Missouri ranked 10th in the nation for lightning claim insurance

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COLUMBIA - Missouri is on the top ten list of lightning storm insurance claims, according to State Farm Insurance.

In 2014, Missouri had 761 lightning claims, for a cost of $3.5 million. State Farm Insurance spokesman Jim Camoriano said each lightning claim incident costs about $4,500.

"We have a saying 'if it roars, go indoors'," Camoriano said. "Lightning can strike out of the blue, and we see most lightning storms cause fires and damage the house even more." 

According to the report, there was a total of $149 million spent on lightning insurance claims nationwide, with Georgia and Alabama at the top of the list.

KOMU 8 meteorologist Tori Stepanek said most people can forget how destructive a lightning storm can be.

"We have warnings for tornadoes and flooding, but not really for lightning storms," Stepanek said. "So, I think people just tend to forget about the dangers of lightning."

Camoriano said people should avoid the outdoors once lightning starts, especially in the summertime when outdoor activities for children are at their highest. Camoriano said there will be a nationwide event called Lightning Safety Awareness Week in which the insurance company will give presentations and demonstrations on how to lessen chances of lightning damages to homes or property.