State Farm Facts – Louisiana ranks 5th in lightning claims!

State Farm paid more than $5.6M in 2021 to help Louisiana customers repair or rebuild their homes following damage from lightning strikes. According to a new report, that dollar number puts Louisiana at the 5th spot in the nation for lightning claims, preceded by Texas, Georgia, California, and Alabama to round out the top five. The average claim paid out by State Farm for lightning damage was $12,000.

The most common lightning-related claim is due to ground surge, causing a spike in electricity, which can short out electronics, appliances, and electrical systems. According to the Insurance Information Institute, ground surges account for 50 percent of lightning related claims. This means that if lightning strikes near a home, it can cause a spike in electricity and short out nearby electrical systems.

Although lightning is an amazing act of nature, it can cause damage far beyond a storm you watch through your windows. Take for instance, lightning can strike up to 15 miles away from a developed storm. That’s why the adage “When thunder roars, go indoors” makes so much sense and why we get so nervous when that one family member (we all have one) rushes outside when they hear thunder.

Lightning strikes can happen year-round, but the top five months for lightning activity are September, August, October, November, and December.

“Lightning strikes can happen year-round, but August and September are two of the most active months,” said State Farm Agent Shawn Murphy. “Now is the time to update your home inventory, have a conversation with your insurance agent, and take steps to prepare and educate your family about lightning.”

How can you prepare your home and family for lightning? Here are a few tips:

(1) Have a lightning safety plan to know where your family will go during a storm.
a. Indoors: stay away from windows, doors, and appliances
b. Outdoors: “When thunder roars, go indoors” seek safety immediately, avoid open areas, lay down (don’t be the tallest object in an area), stay away from isolated tall trees and utility poles, distance yourself from metal conductors such as fences and wires.
c. Do not attempt to unplug electronics during a storm.
(2) Make sure your animals have access to a safe place during storms and aren’t trapped outside.
(3) If someone is struck:
a. Call for help. Call 9-1-1
b. Give first aid beginning with CPR
c. Use an Automatic External Defibrillator if one is available.
d. Move the victim to a safer place​

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