Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

Full Bio →

Written by

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, largely in the insurance...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about car insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything car insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by car insurance experts.

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.

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

Compare car insurance quotes by using our free rate tool above. It’s free and fast!

Damage Caused by Lightning

Whether you are driving down the road when lightning strikes or your car is parked somewhere, lightning has the potential to cause damage.

As for how much damage, 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:

  • blown tires
  • damage to electrical system
  • interior and exterior burns

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.

FREE Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How Insurance Will Provide Coverage

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.

State-required insurance that you have on your policy provides coverage if you are involved in an accident with another vehicle. A lightning strike is a different type of accident.

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

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.

With quotes from multiple companies, you can also see how adjusting the coverage will impact the overall cost of insurance.

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).

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 You Should 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.