From a distance, lightning is a dramatic and exciting reminder of nature’s beauty. But up close? Not so much fun at all. And when lightning strikes your home or another structure on your property, it can lead to disaster from from electrical surges or (more commonly) fire.
If lightning strikes your home, the most important thing is to take care of yourself and make sure you’re safe. Reach for the fire extinguisher if there’s any smoke or fire, call 911, and get somewhere away from danger. But once that’s all settled down, you’re left with a home that will likely need some repairs.
Lightning strikes can produce anything from mild to severe damage to a home. Whether the damage is a mild inconvenience or requires a total rebuild of your home, you’ll want to know if your homeowners insurance policy can help out. And that all depends on one thing: whether or not your homeowners insurance covers lightning strikes. Read on to find out.
Is damage from a lightning strike covered by homeowners insurance?
Damage sustained from a lightning strike is usually covered by a homeowners insurance policy. However, policies can change from person to person and insurer to insurer.
Any homeowners insurance policy has a list of covered perils, meaning events that cause damage to your home that are protected by your insurance. Lightning strikes are listed as a covered peril on most policies. So, for most policies, homeowners insurance covers a lightning strike.
How will homeowners insurance cover a lightning strike?
Just as with other perils that are covered by your homeowners insurance policy, a lightning strike is covered across multiple areas. Your home will be repaired if it is damaged by a lightning strike, and so too will other structures, such as your garage or your tool shed.
Your homeowners insurance will also cover personal property damage, so if the lightning strike ruins your TV, or your furniture, or anything else you own in your home, your homeowners insurance policy will help cover it. And finally, the policy will help cover living costs if you’re forced out of your home while it is repaired.
When does homeowners insurance not cover a lightning strike?
Lightning strikes are usually listed in the covered perils on home insurance, but occasionally they’re not. If your insurer doesn’t list lightning strikes as a standard covered peril, then you won’t be covered.
Furthermore, even when insurers include lightning strikes as a standard covered peril, they can list it as an exclusion specific to your homeowners insurance policy. So, if lightning strikes are specifically excluded in your policy, then you will not be covered. This is most likely to be the case with very inexpensive homeowners insurance policies, or with policies in areas that are especially prone to damage from lightning strikes.
If your plan doesn’t cover lightning strikes, it might be worth altering your plan so you are covered, or purchasing specific insurance for lightning strikes.
What to do if your home sustains damage from a lightning strike
If your home is damaged because of a lightning strike, you’ll need to proceed just as you would with any other form of covered damage. File a claim with your insurance company, and they’ll send someone out to inspect your home, assess how much damage has been done, and make sure that your claim isn’t erroneous. You’ll then be covered for repairs, as per the terms of your policy.