In addition to the rain we receive, and sometimes even the snow, Mother Nature occasionally gives us a light and sound show in the form of lightning and thunder. Each year, lightning strikes cause damage to telephones, television sets, computers and other electronic devices. With more homes acquiring expensive computers and home theatre equipment, lightning is responsible for greater numbers of claims and greater claim values.
You can do something to prevent lightning from damaging your computers, televisions and other high-end electronic equipment. A good quality “power bar” will provide both lightning and surge protection. Surge protection is different than lightning protection. Many power bars provide surge protection but not lightning protection. Be sure to read the information about a product before you buy. Another option is a “UPS” or Uninterruptible Power Supply. In addition to providing both lightning and surge suppression, these devices regulate the power in a brownout or blackout. Your computer equipment may or may not be covered under your insurance policy for damage caused by voltage fluctuation (consult with your Agent or Broker if you’re not sure), but your data will not be. A UPS, properly sized for your equipment, will allow you to safely save your data and shut down your computer during a power outage.
If you have electronic equipment you’d like to protect, consult with your local electronic or computer shop for details about power protection devices. A good-quality power bar could cost $30 or $40. Without one, a lightning strike could cost you your deductible – $300 or more.