State Farm: SC Ranks 9th In Lightning Damage Claims -

State Farm: SC Ranks 9th In Lightning Damage Claims

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One of SC's largest insurance companies says the state is 9th in the nation for damage claims from lightning.

State Farm saw about 1300 claims in lightning strike damage in SC in 2012, paying out more than $7.8 million dollars in claims.

"The increase in cost in these claims is mainly due to the modern day electronics that people have in their households now, from ipads to plasma TV's," explained Spartanburg State Farm Agent Chad Wagner.

He's seen people come in his office, after losing every electronic system in their home, because of a lightning strike. "It's just very complicated, very aggravating."

Wagner says the summer months are when the risks go up.

According to the National Weather Service, each year lightning causes about 25,000 fires and is responsible for $1 billion dollars in damages.

Even though there's no way to stop mother nature, there are things you can do to cut down on the damage risk and the cost to you.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety recommends a whole-house surge protector and additional protection for expensive electronics.

Russ Dubisky, Executive Director for the South Carolina Insurance News Service says those changes make a difference.

"Making those improvements, making it more disaster-resistant is going to go a long way to reducing claims, which goes a long way to helping you save money on your insurance," Dubisky explained.

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