Lightning-caused claim payouts exceeded $1 billion in 2023 – Triple-I

Figure saw a double-digit percentage increase from the previous year

Lightning-caused claim payouts exceeded $1 billion in 2023 – Triple-I

More than $1.2 billion in lightning-caused US homeowners insurance claims were paid out in 2023 to over 70,000 policyholders, with $194 million attributable to Texas alone, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

Based on national insurance claims data compiled for Lightning Safety Awareness Week (June 23-29), Triple-I estimates the total value of lightning-caused US homeowners insurance claims increased by more than 30% in 2023, rising to $1.27 billion from $950 million in 2022.

The number of lightning-caused claims increased by 13.8% from 62,189 in 2022 to 70,787 in 2023, with the top 19 claims states contributing to more than half (57%) of the total. The average cost per lightning-caused claim rose 14.6% from $15,280 in 2022 to $17,513 in 2023.

“Rising inflation, including higher replacement, construction and labor costs impacted claim costs for the year,” Triple-I CEO Sean Kevelighan said. “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.”

Severe convective storms, among the most common and damaging natural catastrophes in the US, result from warm, moist air rising from the earth. These storms manifest in various ways depending on atmospheric conditions, including thunderstorms with lightning, tornadoes, hail, and destructive straight-line winds.

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

Damage caused by lightning, such as fire, is covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Some homeowners policies also provide coverage for power surges resulting directly from a lightning strike.

The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) noted that lightning strikes can occur at an astonishing 100 times per second. Tim Harger, executive director at LPI, emphasized that mitigating the risks of lightning strikes starts with a thorough assessment before a storm.

“Lightning protection systems play a crucial role in safeguarding homes, businesses and communities from the potential downtime and destruction caused by lightning strikes," he said.

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