June 24, 2014 by Canadian Underwriter
State Farm paid out $137 million in claims as a result of damage from lightning strikes last year the insurer reported Tuesday, adding that lightning is the second leading cause of storm-related deaths in Canada and the United States, behind flooding.
In 2013, the insurer paid out $800,000 for 110 lightning claims in Canada, with an average of $7,000 per claim.
Claims in Ontario reached $650,327, while New Brunswick saw claims of $95,009. Claims in Alberta reached $59, 679.
“Approximately 5000 insurance claims are estimated to be filed in Canada for lightning related property damage (excluding fires) each year,” State Farm noted.
“Fires caused by lightning represent 45% of all fires, with fire agencies responding to over 800 wildfires each year caused by lightning.”
According to Environment Canada, there are between nine and 10 lightning-related deaths and up to 164 lightning-related injuries every year, with July being the most deadly month, State Farm also noted. The majority (85%) of lightning victims are children and young men between the ages of 10 and 35 engaged in recreation or work, the insurer added.
To help mitigate damage and stay safe, State Farm recommends: