Illinois ranks #7 in country for lightning claims, study says

The average claim cost for lightning strikes in 2021 was $12,000.
Generic lightning strike
Generic lightning strike(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 10:47 AM CDT
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ILLINOIS (WIFR) - While the southern U.S. leads the nation in lightning strikes, Illinois is the hot spot for the rest of the country.

According to State Farm, Illinois ranks #7 for the company’s lightning claims in 2021 with nearly 390 claims. Those claims paid out $2 million in lightning damage throughout the state. For the entire United States, State Farm paid out $107 million for nearly 9,000 claims in 2021.

September ranks as the number #1 month for highest lightning strike claims in 2021. However, lightning can strike at any time, anywhere – even up to 10 miles away from an area of rainfall. The state with the most lightning claims, Georgia, came in with more than 800 claims in 2021.

When it comes to thunderstorms always remember the saying, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Also, remember to follow the 30/30 rule. Per the Insurance Information Institute, if it takes less than 30 seconds after you see lightning to hear the thunder, you should get indoors and stay there for 30 minutes. According to NOAA, while many lightning deaths happen at the beginning of an approaching storm, more than 50 percent of lightning deaths occur after the thunderstorm has passed.

Here are some lightning damage tips to keep in mind:

  • Install a lightning protection system in your home, which can include lightning rods and a whole-house surge protector. You may receive a credit on your homeowner’s insurance by installing such a system.
  • Unplug electronics and appliances during a storm.
  • Talk with your insurance agent to make sure your homeowner’s insurance policy covers lightning damage to your home, appliances and electronics.