An “act of god” is a term used by a car insurance company to describe damaging events beyond our control. These events are sometimes called “acts of nature” because nature is usually to blame.
Whenever a hurricane blows hard or an earthquake hits, causing devastation, it’s considered an act of god. Floods, tornadoes, tsunamis, storms, fires, snowstorms and hail, among other natural events, all fall into this category.
Keep reading to learn about act of god car insurance claims.
- An act of god is a natural occurrence beyond human control or influence.
- According to 2022 data, the national average for comprehensive coverage is $260 annually.
- Look for a list of uncovered perils under your comprehensive coverage to ensure you understand your policy.
What is an act of god in car insurance?
The definition of an “act of god” varies from state to state and from one insurance company to another. A good general definition is that an act of god is a natural occurrence beyond human control or influence. Such acts of nature include hurricanes, earthquakes and floods.
For example, a snowstorm is an act of god, but driving in a snowstorm is an act of a person. Most insurance companies define an act of god as a natural occurrence beyond human control or influence.
An act of god or an act of nature refers to a natural event not preventable by any human agency, such as a flood, storm or lightning. A person has no control over these forces of nature, and therefore cannot be held accountable for them.
Comprehensive coverage protects against acts of god insurance claims
If you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, you’re probably insured against weather events and natural disasters. If you don’t, you’re out of luck – liability and collision coverage do not help with an act of god claim.
Fortunately, comprehensive coverage is relatively cheap – the national average for comprehensive coverage is $260, according to 2022 CarInsurance.com data.
Furthermore, comprehensive coverage rates aren’t dependent on your driving record and are unlikely to rise because of a single claim. By its very nature, an act of god is unpreventable, no one is negligent, and fault cannot be assessed.
Unfortunately, that lack of liability can make an act of god claim a shield for those who damage your vehicle but don’t want to pay, calling the crash unavoidable: Someone who collides with you during a blizzard may call the event an act of nature, for example. Or another driver may pass out at the wheel, damaging your vehicle.
Car insurance for the unpredictable
While a specific disaster may be unpredictable, catastrophes strike regularly enough that going without comprehensive coverage on a newer car is unwise. Unfortunately, many consumers aren’t sure if their car insurance policy covers acts of god.
Look for a list of uncovered perils under your comprehensive coverage. Lightning strikes and flash floods are the most common perils excluded from coverage.
This is especially important if you live in a region prone to hurricanes, an earthquake-plagued state like California or any of the areas that suffer tornadoes or flooding. Insurers charge higher rates for comprehensive coverage in states with more natural disasters to reflect the increased risk they’ve taken on by issuing a policy.
Final thoughts: Acts of god in car insurance
To determine your insurer’s definition of an act of god, speak with your agent. And to see if your state has a definition for this phrase, contact your insurance regulator.
Resources & Methodology
CarInsurance.com commissioned Quadrant Information Systems to field comprehensive insurance rates for 100/300/100 full coverage with a $500 deductible. The rates are based on the profile of a 40-year-old male driving a Honda Accord LX with a clean driving record and good credit score. We have compared 50,00,736 insurance quotes of 27 company groups across 1,467 company groups in the U.S.