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Don’t strike out: What you need to know about lightning and your homeowners’ insurance policy

May 24, 2018 at 5:42 pm

Lightning causes major damage to homes every year in the United States.

By Mark A. Stevens
Strovis Chief Marketing Officer

Lightning never strikes twice, the old saying goes, but once is quite enough, especially when it comes to your home.

A report by the National Fire Protection Association estimates that U.S. fire departments respond to 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. Those fires caused an average of nine deaths, 53 injuries and $451 million in direct property damage.

Further still, the National Lightning Safety Institute predicts that one in every 200 houses will be struck by lightning every year. Clearly chances of a lightning strike on your home are enough for at least moderate concern and precaution.

But, says Allen Altman, president of Strovis Insurance, the good news is that damage from lightning is a covered peril in a homeowners’ policy.

“Lightning is what is called a Sudden-and-Accidental Loss and it’s covered under your homeowners’ policy,” Altman said. “You do not have to buy additional coverage for lightning. It’s automatically covered. It’s a named peril in your policy.”

The average cost per claim, according to the National Lightning Safety Institute, is $4,324.

The South Carolina-based Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, or IBHS, says the best way to protect your home from a destructive lightning strike is to install a whole-house/building surge protector. Local utility companies may provide and install whole-building surge protection systems. If not, a licensed electrician should be able to install one for your home.

Altman also noted that even with your homeowners’ coverage in place, it’s always important to protect your home.

“Everything is covered that’s hit,” he said. “Coverage will include the exterior of your home or if a lightning strike knocks out a TV or a computer. It’s covered, but you always have to take in depreciation and your deductible.”

According to IBHS, it’s important to note that a whole house/building surge protector will not protect against a direct lightning strike. Lightning protection systems are designed to protect a structure and provide a specified path to harness and safely ground the super-charged current of a lightning bolt. The system works by receiving the strike and routing it harmlessly into the ground thus discharging the dangerous electrical event. IBHS recommends that lightning protection systems be installed by a UL-listed installer and meet the requirements of NFPA 780 and Lightning Protection Institute Standards.

In addition to whole-building surge protection, IBHS strongly recommends the following:

  • Unplug electronic equipment. It is the most reliable means of protecting that equipment from a power surge.
  • Know the important difference between a surge suppressor and a power strip. A power strip plugs into your wall outlet and allows you to plug in multiple electronic devices. However, a power strip does not protect equipment from being damaged by a power spike. A surge protector also gives the user the ability to plug in multiple electronic devices, but it also serves another very important function in that it also protects your electronic devices from a power spike.
  • Connect telephone, cable/satellite TV and network lines to a surge suppressor.
  • Make sure the surge suppressor has an indicator light so you know it is working properly.
  • Ensure the surge suppressor has been tested to UL 1449.
  • Purchase a surge suppressor with a Joule rating of over 1,000. The Joule rating typically ranges from 200 up to several thousand – the higher the number the better.
  • Look for a surge suppressor with a clamping voltage rating (voltage at which the protector will conduct the electricity to ground) between 330 v, which is typical, to 400 v.
  • Purchase a surge suppressor with a response time less than 1 nanosecond.
  • Do not cut corners. You don’t want to protect a $1,000 television or computer system with a $10 surge protector, for $25 and up you can provide much better protection
  • Have a licensed electrician or home/building inspector review the power, telephone, electrical and cable/satellite TV connections to your building. Have them check to make sure that you have adequate grounding of the power line connection and your power distribution panel. All of the utilities should enter the structure within 10 feet of the electrical service entrance ground wire and be bonded to that grounding point.

Strovis Insurance is an independent agency serving the Carolinas with offices in Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, Summerville and Mount Pleasant. For more information on how Strovis can help you with all your insurance needs, visit www.strovisinsurance.com or call 1-855-294-3788 or 843-436-2106.

To receive insurance quotes from Strovis, go to Get A Quote.

Categories: Uncategorized.

GHS softball player Hanna Avant presented with Strovis Character Counts Award

May 23, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Hanna Avant was presented with a Strovis Character Counts Award May 22. Pictured, from left, are Strovis Insurance Area Manager Brook Brown, Hanna Avant, Softball Coach Whitney Holt Ramsing, and Strovis Insurance President Allen Altman.

By Mark A. Stevens
Chief Marketing Officer

It was another home run for the Strovis Character Counts Awards Tuesday evening as Hanna Avant became the latest inductee into the program.

The award was announced at the Georgetown High School softball team’s annual end-of-season banquet, held at Big Bill’s Low Country Bar B Que in Georgetown.

Hanna was nominated by Coach Whitney Holt Ramsing, and she was presented with a certificate and a $50 cash prize by Strovis Insurance President Allen Altman and Strovis Insurance Area Manager Brook Brown.

The Strovis Character Counts program honors student-athletes who excel in their chosen sport, as well as in life. Students who hold strong character traits are selected for the award. They are nominated by members of the coaching staff.

When nominating Hanna for the award, Coach Ramsing listed a series of character traits that she felt made Hanna the perfect choice for the award. Her certificate read: “For outstanding performance as a 2018 member of the Georgetown High School Boys Softball Team & for always giving 100 percent and being the very definition of a team player & for hard work and unwavering dependability to her teammates, clearly demonstrating that Character Counts.”

Every inductee for the Strovis award this school year will be eligible to be named the Strovis Character Counts Student-Athlete of the Year and receive a $250 cash prize.

Strovis partnered with the Georgetown High School Bulldogs Athletic Booster Club to create the awards program in the fall of 2017.

Founded in Georgetown in 1998, Strovis Holdings oversees three divisions of the company: Strovis Payroll & HR, Strovis Benefits and Strovis Insurance. The company serves clients in 32 states from South Carolina offices in Georgetown, Murrells Inlet, Summerville and Mount Pleasant. The company can be found on the web at www.strovis.com.

Categories: Uncategorized.

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