Thanks to Gadget Lust, Lightning Damage Claims Surge

As homes fill with iPads and plasma TVs, lightning strikes cost more
Photo illustration by 731; Static photo by Jeffrey Coolidge/Iconica/Getty Images; Television photograph by Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

A month after moving into his condo in Norton, Mass., in 2011, a lightning bolt struck Jim Crook’s attic and ran straight down the side of the house, frying a brand new 50-inch Panasonic Viera television and his XBox 360. His insurance company matched the $1,300 he lost. “The first couple months after I was pretty jittery and was unplugging the TV anytime thunderclouds would come around,” says Crook. Still, he didn’t install new safeguards other than the common surge protector. “I was so happy with the way I was covered the first time that I didn’t feel the need to upgrade,” he says.

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