Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Comprehensive coverage provides protection against lightning damage
  • Damage from lightning varies from minor to extensive
  • If you are caught in a storm where lightning is sighted, you should pull off to the side of the road

Lightning striking your car can be terrifying, especially if you are inside. It’s important to know what you should do when lightning is in the area and what happens if it strikes your car. While the differences may seem minor, getting to a safe shelter and making the right moves could save your life. An electrical current can be attracted to different things. Unfortunately, it seems in many cases, lightning does strike twice. So if you can avoid it the first time, you could also be saving yourself a lot of hassle down the road.

What about your car? It’s important to know that if you get struck by lightning in your car, it’s essential to call emergency professionals. Let them handle the situation before you try to get out of your car, roll down the windows, etc. except in the case of imminent danger like a fire. But what about your car?

Car insurance will most likely cover the damages as long as you have sufficient coverage on your policy.

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What causes a lightning bolt to hit your car?

Whether you are driving down the road when lightning strikes or your car is parked somewhere, lightning has the potential to cause damage. The metal frame of your car could act like a lightning rod. Unfortunately, there are many factors we don’t understand that could make your car more vulnerable than others.

As for how much damage it causes, it depends on whether the lightning was a direct strike or if it bounced off of another object. It will also depend on where on the car the strike hits.

Some states across the U.S. are more prone to lightning strikes than others. Most of the top cities that are lightning-prone are found in the South. If you live in or are visiting one of the southern states, it’s important to know what lightning can do to your car.

Some of the damage include:

In addition to damages to the car, passengers might sustain injuries. Many of the injuries are because of touching doors and electronic components when lightning strikes.

It’s important to know that you can file a claim with your auto insurance company if you sustain damage and/or injuries. It will help to cover the costs and get the needed repairs taken care of.

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How does auto insurance provide coverage in lighting strikes?

Whether the damage is minor or your entire car is totaled because of extensive damage to the electrical wiring, you want to file a claim with the insurance company. Otherwise, the cost of the repairs would be yours alone.

Your safety comes first. Cars are not the only metal objects that can put you in danger. A safe shelter can go a long way, but if you do a little research ahead of time, you can find other tips on protection from lightning.

State-required insurance that you have on your policy provides coverage for the other driver if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle. If you want coverage for your car, you would need to have collision insurance. Things like better car replacement to boost your payout are perks you would need to pay extra for.

A lightning strike is a different type of accident. Collision coverage has a very narrow scope. Anything else that happens to your car would be covered under comprehensive coverage. The good news is this is generally more affordable than your collision premiums. The more important news is comprehensive coverage could save you thousands after a lightning bolt strikes your car or you run into other damaging events.

Comprehensive coverage would provide protection against acts of God, which includes a lightning strike.

How much will comprehensive auto coverage cost?

You can get quotes on comprehensive coverage to learn how the cost would increase your monthly premiums. You can also determine how much coverage you should have on a policy. Generally, the comprehensive portion of your policy is much cheaper than the collision portion, but that often depends on many factors. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, your comprehensive rates could be much higher.

With quotes from multiple companies, you can also see how adjusting the coverage will impact the overall cost of insurance. No matter what hazards you’re concerned about, the cost of insurance should be balanced against potential gains. If you have an older car that wouldn’t get much of a return, you can also invest in policies that only cover liability and injuries.

If you get injured because of the lightning strike, insurance might also cover medical bills and other related expenses. For this coverage, you will need personal injury protection (PIP). Generally, coverage limits start at $10,000, but you can increase them to cover ambulance rides, long-term rehab and care, and more.

If you are in a no-fault state, you will be required to have PIP on your policy. Otherwise, it is something that you can choose to add to your policy. The cost is often minimal, though online quotes will tell you what the true cost will be.

What should you do when you’re driving and Lightning Is sighted?

If you’re driving and you spot lighting, it’s important to know how to react. According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, there are several steps that you should take once lightning is spotted when you’re driving.

  1. Pull off to the side of the road.
  2. Shut the car off.
  3. Close all doors and windows.
  4. Sit with your hands in your lap.
  5. Wait out the storm.

These steps will prevent you from getting into an accident if lightning does hit your car. It will also ensure that you and any passengers you have in the car are not injured as a result of the lightning strike. It’s the safest way to respond if there is lightning anywhere near you.

Lighting strikes have the potential to be severe. If you have comprehensive coverage, you will have the financial protection in place.

You can file a claim with the auto insurance company and minimize the out-of-pocket expenses you have to endure. If you see lightning in the area, pull over, and wait out the storm. It will reduce the level of damage and keep you safer.

Make sure you have the car insurance coverage in place that you need. Find it for the best rate by entering your zip code into our free rate comparison tool below.