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Ensuring You're Protected When Lightning Strikes

They say lightning never strikes in the same place twice. The reason for that could very well be that it knows it’s done all the damage it can do, so it moves elsewhere to spread its cheer. With that in mind, you’d think more people would be concerned about the damage that can occur to their homes in the event of a lightning strike. Perhaps that fear is assuaged by the fact that lightning strikes—in particular the damage they can cause, like fire—are already covered by standard home insurance policies. But it’s important to ask yourself this: in your quest for the ultimate affordable home insurance, have you cut a few corners in coverage that could come back to bite you?

Consideration #1: Fire
Fire is a four-letter word that a lot of people fear. It has the power to wipe out an entire home and destroy every single possession you’ve ever held. If your home were to go up in flames tomorrow as the result of a lightning strike, would you have enough coverage to compensate you for that loss? Needless to say, there’s no way to put a price tag on family heirlooms and irreplaceable photographs, but this fact shouldn’t get in your way of increasing coverage to ensure that once the smoke has cleared, you’ll have enough in your pocket to rebuild in full.

Consideration #2: Power Surges
Even if your home doesn’t catch fire as the result of a direct lightning strike, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for serious damages. If you have a home filled with thousands of dollars of electronic equipment—that gorgeous 60” flat screen TV, the personal computer that’s currently housing years of digital photos you still haven’t backed up, or the home stereo system—it could all go up in a single, massive power surge caused by lightning. If that were to happen, will you be covered? Not all home insurance policies cover power surges, so it’s important to check. Also, review your house insurance contents coverage to ensure your level of coverage matches the value of your expensive home electronics.

Protecting Yourself Against Lighting Strikes
Aside from having an affordable home insurance policy that will cover you adequately for losses due to lightning strikes, there are several things you can do to further protect yourself from their random nature.

  • Protect your expensive electronic equipment with surge protectors, but keep one thing in mind—a power strip is not a real defense against power surges. You can purchase larger wall units that offer greater protection (and are therefore far more expensive than regular power strips) or you can have a surge arrestor installed on your electrical panel, which not only protects you from power surges, but can also greatly decrease the risk of electrical fire.
  • Lightning rods have come a long way. They can be installed on top of your home to look a lot less conspicuous and more attractive. The addition of wires that carry the electrical current down from your roof to installed grounding rods also ensures better performance.
  • Be aware of the weather, and take precautions by unplugging expensive equipment if there’s a storm blowing in with potential for lightning.

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