FSU Lightning Study

An FSU researcher has found lightning does strike twice; first it hits your property and then your pocketbook. Out of all weather related losses in the south it’s that big flash across the sky that actually causes most property damage.

Instead of more bang for your buck, it’s more like more buck for your bang. FSU geography professor Tony Stallins just finished a study using insurance claims data to tabulate losses due to lightning, while many of us think of hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding as our biggest enemy.

Stallins’ five-year study found lightning made up 53 percent of more than 37,000 weather related claims for property damage. The price tag, almost $23 million, the usual victims, computers, microwaves and televisions.

As far as what we can do to make a difference, there's not much. However, Stallins says if you love it, unplug it. Stallins just received a grant to study lightning patterns around urban areas. This type of research will help insurance companies adjust rates, as well as help fire departments allocate their resources.