Congrats, Florida, for striking 1st

Did you know Florida is THE place for lightning strikes in the US? World Atlas says Florida sits between the Atlantic and Gulf coasts mixing sea breezes, tropical heat, and humidity for perfect thunderstorm condition. Congrats to Florida for ranking #1 in the nation with an average of 1.45 million strikes a year!

 

What if one strikes your home?

You may see the drastic stories on the news about a house burning down because of lightning. There are far fewer stories about the more common result of damaged electronics from a strike.

Have you considered what would happen if lightning struck your house? Maybe you know someone that has experienced it, and it’s good to know how an insurance policy responds to a lightning strike.

Most comprehensive policies will cover the insured’s personal property on items such as a TV, pool pump, and even your HVAC system when damaged by lightning. If anything in your home sustains damage from a strike, do some research before filing a claim to determine if it will be cost effective.

 

Here are some steps to take:
  1. Note all the things that have stopped working
  2. Have a technician or respective service agent perform an inspection
  3. Get a written document stating lightning caused the damage and what the cost is to repair or replace the item

Simply put, get an estimate of your repairs and though it will not guarantee satisfaction of your claim, it will definitely help move things along more quickly.

When you file a claim, an adjuster will assess the damage. Something to note: adjusters are not specialists but more generalists that know a little about a lot of things. In most cases, it just makes sense for a specialist that’s familiar with the hardware to accurately assess your device.

It’s important to make sure this estimate is well above your deductible before filing a claim for two reasons. First, so you actually get paid. Second, if the cost to replace those items is lower than you’re deductible, you’ll not only be paying out-of-pocket, but you’ll also have a claim permanently on your record making it difficult to get insurance in the future.

 

Next, what is your deductible?

An estimate on replacing your items may surprise you if you haven’t been shopping lately. Let’s say your brand new TV cost $3,500 five years ago. The cost to replace that same TV may only be $500 today and will still be better technology.

When you discover mother nature fried your devices, don’t panic and file a claim. If you have a $2,500 deductible, and the cost to replace your TV, Blu-ray player, and receiver is only $800 in today’s market, a claim is more than unnecessary – it’s going to damage your insurance record.

Make sure your estimate to replace all items is above your deductible. Insurance kicks in after a catastrophic loss, which means that your loss needs to be higher than your out-of-pocket costs.

 

Our Advice?

Contact our office. Let us review your current policy to make sure you have adequate coverage to handle a situation such as a lightning strike.

In an effort to lower premiums, agencies avoid Replacement Coverage on contents, which means you’ll get the “garage sale” value (Actual Cash Value) of your items at the time of loss instead of what it would cost to replace them.

We’ll look to see that you have Replacement Cost for your personal items, let you know your options, and advise what we believe would benefit you the most.

Before talking to an agency that does not take the time to discuss your needs and situation, let us help. We are a full-service agency with licensed professionals that have your priorities in mind when discussing your policy.

 

Contact us today!

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