Table of Contents Hide
- What is an Act of God?
- What isn’t an Act of God?
- Acts of God Insurance Coverage Examples
- Are all Acts of God Covered by Insurance?
- Insurance Acts of God: Helpful Hints
- Act of God Insurance FAQ’s
- Is a tree falling on your house an act of God?
- Is a tree falling on a house covered by insurance?
- What does it mean to declare force majeure?
It’s critical to review your insurance policy documentation if you want to know exactly what you’re covered for. However, there may be some terms in the document that you are unfamiliar with, such as ‘act of God.’ What constitutes a natural disaster, and does your homeowners’ insurance cover it? Continue reading to find out.
What is an Act of God?
The term “act of God” has been used for hundreds of years, but it was first used in a legal context in the nineteenth century. According to the Times of London in 1803, insurance companies are “insurers against every loss of property committed to their care, except losses coming from Acts of God”. In this example, the Times claims that insurance is not provided when harm is caused by an act of God. However, Times have changed, and this is no longer valid in the twenty-first century. So, what exactly does an act of God cover?
This type of act is generally defined as a natural event or incident that is beyond human control, for which no one is responsible, and which could not have been foreseen or predicted. It encompasses a wide range of natural events and may include:
What isn’t an Act of God?
Anything that was caused by a person or that could have been reasonably expected, protected against, and/or prevented. An unintentional fire in your home, for example, is not regarded as an Act of God since it might have been averted, maybe by greater craftsmanship when the house was built or through better fire safety.
Some of the misunderstandings regarding Act of God clauses may arise from a related legal notion known as force majeure. These clauses are commonly seen in commercial contracts as a form of protection against unforeseen events.
For example, if a corporation tried its hardest to deliver products or services but was unable to do so due to circumstances beyond its control, such as a virus outbreak or a volcano erupting, it may declare force majeure and (hopefully) avoid being sued for breach of contract.
Acts of God Insurance Coverage Examples
If heavy winds or lightning destroy your home, your homeowners’ insurance policy will most certainly include the act of God clauses that will protect you. Acts of God insurance can also assist in the payment of damages caused by:
Is it possible to Buy Act of God Insurance?
Because the Act of God is a myth, you will not be able to purchase Act of God insurance from any insurer. However, the types of natural disasters and weather-related occurrences for which you can make a claim will be specified in your policy paperwork.
How does a natural disaster affect my home insurance?
Because an Act of God does not exist in the insurance world, the question to ask is, “How will a natural disaster affect my home insurance policy?”
A normal home insurance policy should cover you for natural catastrophes such as fire, flood, or storm, whether they fall under the buildings or content sections of your policy.
In addition, if your home is in a high-risk flood zone, the government-backed Flood Re program is designed to provide further flood protection.
Are all Acts of God Covered by Insurance?
However, every home insurance policy contains exclusions, which may mean you are not covered for certain unanticipated events. As always, make sure to carefully read the fine print. Our home insurance channel allows you to compare home insurance premiums as well as what natural acts of God’s calamities are covered.
How can I keep my home safe from Natural Disasters?
Although your insurance policy might cover some natural disasters, it’s still a good idea to secure your home as much as you can to avoid having to make a claim. Flooding threatens over five million dwellings in England. If your home is in a high-risk flood zone, you may find it difficult to obtain cover; however, the government-backed Flood Re scheme is meant to assist you in obtaining affordable home insurance.
Insurance Acts of God: Helpful Hints
#1. Don’t make any assumptions.
If you are confused about what your insurance covers, contact your insurer before purchasing a policy. The terminology used will very certainly differ from one insurance policy to the next. Some may have a particular Act of God provision, while others may just mention hazards and perils.
#2. Determine whether you require any add-ons or distinct policies.
Your ordinary home insurance policy may cover you for some Acts of God. Check both your buildings and contents insurance to see what coverage is included as usual. The accidental coverage section of your insurance policy might shield you from harm from purely natural causes, such as flooding. However, this is not always the case. You may need to pay more to improve your policy or obtain a separate policy for certain scenarios, such as flooding.
If you purchase travel insurance, be sure you understand the dangers associated with your destination. The majority of basic policies do not automatically cover disruptions brought on by natural disasters. So you’ll need to cover this as an add-on or purchase a separate policy. Since the interruption caused by the Icelandic volcano’s eruption in 2010, many policies now let you pick whether or not you wish to be protected from ash disruption.
#3. Check for any exceptions.
Acts of God are sometimes included in this list. Your policy will have a section that tells you about specific instances for which it does not provide coverage.
You may feel you are completely covered by weather damage, but it is common for home insurance policies to exclude damage to fences, gates, and sheds.
Find out what conditions your professional indemnity insurance is likely to cover you for if you own a business. It’s critical to understand what you might be entitled to if your business was harmed by an Act of God. For example, if providing your goods or services is deemed ‘commercially unfeasible,’ which means it is too complex or costly to fulfil your duties, you may be able to file a successful claim for cover.
#4. Be truthful
When you purchase your policy, make sure you accurately describe your level of risk and, if you don’t already know, find out what it is. You can check the UK government website for information about the long-term danger of flooding in your area. If you do have to make a claim, resist the urge to inflate or omit any details.
#5. Be well-prepared
Even if your insurance policy covers a specific Act of God, you may still face a dispute with your insurer if they consider you did not take reasonable precautions to avoid harm. For example, if your roof is in poor condition, it may be more susceptible to damage during heavy snowfall. You can do a lot of things to keep your property in good condition, including:
- Examine your drains
- Checking the condition of your roof tiles and repairing those that are broken
- Repairing broken fences and wall fissures
- If you live in a flood-prone location, consider raising your electrical plugs.
- Planting huge trees in areas where they could fall and cause damage is discouraged.
- Cutting down any trees that are at risk of falling due to decay, for example.
#6. Provide proof to support your claim.
If you must file a claim, be prepared to provide evidence that you took reasonable precautions to avoid damage. For example, if your property floods, be prepared to show the flood prevention measures you put in place, such as elevating the level of your door. Ascertain that you are also aware of the safeguards put in place to protect your local neighbourhood.
The same is true for travel insurance; if your journey is disrupted due to an Act of God, retain any documentation of expenses you plan to claim, such as hotel stay receipts. Also, strive to keep such expenses to a minimum because the insurance company’s payout will most likely be limited.
Is a hurricane an act of God?
Hurricanes are typically seen as an act of God if they create strong winds that were not previously predicted. It is normal for a storm to produce normal winds and cause normal amounts of damage. However, if a storm causes high winds and unexpected devastation, it may be considered an act of God. Fortunately, hurricanes cannot form in the UK due to their latitude, although we may occasionally witness the tail end of one that has come from elsewhere.
Is flooding a supernatural occurrence?
Flooding is often considered an act of God when caused by inclement weather, so your home insurance policy should cover any damage caused by floodwater. It may not be provided as standard in some circumstances, so check your policy for specifics.
Is a tree falling an act of God?
Depending on why the tree fell, a fallen tree may be considered an act of God. High winds or lightning, for example, that cause a tree to topple over or tumble down would be deemed an act of God. However, if a person chopped off some of the tree’s roots, it would not fall.
Is a pandemic an act of God?
There has been great debate about whether a pandemic is an act of God, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the disease is not something that people can control or predict, it may be classified as an ‘act of God.’ However, the manner in which it harmed a person or business may qualify it as a ‘force majeure,’ a term that has previously been discussed. As a result, each event may determine which one it is.
You should examine your policy document or contact your provider to see which acts of God you are personally covered against. Storms and floods are the most common natural events covered in the UK. To reduce the damage caused by this type of weather, move any outside furniture to a covered location, put your car in a garage, and drain your gutters to avoid leaks that can cause moisture.
Act of God Insurance FAQ’s
Is a tree falling on your house an act of God?
If you have a tree or a limb of a tree on your property that could fall, you are responsible for maintaining or removing it to prevent damage. If an otherwise healthy tree falls as a result of an unforeseen incident, such as heavy winds, that is an Act of God.
Is a tree falling on a house covered by insurance?
Yes. Homeowners’ insurance may cover damage to your home and other buildings on your property caused by falling trees, branches, and limbs.
What does it mean to declare force majeure?
A force majeure clause assigns the risk of loss if performance is hampered, delayed, or stopped due to an unforeseen or uncontrollable occurrence. It offers a contractual defence, the extent, and impact of which are determined by the precise provisions of the contract in question.