Posted on 14 Jun 2011
According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), an analysis of homeowners insurance data found there were more than 213,000 lightning claims in 2010, up nearly 15 percent from 2009. These losses ranged from damage to expensive electronic equipment to structural fires that destroyed entire homes.
The I.I.I. puts the average lightning claim at $4,846. By comparison, in 2009, there were about 185,000 lightning claims, which caused nearly $800 million in insured losses with the average claim totaling $4,296. The average cost per claim rose nearly 13 percent from 2009 to 2010 and more than 80 percent from 2004-2010, even as the actual number of claims fell by a little over 23 percent over the six-year period.
“Most people are very apathetic about protecting themselves from lightning,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, I.I.I.’s senior vice president and consumer spokesperson. “And the average person often confuses lightning myths with lightning facts.”
Every year lightning strikes the ground 30 million times and injures about a thousand people in the U.S, according to the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI).