Lighting Damage Insurance Claims
Although rare, lightning damage insurance claims are becoming increasingly prevalent in Ireland. Damage from a lightning strike usually involves either the property catching fire or smoldering.
However, power surges caused by lightning itself can also damage electronics, sockets, telephones, TVs and also computers. Furthermore, it can also cause damage to non-electronic devices. Concrete, brick or stone may also be split or fractured by the strike with the chimneys being the most regularly affected. Plaster walls and glass inside the property are also regularly affected by lightning strikes.
If you’ve experienced damage from a lightning strike and need to file an insurance claim, here are some essential steps and advice to consider:
- Document the damage: As soon as it’s safe to do so, take photos or videos of all the damage caused by the lightning strike. This documentation will serve as crucial evidence when filing your insurance claim.
- Review your insurance policy: Familiarise yourself with your insurance policy to understand what is covered and what may not be covered. Most standard homeowner’s insurance policies typically cover damage from lightning strikes, but it’s still essential to know the specifics of your policy.
- Contact your insurance company: Inform your insurance company about the lightning strike and the resulting damage as soon as possible. Many insurance providers have a specific window within which you must report the incident.
- Make temporary repairs: If necessary, take steps to prevent further damage to your property. However, avoid making permanent repairs until your insurance company assesses the damage, as they might want to inspect it themselves.
- Keep records: Keep a detailed record of all communication with your insurance company. This includes phone calls, emails, and any paperwork related to your claim.
- Get estimates: Obtain repair estimates from reliable contractors for the damage caused by the lightning strike. Your insurance company may require multiple quotes for larger claims.
- Be honest and thorough: Provide accurate and complete information when communicating with your insurance company. Be honest about the circumstances surrounding the lightning strike and the extent of the damage.
- Understand the claim process: Ask your insurance company about the claim process, including the timeline for processing claims and any additional information they may require.
- Consider hiring a public adjuster: If you feel overwhelmed or believe that your insurance company is not providing a fair settlement, you may consider hiring a public adjuster. Public adjusters are professionals who can advocate on your behalf and negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
- Be patient: The insurance claims process can sometimes be time-consuming, especially for significant damage. Be patient, but also follow up with your insurance company regularly to ensure progress is being made.
Remember that every insurance policy and claim is unique, so it’s essential to follow your insurance company’s specific guidelines and requirements when filing your claim. If you have any doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurance agent or representative for assistance.
Potential Damage from Lightning Damage Insurance Claims
A lightning strike can cause significant damage to a home due to its immense energy and heat. The severity of the damage can vary depending on various factors such as the strength of the strike, the conductive paths in the house, and the building’s structural materials. Here are some potential damages that a lightning strike can cause to a home:
- Fire: The most common and dangerous consequence of a lightning strike is fire. When lightning hits a building, it can ignite flammable materials like wood, insulation, or gas lines, leading to a destructive blaze that can spread rapidly and cause extensive damage.
- Electrical system damage: Lightning carries an enormous amount of electrical energy, and when it enters a home through power lines or electrical appliances, it can overload and damage electrical circuits, outlets, and appliances. In some cases, it may even fry electronics or start electrical fires.
- Structural damage: The impact of a lightning strike can cause physical damage to the building’s structure, such as cracks in walls, foundation damage, or roof damage. The shockwaves produced by the strike can also weaken the house’s structural integrity.
- Damage to electronic devices: Lightning-induced power surges can damage or destroy electronic devices connected to power outlets or phone lines, including TVs, computers, phones, and other sensitive equipment.
- Damage to plumbing: Lightning can travel through plumbing systems and cause damage to pipes, leading to leaks, bursts, or even flooding.
- Damage to appliances: Lightning surges can also damage household appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, etc., by overloading their circuits or causing electrical failures.
- Damage to the chimney: The force of a lightning strike can cause chimney damage, such as cracks or dislodged bricks, which can lead to potential hazards if not repaired promptly.
- Damage to roof-mounted items: If your home has rooftop antennas, satellite dishes, or lightning rods, a strike can damage or destroy these items and the surrounding areas.
To protect your home from lightning damage insurance claims, you can consider installing a lightning protection system, surge protectors, and unplugging electronic devices during storms. Proper grounding of electrical systems and the use of surge protectors can also reduce the risk of damage. If your home does experience a lightning strike, it is essential to inspect the property for potential damage and seek professional assistance for repairs and safety assessments.
Does Homeowners Insurance Even Cover Lightning Damage Insurance Claims?
You are absolutely covered for any lightning damage that may occur to your home. Lightning damage insurance claims can be difficult to deal with by yourself. Seeking professional help from a qualified insurance loss assessor is always a good idea.
The benefits of hiring a Loss Assessor to handle your lightning damage insurance claim
Lightning damage insurance claims can be tricky to deal with yourself as the true extent of damage is not always clear. This is where N.J. Carroll & Associates can help. We have been dealing with lightning damage insurance claims for over 30 years and have a wealth of knowledge in handling these sorts of claims. We offer a free initial consultation and operate on a ‘No Win, No Fee basis.’ After meeting one of your insurance company’s representatives on-site, we will then gather and submit all claim information to them and negotiate on your behalf in order to achieve the best possible deal we can for you.
N.J. Carroll & Associates can offer you the professional advice that you need and ensure that you receive a fair and adequate settlement for your lightning damage claim. Please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our experienced Loss Assessors and claims handlers will discuss any issues you have regarding lightning damage claims.
When lightning damage insurance claims occur, we take care of the entire process so that you don’t have to.
N.J. Carroll & Associates Ltd are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Our Financial Regulator Certificate number is C41330. Niall Carroll is a member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. We are also a member of the Irish Claims Consultants Association.