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Ri$k Happens: Thunder wonder

By Angela Cady, AIC – Loss Analyst, ARA Insurance

April 14, 2024

The sound of thunder resounded, shaking the whole building. It seemed as if lightning must have struck just feet away. The rental store owner looked out the window to see if there were any toppled trees. Instead, he saw smoke coming from his company truck parked out front.

When the storm passed and it was safe to do so, he inspected the vehicle more closely. The airbags had deployed, nothing seemed to be working on the vehicle, and there were cracks visible in the pavement underneath the tires. The rental store owner reported a claim to his insurance company. The adjuster will investigate and handle the claim according to the policy language.

The power of lightning can be awe-inspiring. Contrary to myth, a vehicle’s tires do not prevent it from being struck by lightning. Vehicles, like any other outdoor object, can be struck. While a vehicle may offer some protection to a person inside, it is not immune to sustaining damage itself.

If you find yourself driving in the midst of a severe electrical storm while in your car, pull over if you can safely do so. If you cannot be inside a building, remain in your car. Vehicles with a hard metal shell will offer the best protection. Avoid touching any metal or electronics while weathering the storm inside the vehicle. Never go out into an electrical storm to try to secure property. Your safety is valuable.

For safety information surrounding lightning and vehicles, click here.

This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Overland Park, Kan., contains safety tips and is intended to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.