Top 10 states for insurance claims for lightning - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Top 10 states for insurance claims for lightning

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Lightning strikes cost nearly $1 billion in homeowners insurance losses in 2012.  This is according to the Insurance Information Institute.  State Farm ® found there were 151,000 lightning claims in 2012, down nearly 19% from 2011. 

RankStateNumber of
paid claims
Insured losses
($ millions)
Average cost
per claim
1 Georgia 13,000 $73.2 $5,600
2 North Carolina 8,500 46.0 5,400
3 Pennsylvania 7,300 28.0 3,800
4 Louisiana 6,700 33.6 4,500
5 Texas 6,500 65.3 6,700
6 Tennessee 6,000 47.3 7,800
7 Alabama 5,700 37.9 9,700
8 Ohio 5,500 24.0 4,400
9 South Carolina 5,300 31.7 6,000
10 Illinois 4,400 30.4 6,800

A lightning strike can pack millions of volts of electricity and is hotter than the surface of the sun.  One powerful bolt can be blamed for sparking a fire that destroys homes and communities.   Your home is supposed to be the safest place for you and your family during rough weather. We warn residents to seek shelter indoors during thunderstorms and to stay away from windows and glass doors.  Your home is still at a small risk for lighting strikes based on a few factors.  Strikes are becoming more common because of the increase in underground utilities, and the location of homes and the number of high-cost electronics inside them.  Lightning rods on rooftops provide a pathway for the current to be safely directed to the ground so these may help.  Just to install a lightning protection system in a house could cost almost $3000.  Your best bet is to follow safety procedures to keep your family safe and do what you can to limit electronic usage in your home during thunderstorms.  Lightning is looking for an easy target and if your house is lit up like a Christmas Tree is may want to join the party.

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