A single lightning bolt can cause more than £45,000 of damage to a property within seconds, according to new analysis of claims data by Select Premier Insurance from Direct Line.
A policyholder claimed after a single lightning bolt struck their home, damaging its electrical system causing £45,884.23 of damage. CCTV cameras, intruder alarm, water features, telephone line, heating and lighting systems were just some of the listed items that required replacing in the insurer’s biggest lightning claim to date. The strike damaged four flat screen TVs and Sky boxes together with a Bang & Olufsen sound system in the home’s gymnasium. The core units of the property’s Lutron home control system were damaged, requiring the bespoke system to be completely redesigned.
Modern properties are filled with electrical items susceptible to power surges; microprocessors are sensitive to even minor power fluctuations, which can stop them working properly. A lightning strike can cause extensive, instantaneous damage ‘frying’ circuits so the items have to be replaced. Electrical items affected not only include high tech items such as tablets or home control units, but also large appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and cookers.
Other lightning claims settled by the insurer in the 12 months have seen pay outs of more than £5,000 to repair a property’s electric gates and electrical system in Leeds and cover for over £1,000 of damage to a homeowner’s wind turbine in Leeds. Other claims from homeowners for lightning damage include replacement audio visual systems, routers and set top TV boxes.
The home insurer is highlighting the possibility that lightning can and does strike, so customers need to check what their policy covers and ensure they won’t be left bolting to the bank and paying the bill if lightning does strike.
Nick Brabham, head of Select Premier Insurance, said: “Lightning damage isn’t something we see a lot of but it has the potential to be extremely costly when it does strike.
“With so many homes filled with the latest gadgets and electrical equipment, one bolt could wipe out an entire household of items meaning people are left with a hefty repair bill. They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice and with the potential bill reaching more than £45,000 you really wouldn’t want it to.
“We would urge homeowners to always read the small print and make sure they have adequate insurance in place for their home.”