In Identifying the Source of a Power Surge, industrial machinery expert witness Mamoon Alyah, P.E., answers the question “Is it possible to differentiate between lightning related surges and artificially generated electrical surges?”
..If equipment damages consist of failed modems, network cards, TV tuners or other non-power related components, then the damage is likely the result of lightning-related surge that would have been induced on the communication lines. Other forms of power surge could then be eliminated based on available information and other observations. On the other hand, if the damage is limited to power supplies or other power related components, then damage could be the result of either lightning or other forms of power surge.
The events that led up to the claimed equipment damage also provide significant information that can be used to identify the source of a power surge. A lightning related surge has to accompany a thunderstorm, and lightning would be in the area on the date and time of the loss. On the other hand, an artificially generated power surge is typically caused by an event that could either be inside or outside the insured’s premises. Identifying the event that led to the loss is necessary to determine the exact cause and source of the power surge.