Lightning is a dangerous type of weather that can cause serious property damage or loss. Your Florida homeowners’ insurance policy should cover you if you need to file a residential lightning damage claim.
Florida is known as the “lightning capital” of the United States due to one of the highest concentrations of lightning strikes being in the Central Florida area. Unfortunately, no matter where you live in the U.S. lightning damage is a danger all homeowners must be aware of when insuring their property from natural disasters.
Reasons to File a Lightning Damage Claim
When most people think about a lightning damage claim they think about the structural damage to a building. In many cases, the building itself is structurally undamaged, but the contents within may be severely damaged or ruined. Fire is also a common component of a lightning damage claim, as electrical currents can ignite flammable materials on your property.
When lightning strikes a concrete building the frame is often left undamaged but the current travels through the utility lines of the house, often causing damage to delicate electronics through power or phone lines. Water, sewer, and gas lines are also conductors of electronic current meaning your dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove could also be damaged or ruined.
Landscaping is also a common casualty of lightning damage. Tall trees are excellent targets for lightning strikes and can often catch on fire or be split and fall on nearby vehicles or your house. Homes that are located on a lake or other body of water are often in great danger and can lead to a lightning damage claim since water is an excellent conductor of lightning.
Homeowners Insurance and a Lightning Damage Claim
Lightning is one of the commonly covered natural disasters under most basic homeowner’s insurance policies. Lightning is a discharge of static electricity from a cloud that usually strikes the highest object in an area, such as a building. Some materials such as metal and water are more conductive to lightning while others such as concrete or wood are more absorptive.
Even if your home is not the tallest structure in the area, lightning can threaten to damage your property at any time. Lightning has been known to strike even without a thunderstorm if the atmospheric conditions are right. Even though lightning protection systems exist for buildings they are not perfect and lightning damage can still occur.
If your property is damaged from a lightning strike you should take steps to ensure safety and minimize additional damage as soon as possible. If it is safe to do so, disconnect utilities such as electricity, water and gas to prevent further damage. You should contact a Florida homeowners insurance attorney as well to begin your lightning damage claim while you assess the damage.
Contact your homeowners insurance company as well to report the lightning damage claim. They may require an appraisal of the damage, as well as repair estimates. You should document the damage and losses as best you can with photographs, home appraisals, and receipts for materials purchased to repair or temporarily cover the damage. Remember that your home as well as its contents, as well as vehicles on the property should all be included in the damage report. Should you run into any problems, consult a Miami homeowners insurance lawyer right away. A skilled Florida insurance claims attorney can help you get all aspects of your claim and necessary documentation in order.