A standard homeowners insurance policy covers damage to your home and property caused by lightning. However, it won’t cover all types of lightning strike-related damage. Understanding how and when your homeowners insurance pays for lightning damage will help ensure that you have sufficient coverage to protect your home from such damages.
How Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Pay for Lightning Damage?
A homeowners insurance policy includes various coverages to protect your home, belongings, detached structures, and additional living expenses incurred following the lightning damage:
- Dwelling Coverage – Pays out to repair/replace your home structure damaged by lightning.
- Personal Property Coverage – Covers appliances, electronics, furniture, and other interiors destroyed by a lightning strike.
- Other Structures Coverage – Covers damage to detached structures on your premises, including a garage, shed, fence, and gazebo.
- Loss of Use Coverage – Reimburses your additional living expenses if you temporarily need to relocate while your home is under repair following lightning damage.
What Types of Lightning Damage Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Though lightning strikes and resulting fire are named perils in almost all homeowners insurance policies, the coverage applies only for some types of lightning damage, including:
- Direct Lightning Strikes – These are when lightning strikes hit your home straightforwardly, causing damage to your home structure, roof, etc.
- Ground Surges – Occur when a lightning strike causes an electrical spike in a particular area that leads to a power surge, causing damage to your appliances and electronics.
- Near Miss Strikes – These are when a lightning strike hits the nearby areas of your home, causing some damage.
- Lightning Strikes to Trees – If a lightning strike hits a tree on your premises, causing it to fall on your roof and damaging it.
How Can I Claim for Lightning Damage?
Follow these steps when claiming lightning damage:
- Document the damage for proof.
- Inform your insurance provider about the incident and file a claim.
- Pay your deductible to help your insurance pay the remaining.
- Make temporary repairs to prevent damage from aggravating while you wait for claims processing. (Keep bills of any payment made for repairs so that you can be reimbursed from your provider)
- Help the claims adjuster inspect the damage to your home and evaluate repair expenses.
- Get an estimate from your contractor on repair/rebuild expenses and compare it with the insurance adjuster’s estimate to ensure whether it is good to go or requires negotiation.
- Receive the claim payout and perform repairs.
If your home is on a loan, your provider will send two checks, one to your lender and one to you. Your lender will deposit the money into an escrow account and release it once the repairs are done. For expensive claims, your provider will pay the actual cash value and the remaining (up to the replacement cost) after the repairs are made.
Tips on Preventing Lightning Damage to Your Home
If you reside in an area that is vulnerable to lightning strikes, ensure to install a:
- Lightning Protection System – Creates a pathway for lightning to safely reach the ground.
- Surge Protection Device – Protects your electronic devices from voltage surges.
Protect Your Costly Asset (Home) with Locke Insurance
If you are looking to protect your home from lightning strikes and other common perils, contact us today at Locke Insurance Group. We offer all-inclusive homeowners insurance that perfectly addresses your needs and budget.