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Triple-I Blog | Lightning-Related Claims Up Sharply in 2023


By Max Dorfman, Research Writer, Triple-I

The total value of lightning-caused homeowners insurance claims rose more than 30 percent in 2023, to $1.27 billion from $950 million in 2022, Triple-I estimates based on national claims data provided by State Farm.

The number of claims rose 13.8 percent during the same period, to 70,787 from 62,189, 10 states accounting for 57 percent of the total. The average cost per lightning-caused claim increased 14.6 percent, to $17,513 from $15,280.

“Rising inflation, including higher replacement, construction and labor costs impacted claim costs for the year,” said Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan. Triple-I released these estimates to in advance of Lightning Safety Awareness Week, which runs from June 23 to June 29.

“Lightning Safety Awareness Week highlights the dangers lightning poses to life and property and how insurers and policyholders are reducing these risks through effective mitigation efforts,” Kevelighan said.

Florida – the state with the most thunderstorms – remained the top state for number of lightning claims in 2023, with 6,003. However, Texas had the highest average cost per claim at $41,654.

Much of this damage is due to severe convective storms, which are among the most common, and most damaging natural catastrophes in the United States. The result of warm, moist air rising from the earth, these storms manifest in various ways, depending on atmospheric conditions – from drenching thunderstorms with lightning, to tornadoes, hail, or destructive straight-line winds.

Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies.  Some homeowners policies provide coverage for power surges that are the direct result of a lightning strike. 

Top 10 States for Homeowners Insurance Lightning Losses by Number of Claims, 2023

Rank State Value of Claims No. of  Claims Avg. Cost per claim
1 Florida $104,544,285 6,003 $17,416
2 Georgia $87,110,761 5,161 $16,877
3 Texas $194,288,888 4,664 $41,654
4 California $83,367,791 4,608 $18,090
5 Alabama $54,981,756 3,508 $15,673
6 Louisiana $35,167,375 3,050 $11,529
7 North Carolina $35,544,243 2,881 $12,337
8 New York $50,785,848 2,458 $20,659
9 Pennsylvania $27,219,044 2,214 $12,296
10 Tennessee $39,792,330 2,136 $18,630
Top 10 States $712,802,320 36,684 $19,431
Source: Insurance Information, State Farm ®

“Mitigating the risks of lightning strikes starts with a thorough assessment before a storm,” said Tim Harger, executive director at the Lightning Protection Institute, which provides resources for the design, installation, and inspection of lightning protection systems. “Lightning protection systems play a crucial role in safeguarding homes, businesses, and communities from the potential downtime and destruction caused by lightning strikes.

RELATED LINKS

Facts and Statistics: Lightning

Lightning Videos

The Dangers of Shoddy Lightning Protection System Installations



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