May 23, 2022 | Risk Mitigation

What Is a Lightning Rod?

Do you need to safeguard your structure with a lightning rod? The answer is not a simple yes or no considering there are many variables to consider when determining if a lightning rod is necessary.

What is a Lightning Rod?

A lightning rod is a metal pole that is installed on the roof of a building and is connected to a wire that runs down the side of the building to the ground. A lightning rod helps to channel lightning currents away from the building and reduce the risk of damage. If a lightning strike occurs, the current will travel down the lightning rod and into the ground, rather than through the structure of the building. A rod could protect your building or home from risks associated with lightning damage including electric surges, fires, and even explosions.

Are Lightning Rods Common?

Lightning rods are common for commercial property owners, they’re not so common for residential homeowners but things may soon change. Lightning claims are on the rise so rods could become more common for all property types. Lightning damage caused 2.1 billion dollars in insured losses in 2020 with average claims reaching 12,000 dollars.

How Common is a Lightning Strike?

Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows the top 10 states for lightning claims in 2020.

1. Florida - 6,756 Claims
2. Georgia - 4,686 Claims
3. Texas - 4,675 Claims
4. California - 4,233 Claims
5. North Carolina - 2,898 Claims
6. New York - 2,791 Claims
7. Louisiana - 2,757 Claims
8. Alabama - 2,741 Claims
9. Pennsylvania - 2,378 Claims
10. Illinois - 2,247 Claims

Do I Need to Install a Lightning Rod?

Lightning is a common weather hazard that can strike the same place more than once. While lightning strikes cause more damage to commercial properties, residential homeowners are still at risk. Properties with trees taller than the structure have lower risks of being struck but they are still not risk-free. While a lightning rod is not required, it is recommended for any property that is at risk of being struck by lightning. Lightning rods are often seen as an unnecessary expense as many property owners believe they have a rare chance of being struck by lightning and saving money is simply worth the risk. Remember it only takes a split second for a disaster to happen.

Hopefully, we have helped you to understand the risks associated with lightning strikes to ensure you mitigate any risks for your property.