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Author Topic: home owner insurance, lightening and amateur radio equipment  (Read 3630 times)
K4EHB
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Posts: 4




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« on: March 20, 2012, 12:04:19 PM »

Electrical surge from lightening storm wiped out some of my radios (and a dryer and garage door openers and ...)

What can I expect from my home owner's insurance?

How do I document failed equipment -- they asked us to have an electrician come and check things, but all communication is between my wife and the insurance company, so I don't know exactly why certain things are being done.

If they give me a check to replace a broken radio, what do I with the broken radio?

Anyone have experience in this matter?

Seems like a lot of stuff got destroyed.

Thanks
Robert, K4EHB
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KD0REQ
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Posts: 1055




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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 01:19:58 PM »

if you lost all that stuff, you could have panel/ground/wiring damage.  you need a qualified licensed electrician to check that.  he can probably do a sniff test on everything else to verify damage Wink

it's the insurance company's discretion as to whether they need to have the duds sent to them or not.  if the claim runs large, they might well want it.

here's the fun part... you will have a deductible, which may or may not cover the lightining damage, may or may not cover the full cost of the lost equipment, and the ham stuff might not be considered "household goods" by some companies and might run up against another limit, which for goods of unusual value might be in the $1000-5000 range.

you are going to have to get that information from your agent in the end.
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W8JX
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Posts: 6692




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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 04:58:12 PM »

I have had a few lightening strikes that damaged TV's, microwaves,  computers, routers and network printers too but never had a rig damaged. The insurance company did not want damaged stuff either.  On a expensive radio you will likely need a quote or estimate as to if it is repairable or needs to be replaced.  
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 04:59:49 PM by W8JX » Logged

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K0RS
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Posts: 790




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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 06:03:46 PM »

Electrical surge from lightening storm wiped out some of my radios (and a dryer and garage door openers and ...)

What can I expect from my home owner's insurance?

Depends on your insurance company.  When it happened to me, they (American Family) took my word on everything I claimed.  I didn't lie to them and they didn't question me.

Quote
How do I document failed equipment -- they asked us to have an electrician come and check things, but all communication is between my wife and the insurance company, so I don't know exactly why certain things are being done.

Why not?  Certainly you have an agent or adjuster to explain their procedures to you?  If your wife can't relay your questions to the insurance company, you need to establish a rapport with someone there directly.  Fishing for answers on an eHam forum is hit or miss at best.

Quote
If they give me a check to replace a broken radio, what do I with the broken radio?

If they pay for it, they own it.  Some companies have contracts with salvage businesses for disposal of broken stuff they pay for.  They may offer to sell it back to you for a reduced amount.  Normally you can negotiate the value of damaged items with the company.

Quote
Anyone have experience in this matter?

Seems like a lot of stuff got destroyed.

Yes, lightning (not lightening, that's when you drill holes in things to make them lighter) is like that.  They should leave your claim open for a month or so, so you can add items you find that are damaged but not immediately apparent.  Search for hidden damage.  Check all your phones and audio gear. 

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NA4IT
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Posts: 894


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« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 04:33:50 AM »

The best things a ham can do to protect their equipment is this...

1) Ask your homeowners insurance how much it will cover. Some will not cover any of it, some will charge a high deductible, some will offer an expensive rider for coverage.

2) Call Ham Radio Insurance Associates. No ARRL membership needed. Great coverage (including repair insurance), low deductibles, low price. One policy covers it all, including computers, etc. and mobiles. Towers / antennas are extra. I didn't insure my tower or antennas as they are all homebrew. I did have a lightning claim recently, and the service was lightning fast (pun intended!  Roll Eyes )

See http://www.hamradioinsurance.com/.

de NA4IT
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KG4LMZ
Member

Posts: 102




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« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 05:59:14 AM »

From my experience, I'd suggest getting an HVAC guy out to check your furnaces and air conditioners, too.  I took a strike some years ago, before I had any ham gear.  It got the automatic gas valve and igniter on one furnace and the main A/C control board on the other system.  Since it was summer, the A/C problem was obvious, and quickly fixed.  It never occurred to me (I'm dumb sometimes) to check the heating on the two units, so I didn't know about the heating problem until six months later.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4969




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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 10:44:01 AM »

KG4LMZ

It wouldn't have occurred to me either.

We don't have A/C but a strike in summer could take out the heating.

Soemthing I will remember if it does happen, but fortunately, we just don't get thunderstorms like you guys over there.
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K4EHB
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 12:10:42 PM »

Thanks everyone for the comments and ideas.

After some checking turns out I lost  a power supply, an ft817, and an ldg z11 pro tuner.

Now thinking what to replace with.

thanks again.

73 k4ehb, robert
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WB4TJH
Member

Posts: 193




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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 06:55:27 PM »

"Lightening"?....if you want to make something weigh less. "Lightning" if you mean sparks from the sky.
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W0DV
Member

Posts: 201




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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2012, 08:27:13 PM »

I recently installed a 10 meter vertical on my roof. I was told that everything has to be grounded properly in order for insurance to cover any possible mishaps such as lightning.  I need to call state farm in ND to verify that. Everything (all radio equipment, antennas) has to be bonded to your house ground.

Good luck with your claim

Dave
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