Between 2004 and 2011, the total number of insurance claims paid out for lightning strikes dropped by one-third—so why, during the same time period, did the cost of those claims almost double? Simple: new gadgets that are susceptible to power surges. As TVs get more high-tech and computers or videogame consoles become more common, lightning strike claims are getting more expensive, according to a new study released by the Insurance Information Institute.
The industry trade group reports that lightning strikes caused almost $1 billion in insured losses in 2011, Reuters reports. Between 2004 and 2011, the average cost per claim jumped to $5,112—a 93% increase. It doesn't help that costs to replace surge-prone gadgets are also increasing, due to supply chain problems caused by the Japan earthquake and Thailand floods. The silver lining? Thanks to lightning protection equipment becoming more common in homes, the overall number of lightning strike claims has declined. (Read more lightning stories.)