Lightning accounts for almost $1 billion in insurance costs in 2011
Costs associated with lightning strikes totaled almost $1 billion in insured losses in 2011, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) said in a recent report.
According to the I.I.I., the insured filed more than 186,000 lightning claims in 2011, which is a decline of almost 13 percent from the previous year. However, the average lightning claim rose 5.5 percent year-over-year to $5,112 per claim..
From 2004-2011, the number of paid claims has declined 33 percent, but the average cost per claim has risen 93 percent, the I.I.I. said.
“The number of paid claims is down, but the average cost per claim continues to rise, in part because of the huge increase in the number and value of consumer electronics in homes,” Loretta Worters, Vice President of the I.I.I., said in a statement. “Plasma and high-definition television sets, home entertainment centers, multiple computer households, smart phones, gaming systems and other expensive devices—which can all be destroyed by power surges—continue to have a significant impact on claims losses.”
In the report, the I.I.I offered up some tips to consumers to reduce the risk of lightning damage to their belongings.
Tips to minimize lightning damage:
- Consider installing a lightning protection system in your home and/or business.
- If you do install a lightning protection system, make sure it is in line with industry standards.
- Include protection for all lines entering the structure, including electrical, telephone, cable, etc.
- Ensure that all components are UL-listed and properly labeled.
According to the I.I.I., lightning protection systems don’t resist lightning strikes, but rather reroute strikes harmlessly into the ground. These types of systems can go a long way when it comes to protecting your possessions, the report noted.