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Insurance organization urges homeowners to prepare for lightning

Posted On Tue, June 28, 2011

As June turns to July, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety hopes homeowners take a few lightning safety tips with them into the new month.

"A lightning strike to an unprotected structure can cause catastrophic damage," said Julie Rochman, CEO and president of IBHS. Fortunately, there are relatively simple, inexpensive steps that can be taken to substantially reduce the chances of lightning-related damage and disruptions."

To reduce the risk of having to file a home insurance claim resulting from lightning damage, the IBHS recommends equipping one's house with a whole-house surge protector. IBHS says utility companies often have the resources to install these kinds of systems, but if they don't, a licensed electrician should.

The organization suggests a few other home safety enhancements to reduce the risk of lightning damage, including installing additional surge protectors for expensive electronic equipment and having a certified electrician perform a through inspection of the home's power line connections.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of claims relating to lightning damage rose nearly 15 percent from 2009 to 2010.

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