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Home Insurance Claim from Lightning Strike...is it worth it?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 10th, 2018 12:02 am
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 24, 2018
11 posts
1 upvote

Home Insurance Claim from Lightning Strike...is it worth it?

Hello,

My home recently got hit with a big surge of electricity from a lightning strike, causing quite a bit of damage to some of my electronic equipment.

It's probably about $2,000 worth of damage in electronics (that I know of).
I will also need to do a full home inspection of my electrical panel and power receptacles (to check for burnt wires) which should cost me another $800.

Overall, it looks like I may be out $3,000 or more because of this. A sizeable, but not a huge amount, considering it was a lightning strike.

Should I make a claim through my home insurance?

Will it significantly increase my monthly rate to the point where it wasn't worth it to make the claim in the first place?


My deductible is $1,000 so making a claim would essentially save me $2,000.
However, if my monthly cost jumps up, then it may make these cost savings not worth it in the long run.

Does anyone have any experience with making a home insurance claim from no-fault damage, and whether or not there was a notable jump in their rates after?

The good news is that I do NOT have any other insurance (auto, life, etc) with this company...so if my rates are bad, I can always just bail.

My main concern (other than the money) is that I currently do have functioning electronic equipment and household appliances that MAY be damaged from this surge, but am unaware of the extent (as they are not visibly displaying any issues).
I would hate it if, one by one, these things start to break down over the next few weeks because they were, in fact, damaged by the surge.

Not sure what to do.
16 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 11, 2003
1078 posts
17 upvotes
Vancouver
Insurance is for catastrophic losts. This is no where close. My deductible is $5000. Anything less than $10,000 I would just suck it up.
Sr. Member
Jun 11, 2010
903 posts
475 upvotes
ottawa
Xiggy wrote: Insurance is for catastrophic losts. This is no where close. My deductible is $5000. Anything less than $10,000 I would just suck it up.
Not necessarily. That's what they want you to think. You really do need a net benefit analysis. If you save $2k now but premiums only go up by $10/mo for a couple years then you're way ahead. Why line the pockets of the insurance company? To each their own but you have insurance for exactly what your coverage policy says you have it for, if you choose not to take advantage then your loss I guess.

That being said I have no idea in your case op sorry but I feel like house insurance is already so cheap so I doubt it'd raise by $80/mo for 2 years straight when it's only like $90 to begin with.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
29254 posts
4324 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
My home insurance went up $40 per month this year. This is with no claims.

I agree with @Xiggy, I would suck it up and pay for it myself unless it was going to be over $10,000

$2,000 is chump change. People pay that for an iPhone Xs Max
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
8266 posts
6764 upvotes
Oakville
OP, will you be installing lightning suppression equipment to save your house next time? Probably not cost effective unless you DIY.
Sr. Member
Apr 6, 2008
677 posts
299 upvotes
Is there any issues with the wiring/panel besides the damaged electronics? If everything is fine I would spend that $800 on surge suppression, not on an electrical inspection.
Deal Addict
Jan 13, 2004
1177 posts
141 upvotes
Mississauga
It's such a scam the amount of money we pay for insurances in this country then when we need them we are afraid to call them to file a claim because they going to bone us for more, So sad.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 11, 2005
6723 posts
1280 upvotes
Mississauga
tommyamaral wrote:
Dec 7th, 2018 11:14 pm
It's such a scam the amount of money we pay for insurances in this country then when we need them we are afraid to call them to file a claim because they going to bone us for more, So sad.
So true. They have you by the short and curlys. Afraid to make a claim.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 24, 2018
11 posts
1 upvote
fusion2k2k wrote:
Dec 7th, 2018 11:10 pm
Is there any issues with the wiring/panel besides the damaged electronics? If everything is fine I would spend that $800 on surge suppression, not on an electrical inspection.
Well, yea, I plan on getting a whole home surge protector now after this experience.

I disagree with not doing an electrical inspection though. This is a MUST after a lightning strike. I may have burnt wires in my walls and the only way to inspect (without ripping out drywall) is to get an electrician to inspect all the receptacles in the home.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 24, 2018
11 posts
1 upvote
Gee wrote:
Dec 7th, 2018 6:17 pm
My home insurance went up $40 per month this year. This is with no claims.

I agree with @Xiggy, I would suck it up and pay for it myself unless it was going to be over $10,000

$2,000 is chump change. People pay that for an iPhone Xs Max
You're right...but it might NOT be $2,000 after a few weeks from now if my currently functioning appliances suddenly stop working due to a delayed breakdown from the power surge.

The $2,000 is largely made up of a couple of routers, a central vaccuum, and a few other devices.

However, I would be devastated if my 75-inch TV (which cost me a TON of money) suddenly started to show signs of breaking down a few weeks from now. Same goes for any other larger piece of equipment like my water heater, furnace, refridgerator, etc.

I want to get everything inspected by an electrician, gas technician and appliance tech, just in case.

My only major concern was if my rates would suddenly skyrocket because of this (even if the claim remained small). Anyone ever put in a claim for a small amount and experienced a significant jump?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
29254 posts
4324 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
@ReddyFlaggs

Insurance companies don’t like to pay out. You may not get a rate increase this year or next year, but eventually insurance companies want their money back and it will increase.

Get your house inspected and determine what the value of the claim will be. If it is significant, then by all means, file a claimsß
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
1365 posts
635 upvotes
Toronto
You’ll have a hard time proving your tv failed as a result of the lightning if it happens weeks from now.

The wiring is the key issue - if you have damaged wires inside your walls it will be thousands to repair and is a massive danger for fire.

Expect a 10% increase in your premium which would be reduced back to “normal” over a 10 year span. This is what Desjardins does.

Call and ask - anonymously if you want.
Sr. Member
Apr 6, 2008
677 posts
299 upvotes
ReddyFlaggs wrote:
Dec 8th, 2018 2:02 am
You're right...but it might NOT be $2,000 after a few weeks from now if my currently functioning appliances suddenly stop working due to a delayed breakdown from the power surge.

The $2,000 is largely made up of a couple of routers, a central vaccuum, and a few other devices.

However, I would be devastated if my 75-inch TV (which cost me a TON of money) suddenly started to show signs of breaking down a few weeks from now. Same goes for any other larger piece of equipment like my water heater, furnace, refridgerator, etc.

I want to get everything inspected by an electrician, gas technician and appliance tech, just in case.

My only major concern was if my rates would suddenly skyrocket because of this (even if the claim remained small). Anyone ever put in a claim for a small amount and experienced a significant jump?
That's fine that you want to get everything inspected, but I doubt insurance will pay for "possible" damage. I'm a licensed electrician and I've never seen anything damaged by lightning besides maybe like an overhead mast, and electronics inside the house. I think you'll be paying out of pocket for these inspections, I can't see them footing the bill for what if. Your insurance broker/agent should be able to help you with this.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
9237 posts
1860 upvotes
I had an auto accident where I was at fault, total claim for both cars was around 5000$. my truck was 1700 or so if I recall correctly.

i asked for a check, they sent me it. my insurance when up around 100$ year and its been 4-5 years now, once i go another year or 2 i will drop back down. but in the end i came out ahead by 1000$ or so. as for the truck it just had a broken headlight enclosure and some scratches, i repalced it for 20$ and left the scratchs, sold the truck a few months later and they didnt even care about the scratches at all.
Jr. Member
Apr 19, 2018
136 posts
129 upvotes
Ran across an article that claims it is only worthwhile to put inn a claim if it exceeds $1000 over the deductible. This was done by tracking rate increases fro a number of insurers following a claim. The size of the claim did not affect the rate increase, just the number of claims.

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