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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Question Lightning damage - $1,500, should I claim it?

    What is the name of your state? Michigan, home of the second worst economy in the nation...[url]http://forum.freeadvice.com/images/smilies/mad.gif[/url]

    A couple of weeks ago a lightning strike near my home damaged a number of (relatively)small items: modem, antenna pre-amp, answering machine, ignition module in the furnace, most notable a home automation controller for lighting. I am still finding things that were damaged. Last night we found a computer we use only for the kids' games is completely dead and today I found out both my irrigation controllers are smoked. At first I wasn't going to claim as it barely made the deductible, but now the damage is upwards of $1,500 (I have a $500 deductible and full replacement value on personal property).

    I have repaired most of this damage already, and saved hundreds by troubleshooting thoroughly, buying no more than in necessary, doing the work myself, and even going so far as to buy a used furnace ignition module on E-Bay for $12 instead of calling a repair service for hundreds.

    I've been reading many postings here about getting dropped or having premiums raised for too many minor claims or even one major claim. I've heard (possibly urban myths) that you should never claim anything under $10,000. Based on experience, can anyone say whether it is worthwhile to file a claim for this amount of damage? Or should I just save my limited ability to actually use my insurance for something bigger in the future? Any chance the insurance company will be the slightest bit interested or impressed with my money0saving efforts (on their part if I file a claim)?[url]http://forum.freeadvice.com/images/smilies/confused.gif[/url]

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Chi town burbs
    I claimed a 3K claim for a lightening strike. I have State Farm, no rate increase, no dropped coverage. That's my experience anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Missouri Ozarks
    Lightning strikes can cause a frustrating, cascading failure of electronic devices. File a claim and have a licensed electrician inspect your entire system. A relative had a lightning strike causing damage similar to yours. At first only a few things were down, but soon spread to pool pump, refrigerator, and furnance. An electrician inspected their system and found several instances of damage to the home electrical system contributing to the cascading failure.

  4. #4
    This sort of thing varies widely by insurance company and by state. For example, at my company we would not raise the rates on a weather claim in most states, but if a 2nd claim was filed within 3 years, we would remember the lightning claim and make the rate increase on the 2nd claim even higher because of it.

    A general rule of thumb is that weather claims are not going to hurt you with most insurance companies as much as something like a fire or theft claim, especially if you have a history of filing no claims most years and its just this one little claim every few years. Regardless of the cause, if you start nickle and diming the insurance company to death with tons of little claims in a short time span, you are asking to be cancelled.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Have you kept the damaged items?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Yep , You should

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