The study, done in partnership with State Farm® found:
- More than $825 million in lightning claims was paid out last year to more than 100,000 policyholders.
- Total insured losses caused by lightning rose 4.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, although overall losses have declined 12.4 percent since 2007.
- There were 109,049 lightning claims in 2016, up 9.7 percent from 2015.
- Over fifty percent of claims were related to electrical surge damaging components or wiring, while power surges from transformer or service line shorts were also contributing factors.
"The average cost per claim dropped 4.7 percent from 2015 to 2016," said James Lynch, FCAS MAAA, chief actuary at the I.I.I. "However, the overall average cost per claim has risen 42.3 percent since 2007. By comparison," he noted, "The Consumer Price Index rose only 15.8 percent in the same period."
State by State Numbers
Florida—the state with the most thunderstorms—remained the top state for lightning claims in 2016, with 10,385, followed by Texas (9,098), Georgia (8,037) and Louisiana (5,956).
Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Damage caused by lightning, such as a fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Some policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike, which can cause severe damage to appliances, electronics, computers and equipment, phone systems, electrical fixtures and the electrical foundation of a home.
"Lightning protection systems that follow the guidelines of NFPA are designed to protect your home by providing a specified path to harness and safely ground the super-charged current of the lightning bolt," said Kim Loehr, Communications Director for LPI, a national organization that promotes lightning protection education, awareness and safety.
To locate an LPI-certified lightning protection system installer in your area, click here.
Facts and Statistics: Lightning
Consumer Alert: The Dangers of Shoddy Lightning Protection System Installations
Infographic: Got Lightning? Get Grounded
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.