One strike and your business could be out. One strike of lightning, that is.
Lightning can pose a serious risk for your business and employees. In fact, nearly 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes occur in the United States each year, resulting in damage or fatalities. Globally, there are nearly 1.4 billion flashes of lightning per year. These powerful bolts can cause serious property damage ranging from fires to power outages, to damage to electrical systems, power lines and communication systems.
Before your business becomes another statistic, learn what you can do to protect your property, employees and assets from the risks and dangers of lightning.
Determine How Big of a Risk Lightning Damage Is to Your Business
The threat of lightning is not the same for every business. Your risk and likelihood of experiencing lightning strikes or damage varies by what state and region your business is in, and what kind of building it’s housed in.
For instance, skyscrapers are more likely to be struck by lightning because of their close proximity to the clouds and base of the storm. This doesn’t mean that small or standalone buildings are immune. Lightning strikes wherever there is less insulation to burn through.
In the U.S., states near the coastline or Gulf of Mexico typically experience more lightning activity due to the warmer air coming in off the water. States including Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana see frequent lightning activity as moist air can often produce severe thunderstorms or even heat lightning.
Protecting Your Business From Lightning
One of the best ways to protect your business from lightning is by investing in a lightning protection system. Lightning protection systems are structures that can come in the form of lightning rods, transformers, terminals and more.
Ultimately, these systems create a safe path for the bolt of lightning to reach the ground, rather than creating disastrous electrical damage. Once the lightning bolt reaches the earth, the lightning is discharged.
Worry not, lightning protection systems do not attract or repel lightning; they simply reroute it safely to earth to prevent serious damage from impacting your business and employees.
Even with a lightning protection system, your business or property may still experience some sort of impact from a lightning strike. Many systems, however, include surge protection to minimize damage to your property as much as possible.
How the Right Insurance Coverage Can Protect Your Business From Lightning Damage
Lightning protection systems are a great way to minimize damage to your business during a severe storm. However, you should still prepare for the aftermath of lightning damage should it occur. By carefully choosing the right insurance coverage, you can make sure your business, property and assets are protected and covered during severe weather.
Consider the following types of insurance to minimize monetary damages caused by lightning:
- Property insurance, as most policies cover damages caused by severe storms. Some property coverages may include the option to add commercial power surge protection, too.
- Hurricane or tropical storm insurance, if your business is located near a coastline.
- Storm damage insurance, which typically cover the damages from hail, wind and tornados—all of which are often paired with lightning.
- Equipment breakdown insurance, which can minimize damages and losses caused by power fluctuations.
- Business interruption insurance, which can minimize your losses should you need to put operations on hold due to damage and repairs.
A lightning show may be entertaining to watch from the comfort of your home, but these powerful bolts can cause serious damage to your business if you haven’t prepared. Consult with your insurance provider on your risk to determine how vulnerable your business really is and how you can minimize your damages.