Fire and Lightning Damage

According to a report from The National Weather Service, lightning damages about 25,000 homes each year. Data obtained from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for 2014 mentions 3900 home structural fires caused by lightning, resulting in 408 million dollars worth of property damages and 35 injuries.

So, how does lightning cause fire, and how can you protect your home against it?

When lightning occurs, it heats the atmosphere and causes the air to expand, causing pressure waves. When these shock waves hit your home, they first tend to go through the roof construction before running along with the wiring or pipes that are conductors of electricity. Lightning contains an exceptionally high voltage and moves rapidly. This sudden electric surge through the wiring has the potential to destroy all electrical appliances, electronics, computers, and phone systems that are connected. The shock waves can cause harm in many ways, splintering glass, destroying plaster, and creating fissures in the foundations of your home. Flying shrapnel can hurt you, and inflammable building material like wood, etc. can burn down completely.  

Destruction due to fire in your home can also occur due to a mishap in the kitchen, the chimney flue, burning trash, electrical malfunction like short circuits, open flame, cigarettes, bad wiring, etc. A fire undoubtedly causes devastation, but the attendant smoke affects your health and damages your home’s contents and structure.

The best way to safeguard your home and its contents from damage caused by fire and lightning is to purchase a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance policy. Standard homeowner’s insurance includes dwelling coverage and personal property coverage, besides coverage for other structures on your property, loss of use, medical payments, etc. If the structure of your house is affected by the fire, then dwelling coverage will cover the repair costs. If your personal belongings like clothes, carpets, electronics, or furniture are destroyed in the fire, then personal property coverage will pay for the cost of damage. If the destruction is widespread and your home becomes uninhabitable, your insurance company would have to make alternate living arrangements for you until your home is repaired.

Before making the final decision ask your insurance agent for the list of perils covered as well as the exclusions. If required, pay an extra premium for any additional cover that you may find suitable for your home. If you try to reduce your premium, do remember that your deductible will go up.

You may not be aware that a law called ‘the valued policy law’ applicable in cases of a total loss due to fire applies to total loss due to lightning as well. It requires insurance companies to pay the full value of a policy to the policyholder. It’s a good idea to hire a reputed public adjusting firm like Experienced Public Adjusters to assist you with your claim. We unravel insurance jargon and explain stuff that the insurance provider doesn’t share with you. We have a team of licensed public adjusters knowledgeable about property laws and keep ourselves updated with the latest state statutes, building codes, and insurance changes.

What can you do to avoid damage by fire and lightning at home?

Please practice fire safety measures at home, like switching off the lights and electronics, when leaving a room. When you’re not using them, extinguish your cooktops and ovens. For your safety, install fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. If you live in a location that experiences frequent lightning, you should install a lightning protection system and a surge protector. Carrying out these measures not only protects your home during a fire or lightning strike but also encourages your insurance provider to offer you some discounts on your premium.

If your home has undergone a lightning strike, rest assured that our expert public adjusters will complete the required tests to check your wiring. There may not be any visible sparking, but lightning can cause untold damage in the future, without any warning. While it’s not completely foolproof, MegOhm testing is the only way to know if damage has occurred. We ask a qualified licensed electrician or electrical engineer to check your wiring and perform the test. Insurance companies are always reluctant to spend money on such tests, but you need to do it for the safety of your home and family. This test can show you if you are at risk for future fire, so it is extremely important. There can be no compromise on safety matters, so remember to hire Experienced Public Adjusters as we ensure that mere inspection and fire safety tests are not passed off as a MegOhm test!

Lightning damage is hazardous, and the insurance claim process gets very complicated. Insurance adjusters wish to limit their company’s pay-out, so they try to segregate the damage pertaining to lightning-caused fire from the damage caused by normal electrical overload. Leave such fractious contentions to us, as we have the skills to deal with the insurance adjusters and provide all the required evidence. We would not like to bog you down with such squabbles. From the moment that the insurance adjuster visits your home for an inspection until you receive a fair settlement, we are by your side. From taking photographs, preparing detailed notes, attaching a list of destroyed possessions, and studying the clauses of your policy to engaging with the insurance adjusters, completing the paperwork, and preparing an air-tight claim to obtain a just settlement – we take care of it all.

During a crisis like this, when your property is damaged and your family is displaced you’re wondering just how you’re going to normalize your life. Experienced Public Adjusters team is by your side to handle the claim process and negotiate with your insurance provider so you can heave a sigh of relief. We take over your responsibilities and make you stress-free! Our trained team is licensed by the state Department of Finance, and we represent you during the claims process. We charge you a nominal fee which is a percentage of the settlement amount.

Reach out to Experienced Public Adjusters when you need to deal with fire and lightning damage.