Storm Baden-Württemberg: What insurance pays in an emergency?

A lightning strike can cause serious damage. But how can I avoid this and what insurance applies if lightning damage occurs? (icon image)

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Severe storms will hit Baden-Württemberg this summer. But who pays if the worst happens and your own home is damaged?

There are powerful forces at work during a storm, because the lightning bolts that streak across the sky like a beautiful play of light during a thunderstorm are charged with immense electrical charges. It is precisely these that can be discharged in a matter of seconds in the event of a lightning strike and a roof on fire, as in Wüstenrot-Neuhütten. But how can you avoid such a scenario and what insurance applies if lightning damage occurs?

In recent weeks there have been repeated storms in the Heilbronn region, and in some cases they have caused great devastation, because the weather was and still is unpredictable. Many wonder how they can prevent damage to their own home from lightning strikes. The first protection measure many people think of is a lightning rod. It protects against direct hits during thunderstorms, but many people don’t realize that lightning strikes in the area can also cause significant damage.

Severe weather in the region: protect electrical devices in the event of a lightning strike: this is how it works…

The surge can then damage electrical devices. Even if lightning strikes two kilometers away, it can still happen, he explains. ELECTRICAL+ Initiative. Then, instead of the usual 230 volts, there are several tens of thousands of volts on the power lines for a short time. “A lightning rod alone does not provide enough protection,” explains the initiative’s spokesman, Oliver Born. A multi-stage protection concept is important, “consisting of external and internal lightning protection”.

To protect electrical devices such as televisions, consoles, computers or coffee machines, you need internal lightning protection consisting of lightning rods and surge arresters. Protection is often already provided by the building utilities, by surge protection in the fuse box, but if you want to be sure and don’t know if the apartment is sufficiently protected, you can also use so-called “surge protectors” . sockets” for especially important devices.

Lightning strikes: Do I protect my electronic devices by unplugging them?

It also usually helps to unplug all outlets when a thunderstorm is approaching. In that case, recommend VDE Electrical Engineering Association however, to constantly remove ALL plugs, including antennas and phone lines. Because they also conduct the voltages in the devices. But this is not a permanent protection method, because “there will certainly be storms at night or when residents are away,” reports the VDE on your website.

Storm Damage: Flooding also caused problems in the Heilbronn district in June.

But what if you live in a rented apartment and you have no control over how to protect your home from lightning? Even then, there’s no need to fear lightning damage to the apartment itself, because damage to the home is usually covered by homeowners insurance. This means that external damage to the house is the business of the owner, even in the case of rented apartments.

Lightning: What insurance applies if a storm causes damage?

In case of damage to personal property in the apartment or house, ie televisions, kettles, etc., household goods insurance is used. the consumer portal insurers He explains, however, that he must be very precise, because “surge damage is not automatically covered by home or residential building insurance.”

If, despite all protective measures, lightning struck a house and caused a fire, smoke detectors become an important tool. They sound the alarm and, when in doubt, wake up sleeping residents who are finally able to escape the burning house.

Lightning: how to behave during a thunderstorm in the house?

In general, you should never shower or bathe during a thunderstorm. that’s what you recommend VDE how to behave when there is thunder and lightning in the vicinity. You should also close windows, shutters and shutters and stay away from unprotected openings. Cell phones and cordless phones, on the other hand, are not a problem and can be used safely as long as they are not on the charger.

Incidentally, thunderstorms may continue to occur around Heilbronn for the next few weeks, because according to the Blitz Information Service in Karlsruhe, the main thunderstorm season runs from June to August. In 2019 alone, 329,000 lightning strikes were measured across Germany. Of these, however, only 44 fell on the city of Heilbronn. The Heilbronn district and the Hohenlohe district each recorded around 700 lightning strikes.

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