Imagine a lightning bolt strikes within a few hundred feet of your home and sends an electrical surge of up to 1 billion volts through your electrical system.
What do you think would happen?
Recently, we learned that over 99,000 lightning damage claims are made each year on homeowner’s policies.
- Have you ever been hit before?
- If not, what would you do first?
- Would you automatically make a homeowners claim?
What to do when your home is hit by lightning:
The first thing to do is to identify what has been damaged. Go throughout your home and test all of your electronic devices and gadgets. (TV’s, computers, iPads, etc.) Make a list of what is no longer operational. Hopefully, you have done a home inventory audit and have records of what everything cost you.
Second: Contact your insurance agent immediately.
Third: Check to see what size deductible do you have.
Fourth: Find out if you have replacement cost insurance or actual value coverage.
Fifth: Add up the approximate totals to replace all lightning damaged equipment.
Sixth: Calculate to see if it financially make sense to put in a claim?
Example of lightning damaged list of equipment:
- 1: iPad air valued at $399
- 1: 52″ LCD television valued at $ 999
- 1: Answering machine valued at $29
- 1: Desktop computer valued at $499
- Total value = $1926
Now at first glance, it might seem that it is worth making a claim on your policy. However, as we dig further, it may not make as much sense as it did at first.
- Total possible claim = $1926
- Deductible = $1,000
Subtotal after deductible is met = $926.00
Question: Is it worth making a claim for $926?
Well, that is up to you. Many insurance clients choose to pay for small claims out of their pocket so they don’t risk having their rates go up in the future. They hold off to make a claim for when they really need it. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that even if you turned the claim in you might not get the whole $926.
The Answer: It depends on the type of coverage you selected.
If you chose actual value insurance, then you would only be reimbursed for what the item is worth today. In other words, you would get a check for the depreciated value of the item minus the deductible. Depending how old your things are, it might not be worth much today. Sure, you paid $999 for your old TV, but it may only be worth $150 today.
Choose to always get replacement cost insurance so that you are assured to always be able to afford to replace your damaged items. Talk to your InsuranceHub agent today if you would like to make a lightning related claim, or if you would like to have an annual homeowner’s policy checkup to see if you have replacement cost coverage.