Definition of "Act of god"

Amy Kerlin real estate agent
Amy Kerlin, Real Estate Agent Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty

Act of God is typically how an insurance policy classifies peril situations that could not be prevented or defended by men. Normally, those “acts of god” are related to occurrences born out of natural disasters, like severe droughts (that can produce wildfires or make the soil frail and damage the house’s foundation), lightning or windstorms so strong it can make a tree fall and smash the house, flooding and much more.

Some policies do insurance houses against Acts of God, but it is very important to read your contract thoroughly so it is clear what they consider an “ Act of God”. See: an insurance company plays the “blame game”. When there’s an occurrence, the first thing they do is investigate what was the cause of it. If it was covered, they’ll pay for it, and even when that happens, they’ll see if there’s someone who should split the costs with them. For instance: your house may be covered against fire. But notany fire. If you burned the house by making a fire pit in the living room; that’s on you. If your house caught on fire because your neighbor was the one who did a fire pit in his living room, then they will probably pay for your damages, but try to get the money out of him, who was the one guilty for the occurrence. Now, if it was a natural wildfire, and your insurance policy covers you against an Act of God, then - since they can’t sue God - they will probably deal with the costs on their own.

Here’s a list of natural disasters that commonly cause damages labeled as Acts of God:

- Hurricanes 
- Windstorms 
- Tornadoes
- Lightning 
- Flooding 
- Tsunamis 
- Monsoons 
- Pestilence 
- Drought 
- Earthquakes 
- Volcano eruption

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