolt.

Near miss

A near-miss lightning strike is when lightning strikes near your home but directly. The damage is usually less severe in a near-miss case, and it’s harder to prove that the lightning was the cause of the damage to your property.

Ground surge

A ground surge is where lightning strikes and causes the power to surge in your home even though it was not hit directly by lightning, and there is little to no damage to the structure. The damage would be caused by the electrical system being struck and traveling through your home as a power surge. This damage is the hardest to prove to the homeowners insurance company.

How Do I File an Insurance Claim for a Lightning Strike

Suppose your home has sustained a direct hit, near miss, or a ground surge. In that case, it results in damages exceeding your home insurance policy deductible. You should file a lightning-related claim with your insurance provider to cover your property damage.

Type of damage

In the case of a direct hit, extreme damage can result, such as fire or total electrical outages to your home. you should address the strike as soon as possible.

If not a direct hit and depending on the damage, it can be challenging to prove that the loss of personal property is related to a lightning strike from a thunderstorm. Usually, an electrician would make a determination and supply the proof.

Keep Accurate Details

It’s essential to document the details for the insurance claim adjuster. Take pictures and take notes regarding the time and date of the thunderstorm. Taking these steps will help determine that it was a lightning-related claim. A near-miss and a power surge are very hard to prove when it comes to home insurance claims.

How can I protect my home from lightning strikes?

Lightning can travel and strike from a thunderstorm up to ten to twelve miles away. There are several ways to protect yourself and your property from damage from lightning.

First and foremost, if you hear thunder, seek shelter. If caught outside, don’t seek shelter under trees or near telephone or power poles.

There are several ways to protect your home from lightning strikes. Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, flashlights, surge protectors, and lightning protection systems.

DIY protection from lightning strikes

Install surge protection outlets in your home ad purchase surge protection power strips to plug your electronics in. Place fire extinguishers in several rooms of your home, and keep your smoke detectors and flashlights in working order.

Lightning protection system

A whole-house surge protector is a device an electrician will install directly into the home’s electrical panel. This stops an electrical surge from passing into the home’s wiring.

FAQs

How do you prove lightning damage?

A direct hit from lightning is easy to prove. The strike will leave char or burn marks at the point of impact. Near-miss and power surges are much more challenging. Usually, an electrician will need to determine that lightning was the cause of the damage.

Does insurance cover lightning surges?

Standard homeowners insurance policies cover lightning surges. However, it can be challenging to prove that lightning is the cause of the damage.

What should you do if your house gets hit by lightning?

Get to a safe place in case of fire. Document the damages and call your home insurance provider to file a lightning-related claim if the costs of the damage exceed your insurance deductible.

Does full coverage cover lightning strikes?

Homeowners insurance protects you from damage caused by lightning strikes. Lightning is a covered peril on standard homeowner insurance policies.

What do you do if lightning damages your house?

Assess the damage caused by the lightning. If the costs are more than your deductible and an electrician confirms the type of damage, you should file a lightning-related claim.

What are the dangers of lightning?

Lightning is very serious and can strike up to twelve miles from a thunderstorm, travels faster than the speed of sound, and is up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightning can cause trees to explode when struck and start fires when hitting flammable materials.

What are some warning signs of a lightning strike?

Warning signs of a possible lightning strike are taller clouds, wind becoming faster, skies darkening, and thunder.

How do you know if your house is insured for lightning?

Lightning is a covered peril on a standard homeowners insurance policy. Renters insurance also covers the damage caused by a bolt of lightning striking the dwelling.

What are the typical costs for lightning damage?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the typical cost for lightning damage to homes in the United States is between $11,971 to $28,885 in 2020.

What’s the average cost of home insurance?

The average cost of home insurance is a complicated question. The cost of home insurance has many variables, including where you live, the size of your home, and your credit score. If you also bundle your car insurance, it will add a discount to both your home and auto insurance policies.

In Conclusion

Remember that standard homeowners insurance covers lightning damage to the home. It’s a basic covered peril. Renters insurance covers the damage to your personal property if you don’t own the dwelling.

You can fill out our online rate form to find the best insurance options and connect with a licensed home insurance specialist.