Georgia leads way in insurance claims for damage caused by light - CBS46 News

Georgia leads way in insurance claims for damage caused by lightning strikes

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The chances of your home or business getting struck by lightning are statistically pretty low. But some new numbers also show when lightning does strike in Georgia, it causes a lot of damage.

"The state that led the way in lightning damage was Georgia, with $21 million in claims paid out. That came from 3,800 individual lightning claims," said Justin Tomczak, with State Farm Insurance. 

State Farm said it paid out $200 million in claims nationwide in 2012.

"It is a big problem and an expensive problem. Obviously when a homeowner gets hit by lightning, it's an expensive process to rebuild that house and fix that damage. It is not a fun process," said Tomczak.

But there are ways to protect your property. Experts said the easiest thing to do is buy surge protectors for your computer, TV, stereo and other electronics, or you can install a home or business lightning protection system.

"This structurally protects your home from a direct hit," said Reagan Cortes, with Labeled Lightning Protection, Inc.

Cortes said the lightning rod system doesn't attract lightning, but will make lightning bolts harmless if they hit your home or business.

"Lightning, if it were to hit your home, it would hit our lightning rod, the lightning charge would run down our cable down to the ground, where it would dissipate," said Cortes.

Cortes said lightning prevention systems start at $1,300 and go up depending on the size of the structure. She suggested checking with insurance companies to see if they will provide a discount for installing one of the systems.

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