NEW YORK – A recently released report by the Insurance Information Institute found that lightning damage claims topped more than $950 million in 2022.
Triple-I complied the data that showed there were 62,189 claims last year, an increase of about 2.2% over 2021.
The institute said that while the number of claims increased, the cost per lightning strike actually decreased by a whopping 29% and led to about $952 million in damages – the lowest figure since 2019.
Florida reported the greatest number of lightning claims in the country, but strikes in California tended to be more costly.
The cost of an average lightning damage claim in the Sunshine State was $14,562 in 2022, while the average damage in California cost homeowners $36,319.
NOAA said a typical lightning strike contains between 20 million to 1 billion volts, with a temperature of more than 14,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lightning can occur any time of the year but is most common along the Gulf Coast and Florida during the summer.
On average, cloud-to-ground strikes account for 20 million lightning bolts each year, with many more that never impact Earth’s surface.
"When it comes to protecting homes, businesses or critical facilities in communities, we know that a properly installed lightning protection system is scientifically proven to mitigate the damage from a lightning strike," said Tim Harger, executive director of the Lightning Protection Institute.
NOAA encourages businesses and homeowners to observe National Lightning Safety Awareness Week. The annual event started in 2001, and this year’s runs from June 18-24.
The agency credited a greater awareness of lightning dangers as the reason behind a drop in fatalities related to the dangerous bolts of electricity.
"Lightning Safety Awareness Week highlights the dangers lightning poses to life and property and how insurers and policyholders are reducing these risks," Sean Kevelighan, CEO of Triple-I, stated.
According to NOAA data, about 43 people are reported to be killed by lightning strikes each year.