Lightning has always been a danger, but lately its danger has been finding an abundance of fresh targets within our abodes: consumer and professional electronic devices. We as consumers and increasingly as professionals working at home are stuffing our living rooms, dens, kitchens, bedrooms, basements, and home offices with computers, routers, servers, smartphones, laptops, plasma TVs, and other gadgets. Lightning strikes these days can be significantly more expensive than in the past.
Our insurance companies are seeing the increased risk in the nature of their homeowners claims. Steven Norton, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, shares some interesting statistics on this topic (Thanks to Gadget Lust, Lightning Claims Surge 7/2/127/8/12, pp. 2930):
The average cost per claim rose 93 percent from 2004 to 2011, to $5,112, even as the number of paid claims fell by more than 33 percent, according to Insurance Information Institute data. (p. 29)
Indeed, whether at work or at home, we are doing more with electronics and technology than we ever have in the past. Somehow, I dont see that going away either. Oh well, I suppose these are good problems to have.
In the meantime, perhaps we should all consider updating our surge protection and lightning-avoidance strategies. I like certain foods fried, but not my electronics!
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