Does auto insurance cover a lightning strike?

Auto insurance covers a lighting strike provided you have the proper coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance covers lightning damage and other severe weather damage to your car. Average monthly rates for comprehensive coverage are about $13., and it may be worth it to file a lightning damage claim if the damage exceeds your deductible.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: May 21, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • Comprehensive auto insurance will cover expenses for damages to your car related to a lightning strike for about $160/year
  • Minimum state requirements for auto insurance don’t include comprehensive coverage
  • Comprehensive insurance is optional but you may want it depending on your circumstances

You’re watching an approaching thunderstorm from your porch one warm summer evening when, suddenly, lightning hits your car that’s parked just down the street. Your first thought is to make sure everyone’s all right, but your second thought is does auto insurance cover a lightning strike?

The good news is your car insurance covers a lightning strike if you have the right coverage. Understanding auto insurance and the different types of coverage can help answer questions like these. We can help.

Looking for the best rates for comprehensive insurance for lightning or other weather damage? Enter your ZIP code above to get quotes right away.

What type of auto insurance covers a lightning strike?

Does car insurance cover a lightning strike? Yes, if you have the right coverage. Comprehensive auto insurance will cover you for damages caused by a lightning strike. Comprehensive coverage is optional, although your lender may require you to carry it if your car is financed.

What is comprehensive coverage?

Generally speaking, comprehensive coverage will pay for expenses resulting from damages to your vehicle not caused by a collision with another vehicle.

This includes damage to your vehicle from theft, vandalism, animals, and weather events such as hail or a lightning strike. Comprehensive coverage covers lightning damage. Other severe weather damage covered by auto insurance includes damage caused by flash floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.

Take a look at this video from Allstate to learn more.

Most U.S. states require a minimum level of auto insurance coverage types, but comprehensive insurance is optional. However, you will want to purchase comprehensive coverage if you own a more expensive vehicle, live in a high-risk weather or crime area, or if you just want to be sure you are covered for events outside of your control.

Although it’s said that lightning never strikes twice, you’ll still be glad that you have auto insurance that covers lightning strikes if it happens to you. Think of it as lightning insurance, or hail insurance, or simply the peace of mind that you’re covered for these events that are completely out of your control.

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How much does comprehensive coverage cost?

The average annual cost for comprehensive insurance in the U.S. is $160, or $13 a month. The table below will give you an idea of the average annual cost of comprehensive coverage in your state.

Average Annual U.S. Comprehensive Auto Insurance Rates by State
StatesAverage Annual
Comprehensive Insurance Rates
New Hampshire$103.03
New Jersey$123.18
Rhode Island$122.17
North Carolina$123.00
New York$156.66
New Mexico$166.89
South Carolina$165.38
West Virginia$195.04
North Dakota$227.64
District of Columbia$230.25
South Dakota$228.59
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This amount will vary depending on a variety of factors including where you live, what deductible and coverage limit you select, and what type of vehicle you want to be covered.

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Filing a Lightning Damage Claim

When filing a lightning damage claim, you’ll need the same kind of information as if you were in an accident, and likely then some.

If your vehicle’s electrical system is shot, and the vehicle is essentially totaled, your insurance company might try to find blame for that failure elsewhere, which is why knowing how to prove lightning damage could come in handy.

Present-day car electronics can be very sensitive, so even a lightning strike near your car could cause it not to start. Exercise caution if you think your car battery is dead after lightning because it could be something more serious.

Find as much documentation as you can about the storm that damaged your vehicle, just in case you need to refer to it during the claims process.

It might even be helpful to get an auto technician’s certification that the issue is consistent with lightning strike damage to your vehicle.

Of course, as with any insurance claim, you’ll want to weigh the estimated costs of repair against your policy’s deductible. You’ll have to pay a deductible, but if the cost of the repair is much higher than that, it’s worth it to file a lightning damage claim.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Does auto insurance cover a lightning strike?

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about lightning and auto insurance.

#1 – If I only have liability and collision, is lightning damage covered?

No. Liability and collision insurance only cover damages and injuries resulting from a collision with another vehicle.

#2 – Does full coverage auto insurance cover lightning damage?

Full coverage usually refers to a policy that includes collision and comprehensive in addition to liability. Since comprehensive insurance is included, your full coverage policy will cover a lightning strike.

#3 – Will filing a lightning damage claim make my rate go up?

It depends. If you don’t have a history of filing claims, it’s likely your rates will stay about the same, all else being equal. But if you have a long history of filing claims, your insurance company might decide it’s time to start raising your rates.

#4 – What happens if lightning strikes your car?

If you’re in your vehicle at the time it’s struck by lightning, don’t touch anything with metal and don’t use your phone. If you’re not in your vehicle, stay away from it.

In both scenarios, wait in a safe place until the storm has passed.

Call for help if there is damage to surrounding power lines or trees. Lightning can damage or destroy a vehicle’s electronics system, so be sure to get yours checked out as soon as you can.

#5 – What do you do when driving in lightning?

Lightning often accompanies thunderstorms, so be aware of road safety rules during rainstorms such as driving an appropriate speed for the road conditions, using your headlights and hazard lights appropriately, maintaining a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and not driving through water that could turn out to be much deeper than it appears.

Pull off the road and wait the storm out, if you can do so safely. Bright lightning flashes can interfere with your vision, so it’s best not to be driving at all during an electrical storm.

#6 – Are acts of God covered on my auto insurance? What are considered acts of God?

From a legal perspective, acts of God provisions, also called “Force Majeure” clauses, relate to events outside human control, like flash floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters.

Comprehensive auto insurance policies probably won’t call these events either of these things, but damages to your vehicle directly resulting from these events are covered. It’s always good to double-check with your insurance company, especially if you live in an area prone to any of these types of events.

#7 – Does homeowners’ insurance cover lightning strikes?

Yes, most homeowners’ insurance policies include coverage for damages to your home or personal belongings caused by lightning. For instance, some TVs can be fixed after a lightning strike or power surge, others may need to be replaced altogether. If your vehicle is damaged, more than likely that will fall to your auto insurance, since house insurance doesn’t cover lightning strikes to your vehicle.

#8 – Does State Farm renters insurance cover lightning strikes?

Most renters insurance policies include coverage for damages to your personal belongings resulting from covered perils such as fire and lightning. As always, be sure to review your policy closely so that it’s clear what’s covered under what circumstances.

Enter your ZIP code below to get quotes for the low-cost auto insurance you need to protect you from lightning strikes and other weather damage.

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