Experts Say Lightning Losses Cost Insurance Companies Over 798 Million Dollars

Mar 20, 2012 (03:03 PM EDT)

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- From a contents category perspective, electronics and equipment have become the number one asset in dollar value for homes and businesses in the U.S. In fact, according to a leading market research company, The NPD Group, consumers in the U.S. spent over 144 billion dollars on technology in 2011.

In the U.S. there are over 20 million "cloud-to-ground" strikes per year. According to the Insurance Information Institute, lightning losses accounted for 798 million dollars in losses in 2009. This, of course, does not consider the millions of dollars in losses that homeowners and business paid out of pocket for damages that were not reported to insurance companies.

We often think of lightning damage as what happens when lightning strikes a tree, structure, or wiring. However, a lightning strike current can extend into underground wiring and pipes as well as above ground power, cable and phone lines. Lightning can damage electronics and equipment a mile or more from the actual site of the strike due to the significant strength of a lightning current.

The best way to prevent damages to electronics from lightning is to unplug equipment that is not being regularly used. Not only does this decrease electrical consumption, it also decreases the risk of being damaged by a strike. Equipment that is used regularly utilizing a surge protector can significantly improve the chances of avoiding electrical damage. Also, having a licensed electrician inspect your home or building to make sure that all wiring has been installed correctly and is up to code may save you substantial money down the road.

Zap Consulting is the nation's leading provider of electronics assessments. The company leverages a network of more than 600 technicians across the country to provide factual, timely reports that help insurers make fair and accurate claim settlements. If you would like more information about the company's services or to submit an assignment, please visit them online at or contact them by phone at 888-406-0980.

Contact: Katie Stephens at 704-542-4220 or

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SOURCE Zap Consulting