A lightning strike can create a fire inside or outside your home, as well as destroy sensitive electronics, appliances, and electrical wiring — it can even shock or injure someone inside. As the lightning capital of the United States, Florida has active lightning strikes about 120 days per year. Central Florida homeowners and businesses may come across challenges with their insurance coverage after filing a lightning damage insurance claim — often when the lighting was not a direct strike. The Law Offices of Garcia & Zalloum in Orlando, FL, have insurance claim dispute attorneys to review your homeowners insurance policy and challenge the insurance adjuster’s findings to recover the money your policy allows after suffering a loss.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Lightning Damage?
Almost all homeowners insurance policies cover a lightning strike or a fire caused by a lightning strike. There typically isn’t a specific limit to damages — the general coverage limit for damage to your home applies. Your policy should also cover personal property, such as your television, computer, stereos, refrigerators, and other appliances or electronics. You will be compensated based on “actual cash value,” which is the cost of the item at today’s prices minus depreciation. Sometimes additional coverage is available for puchase, based on replacement cost, which will pay to replace your personal property at current value.
Should your home have damage to the point of it being uninhabitable, or you need to be relocated during extensive repairs, many policies cover the cost of temporary housing, although there are limits.
Sheds, detached garages, and other outbuildings are also covered against losses caused by a lightning strike.
Get Help with a Lightning Damage Insurance Claim
Types of Lightning Damage
Your insurance company often classifies lightning, and the resulting loss, in three forms:
Direct Lightning Strike
A lightning bolt directly strikes your home or business — this naturally generated electricity moves from the atmosphere, through the structure, to the ground. A direct hit from lightning usually causes the most damage and is the easiest claim to prove and collect, as the damage is clearly visible.
Near Miss Lightning Strike
A bolt of lightning does not hit your structure directly, but perhaps a nearby area — including a tree or telephone pole — yet causes damage to your home or property. It’s more difficult to determine the cause of damages from this type of strike and typically produces less visible damage. Damages from artificially generated current, like a surge from a power line or transformer, are excluded from coverage but may be similar to damages from a near miss lightning strike. Your insurance company may deny your claim, blaming artificially generated current instead of a near miss lightning strike.
Ground Surge Lightning Strike
This happens when lightning strikes and creates a surge or spike of electricity that damages your electronics, such as appliances, computers, and other corded electronic devices. A ground surge lightning insurance claim is probably the most common, but also the most difficult to prove.