Lightning and Homeowners Insurance
Summer! School’s out, the hot and humid weather has arrived, the air conditioning is on; BBQ’s, trips to the beach, and vacations are planned. These are some of the best and most loved things about summer. As with most situations, we must take the bad with the good. What’s not fun about summertime???? THUNDERSTORMS. They can be accompanied by heavy rains, dangerous lightning, strong winds, hail and even flash flooding. Sometimes, the thunderstorm can come on without much warning, if any, leaving little time to react to the situation. The best course of action is to always be prepared.
Our homes are full off electronics and electrical appliances. It is recommended that the use of surge protectors be adopted so that when the power is restored after an outage, the electrical items are protected from a surge. More often than not, the claims we see after a thunderstorm are related to items damaged or destroyed by a power surge; fortunately, we see fewer claims related to direct lightning strikes. Surge protectors can help reduce those claim incidents. Whenever possible, unplug appliances after use, and leave those that aren’t used regularly unplugged. In areas that have a high probability of lightning strikes, lightning rods can be installed to draw a potential strike away from your home or structure. Lightning strikes can lead to fires; if your home is equipped with a fire alarm, contact your alarm company to see what safeguards can be put into place so that the alarm functionality remains intact.
It is always a good practice to have an emergency plan in place for your home. Discuss it with family members and practice it from time to time. Having an emergency kit is also a good idea. Suggested items to include in the kit are bottled water, dry goods, canned goods, a can opener, a battery-powered radio and batteries, a lantern, and even a deck of cards to pass the time! We recommend making a copy of your homeowner & auto insurance policies with the contact phone numbers for your carrier and agent and keeping them with your kit.
AUTOMOBILES can also be struck by lightning. Whenever possible, park your vehicle in the garage and not under a tree. A direct lightning strike can damage the vehicles electrical system. If you suspect your vehicle has been hit by lightning, have it checked to be sure your systems are functioning properly.
Securing and protecting our property is important, but not nearly as important or critical as protecting ourselves from dangerous thunderstorms. You may think that it is common sense, but for our safety it always bears repeating. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), an average of 55 people in the United States are killed by lightning strikes every year. Staying inside during a thunderstorm protects us from the elements, but we must exercise safety measures even indoors. Staying away from windows when it is lightning and avoiding running water are important tips to remember. It is also a good idea to refrain from using electrical devices and corded phones. Keep an eye on the storm and seek updated weather reports. If the storm begins to intensify or get more serious, seek shelter in the center of the structure or more preferably in the basement level of the home.
Sometimes storms pop up quickly, catching us outdoors. If a storm does catch you outdoors try to find shelter quickly, avoiding staying in open areas, or under trees. Driving your vehicle around in a storm is not recommended, as rain waters and wind can make driving hazardous. Metal is a great conductor of electricity, so avoid holding onto objects made of that material. If injuries are sustained, seek medical attention immediately. Prevention and treatment are the best courses of action.
Lightning and thunder are amazing natural phenomenon, but with all things in nature, they must be respected. If you are intrigued by the storms, admire from a distance. Protect yourself, your family, your pets and your property. Homeowners policies and automobile policies that contain comprehensive coverage provide coverage for lightning. If you have any questions regarding your policies or your coverages, please give us a call. Happy Summer!!!!