Does auto insurance cover lightning strikes?

Auto insurance covers lightning strikes and the damages resulting from other extreme weather events if you carry comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance for lightning strikes and other non-collision damage averages $13/mo. Car insurance that covers lightning damage is usually part of a full coverage insurance policy.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 24, 2020

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A Concise Overview:

  • Comprehensive auto insurance will cover damages to your vehicle caused by a lightning strike for about $160/year.
  • Most U.S. states require minimum levels of auto insurance before you can drive legally.
  • Comprehensive coverage is optional, but it could be a pleasant surprise when you need it the most.

You’re driving on the highway and suddenly you’re in the midst of a great thunderstorm. You see flashes of lightning all around you, and you begin to wonder: does car insurance cover a lightning strike?

Yes, if you have comprehensive insurance. Keep reading to learn more about what comprehensive auto insurance covers, and also what you can do if you encounter a thunderstorm while driving.

Get car insurance that covers lightning strikes at a great price. Enter your ZIP code now to compare cheap auto insurance quotes.

What is comprehensive auto insurance?

Comprehensive coverage pays for damages related to non-collision events such as hail, flash flooding, lightning strikes, other extreme weather events, collisions with wildlife, theft, and vandalism. This is essential coverage to have if you live in one of the worst states for animal collisions, theft, or storms.

Here’s a look at average annual comprehensive auto insurance rates across the U.S.

Average Annual U.S. Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual Comprehensive
Auto Insurance Rates
Oregon$89.66
Maine$96.66
California$99.29
Hawaii$100.09
New Hampshire$103.03
Washington$104.11
Utah$106.57
Florida$110.12
Idaho$110.78
Ohio$112.74
Delaware$113.23
Indiana$115.02
Nevada$116.79
Illinois$117.98
Vermont$118.31
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New Jersey$123.18
Connecticut$126.02
Wisconsin$126.34
Massachusetts$128.92
Virginia$129.89
Kentucky$130.15
Pennsylvania$132.01
Tennessee$135.62
Countrywide$138.87
Alaska$141.08
Alabama$146.28
Maryland$146.77
Michigan$147.02
Georgia$153.61
New York$156.66
Colorado$158.34
South Carolina$165.38
Missouri$166.34
New Mexico$166.89
Iowa$171.58
Minnesota$173.04
Arkansas$183.36
Arizona$184.20
Texas$186.70
Mississippi$194.74
West Virginia$195.04
Montana$199.87
Oklahoma$201.56
Nebraska$206.24
Louisiana$208.59
Wyoming$222.86
North Dakota$227.64
South Dakota$228.59
District of Columbia$230.25
Kansas$230.65
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Essentially, comprehensive auto insurance is intended to provide coverage for events that are outside of your control. This makes it your best and only option for insurance coverage for lightning strikes.

Don’t Forget Deductibles

When selecting auto insurance coverages, you’ll also need to consider what deductible level and how much coverage you’ll want for each type. Generally speaking, higher coverage limits and lower deductibles make for higher insurance rates.

Getting the lowest level of coverage isn’t always the best idea, but you do want to shop around to find a rate and a policy that will work for you.

For example, if you’re driving a vehicle that’s seen better days, you might choose a very low collision coverage amount with a high deductible so that you’re covered if it’s totaled but you pay a much lower rate.

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What To Do When Driving in an Electrical Storm

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, your best bet for safety if you’re caught driving in an electrical storm is to:

  • Pull off to the side of the road safely.
  • Turn off your vehicle’s engine.
  • Turn on your blinkers.
  • Keep your hands in your lap in order to avoid touching any metal surfaces that could conduct electrical current.
  • Wait until the storm has passed to resume your travel.

As with any type of weather situation that can impact road conditions, you’ll want to be prepared for bad weather driving, even if there isn’t a cloud in the sky. If there is, your best bet in the wake of a thunderstorm is to wait it out if you can. These systems move quickly, so you won’t miss much time.

Should I drive a car that’s been hit by lightning?

Lightning can cause damage to your car, particularly the electrical systems, even if there is no visible damage.

If you think your car has been hit by lightning or was close enough to a lightning strike to be impacted, you should take it to your mechanic for an evaluation as soon as possible.

You don’t want any of your vehicle’s safety systems to malfunction and put you and your passengers in further danger, especially if there is lightning damage covered by insurance.

If your mechanic does find signs of electrical damage, you’ll want to document their findings if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company. Also make note of the date, time, and location of the storm, and the events during the storm that you witnessed or experienced. You can even get official weather events data from the internet. That way, you’ll be much more likely to get this damage, caused by a lightning strike, covered by insurance.

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Finding Affordable Lightning Damage Coverage

Looking for low-cost auto insurance with comprehensive coverage for lightning? Enter your ZIP code in the box below to get quotes right away.

References:

  1. http://lightningsafety.com/nlsi_pls/vehicle_strike.html
  2. https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-cars
  3. https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/

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