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Will my car insurance cover a lightning strike?

What to Know

  • A lightning strike can be covered by car insurance
  • Comprehensive car insurance offers coverage against a variety of damages
  • You may want to wait to file a claim if it’s close to or under your deductible

Will car insurance cover a lightning strike? It turns out it likely depends on the type of car insurance policy that you have.

While it’s traditionally more expensive, comprehensive car insurance will help you pay for repairs after a lightning strike, as long as it meets your deductible.

As one of the primary car insurance types, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one of the best car insurance companies willing to give you an affordable policy that will protect your finances from any future lightning.

If you’re looking for affordable car insurance cover for a lightning strike, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay.

Car Insurance Companies for Lightning Strikes

Nature can be beautiful but also very destructive to property. For example, if your car is struck by lightning during storm season, you’ll likely want to get it back on the road as soon as possible.

A comprehensive car insurance policy is helpful to that end. Damage to a vehicle caused by lightning would be covered by comprehensive car insurance, which covers a majority of damages that may occur on your car.

However, even if you choose to insure with a cheap full coverage car insurance company, you’ll likely have to pay more to insure your vehicle against all those hazards.

Below are some examples of liability and total coverage insurance rates from across the country to demonstrate this.

Full Coverage Car Insurance Rates in a Sample of Major Cities
CityLiability InsuranceFull Coverage
Atlanta, Georgia$876$1,470
Boston, Massachusetts$984$1,546
Houston, Texas$1,034$1,618
Miami, Florida$1,098$1,712
Los Angeles, California$1,128$1,676
Newark, New Jersey$1,353$1,925
New York City, New York$1,380$2,340
Detroit, Michigan$2,551$4,638
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As you can see, the cheapest car insurance for liability is almost $900 a year, while complete coverage extends to nearly $1,500.

This is near a $600 difference in rates between the two policy types. That being said, if you end up getting in an accident and losing your car with no comprehensive insurance, you could have to pay much more out of pocket for a new vehicle.

How to Tell if Your Car Was Struck by Lightning

If your car were struck by lightning, you’d be able to tell quickly in a few different ways. Some clear signs that your vehicle has had an unfortunate meeting with electricity include:

  • Damages antenna
  • Malfunctioning or broken electrical system
  • Completely flat tires instantly

While some of these warning signs are a little more noticeable than others, these signs can help you figure out why your vehicle is damaged or malfunctioning. Lightning is gone as quick as it comes, so unless you’re sitting directly in the car, you’ll likely miss the moment of impact.

That makes knowing how to identify the various signs of electrical damage invaluable information for a car owner.

How to Prove to Insurance Damage is From Lightning

Most importantly, you should make sure that you document any evidence of electrical or physical damage to your car.

According to the National Weather Service, the typical flash of lighting is about 300 Million volts, and while it’s gone in the blink of an eye, that kind of shock leaves a mark.

So any photographic evidence or witness accounts of the incident will go a long way to prove to your insurer that a stray lightning bolt struck your car.

What to Do When Driving Through Lightning

When driving through a severe storm, you may find yourself a little nervous at the potential of wet roads and strong wind. Lighting presents a new hazard, though, and warrants its safety measures.

So if you find yourself driving through a lightning storm, you can relax a little knowing that you’ll likely be safe if lighting were to strike your vehicle immediately.

While it would likely be a scary experience, the car’s metal body will be able to ground the lightning strike, rendering it harmless to anyone inside the vehicle.

This mainly applies to vehicles with hard metal tops, convertibles, and Jeeps with cloth tops that can’t provide the same kind of protection.

How to File a Claim for a Lightning Strike

Before you file a claim for the lightning damage on your vehicle, you’ll want to make sure that you can prove your vehicle has been struck by lightning.

From there, your insurer may be much more inclined to send out someone to evaluate the damages. Regardless, the steps you should follow when filing a claim after lightning strikes your vehicle include:

  • Document the damages
  • Contact your insurer
  • Have damages evaluated
  • Receive a reimbursement or payout check

If your insurer finds that the damages fit within the specifications of a claim it can take, then you’ll receive reimbursement for what you paid in repairs or a check to pay for a new vehicle. However, filing a claim in some instances may cost you more in the long run.

Should you file a claim for a lightning strike?

If your car has been recently struck by lightning, you may find the damage done to the vehicle to be substantial. In that case, you’ll want to research your insurance policy before you immediately file a claim.

For instance, let’s say that you have a deductible of $700, but the lightning strike only damages your antenna and radio for $600 worth of repairs. In this case, whether you file a claim or not, you’ll be paying entirely out of pocket either way.

Therefore, it makes more sense to pay out of pocket and not risk raising your rates when you file a claim.

Car Insurance and Lightning Strikes: The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for car insurance after lightning strikes your vehicle, it may be too late.

However, if you’re enrolled in a comprehensive car insurance policy, you’ll likely be able to get the repairs covered after you meet your deductible.

In some cases with a higher deductible, it may be worth paying out of pocket to avoid increased rates when an insurer barely pays out.

If you’re looking to buy car insurance cover for a lightning strike, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay at other insurers.