Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge which produces a wide range of electromagnetic radiation and occurs mostly during thunderstorms. Potential routes for lightning to follow include gas and water pipes, electric lines, phone lines, cable TV/internet lines, gutters, downspouts, and metal window frames – all good conductors of electricity. People have seen bolts of lightning jumping from wall outlets to sink faucets and even across rooms!
While lightning can be fascinating to watch, each of those flashes is a potential killer. If your home gets hit directly lightning, there is immediate danger of damage fire, power surge, and shock wave. Wood and other flammable building material can be affected. Lightning usually has to pass through some structural material in the roof before reaching a more conductive path such as wiring or pipes. An explosive surge can damage even non-electronic appliances that are connected. The shock waves can be destructive, blowing out plaster walls, shattering glass, creating trenches in the ground, and cracking foundations. Secondary damage is caused flying shrapnel.
To safeguard your home from damages like fire and injury caused direct lightning, a professionally-installed lightning protection system and surge protector can be helpful. Further, you may have already experienced a lightning strike; however, the wiring in the wall may not have sparked a fire – this has the potential to burn down your home in the future with little to no warning. The test for this is called an insulation resistance test, known as a MegOhm test, which is the only way to know if damage has occurred.
Each year, it is reported that lightning causes about 25,000 fires, including about 4400 house fires, 1800 other structural fires, and numerous forest fires. Lightning is responsible for nearly $1 billion in damages each year, and the resultant fires cause an estimated 12 deaths per year.
Filing a claim with the insurer for damages associated with lightning can be extremely difficult. Utilizing the services of a public insurance adjuster is prudent. They are qualified to estimate construction costs, and are knowledgeable about state and local building codes, permitting requirements, and state statutes. They can be onsite for all inspections that may need to take place. At Experienced Public Adjusters, we have the technical expertise required to properly interpret the wording in insurance policies, the relevant experience in dealing with insurance companies so that homeowners understand what is available to them, and the required negotiation skills to maximize the possible compensation for their loss.
If you have suffered property damage, call us first for a free onsite inspection or a free consultation of your insurance claim.