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9/5/2013 - III: Lightning claims down but costs jump

Roughly 150,000 homeowners insurance claims came from thunder and lightning storms last year.

A substantial percentage of the homeowners insurance claims that take place each year is due to one of the more common weather-related happenings of the summertime, newly released data shows.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 150,000 residential claims derived from thunder and lightning storms in 2012. While that's down approximately 20% from the previous year, the cost of these incidents increased, jumping by 25% to $6,400, on average.

Loretta Worters, vice president of the III, indicated that the main reason for lightning-based insurance costs rising is due to the increased number and value of consumer electronics Americans have in their homes today versus yesteryear.

Weather experts say that the best place people can be during a thunder and lightning storm is indoors.

"If you are outdoors in a thunderstorm, no place is safe," said Kim Loehr, director of communications for the Lightning Protection Institute. "If you are outside and hear thunder, seek indoor shelter right away."

The National Weather Service provides consumers with tips for how they can minimize their safety risk.

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