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Lightning hits Triad home: How a lightning rod protects you

Firefighters were called to a house fire after a lightning strike. A lightning rod wouldn't have prevented the strike, but helps keep damage to a minimum.
Credit: Adobe.Stock

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A Triad home is a total loss after a lightning strike hit it. By the time firefighters got to the home on Pheasant Lane in Winston-Salem, flames were coming out of the rooftop.

This strike had folks asking if a lightning rod would have kept the strike from happening and causing all that damage. The answer is no and yes, all at the same time.

"If lightning is going to hit a structure, it's going to hit it regardless of what you do, but if you have a rod, the lightning will hit the rod. The lightning will travel through the system and into the ground. This lightning protection provides a safe path for lightning to travel through the structure and dissipate to the ground level without doing any damage to the structure or anybody inside the structure,” said Nicholas Tierney, COO of Greensboro-based Commercial Lightning Protection, LCC.

Now, is a lightning strike and damage covered by insurance?
Yes, but here's something to keep in mind.

If your $200,000 dollar home is insured for 200k, it's not enough. There's an inflation guard of 25%, making the total insurance coverage for the house $250,000.

The problem is, that the cost of materials and labor has outpaced the inflation guard which means today, it might cost $400,000  to rebuild your home. There’s a gap. You're only insured for $250,000 and that's how much insurance is going to pay you.

“You need to reevaluate how much your home is insured for in reconstruction, that will make your premium go up, but we want to pay your claim when you have one and we want to pay it right,” said Christopher Cook of Alliance Insurance Services.

You don't want to be left paying out of pocket, it's worth talking to your insurance company, even if raises your premium a few bucks.


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