Policyholder Question on Lightning Damage to Apartment Building Units
Q. I own an apartment complex that got hit by lightning. It seems electronics in multiple units is randomly going out. Does this make sense? If I file a claim, it looks like it should have just hit one or 2 buildings instead of 8 or 9. Will I have trouble getting a proper settlement? Unfortunately, I just don't trust the insurance company. I had a fire once and they treated me like a crook.
A. Lighting losses are one of the most problematic insurance perils you can encounter. Just as you explained, things can be out all over the place. In addition, other items not currently showing damage may very well fail later due to heat, cracking of circuit boards, and overloading of electrical parts due to the high current charge to electronic parts that were not designed for this type of load.
Yes you should file a claim and advocate for a fair settlement. Get your own electrical engineer or depending on the items, an electronics specialist to inspect each and every building and item. Remember, any item currently under warranty will be void due to this event.
If the insurance company agrees an item is damaged by lighting, I suggest you do not accept a repair as likely the repair company will not guarantee the work. In addition we have seen a very high rate of failure in items at a later date due to the stress on the items hit. If something fails six months later the insurance carrier will claim its wear and tear, defective product etc. Have the insurance company pay you for the item, (you may get “actual cash value” or “replacement cost” depending on your policy language) and let them take the salvage value.
If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.