Acts of God in Insurance

It amazes me how many times people have spoken of Act of God being both an insured or excluded peril under an insurance policy.

There was even a famous Billy Connolly with this as its theme. My nephew, Jeffery, one of the guys sending me a joke questioned me on it and I thought it was worth setting the record straight.

Despite having read thousands of policies of insurance and being involved in the drafting of 100’s more, I have never seen the words ‘Act of God’ appear in a policy as an insured, or excluded peril.

What it means in layman’s term is:

a completely unforeseeable event where there has been no human intervention

Things such as fire, lightening, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, cyclone, flood, landslip, and the like.

Under policies such as a comprehensive motor vehicle policy, all these perils are in fact, insured. Most property policies, such as your home and contents, business pack or ISR, the vast majority would be insured, although landslip, action by the sea, storm surge and flood may be excluded.

If you are in any doubt as to the cover afforded by the policy which you have in place, I recommend that you speak to your insurance broker.

4 responses to “Acts of God in Insurance”

  1. Nathan says:

    Agree with you Allan, however, in Asia it is very common for a deductible to be stated in the schedule for “Act of God.” You are right in saying that Act of God is never defined in the policy.

  2. Craig Beckett says:

    Hi Alan, couldn’t agree more.

    Several times over the years I have seen the phrase “act of god” in letters from insurers denying liability to a Third Party whose property was damaged when trees in an insured persons backyard blew over in storms and damaged the neighbouring property.

    A quick search on the net a few moments and I found the link below in regards to a news report from 7 Jun 2016, which claims “Chris Boundy from the Legal Services Commission told 891 ABC Adelaide fallen branches due to storms often come under an act of God insurance clauses”.

    Is it any wonder this is misrepresented!!

  3. Tata Sunanta Gunawan says:

    Alan, how about fire? Do you think it is classified as Act of God? In my mind, some fire cases were caused by occupational hazards such as smoking material or electrical loose connection

  4. Allan says:

    Only if the fire was caused by say lightning and with no human intervention would it be regarded as an “Act of God”.

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