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Act of God insurance - the ultimate guide

We see reports on the news all the time. Things happen that are completely out of our control. Unforeseen situations and uncontrollable circumstances, which impact our lives. Newsworthy events that change the course of our lives. 

When these things cannot be predicted or planned for, how can you ensure you have adequate insurance coverage to help you rebuild afterwards? An event like this is known as an Act of God.

home appliance insurance insurance
home appliance insurance insurance

What is an Act of God?

Whether it's an earthquake, a flood, a hurricane or something else, these things cannot be predicted and hence cannot be prevented by any reasonable means. These examples of global natural disasters are known as Acts of God to insurance companies and it is difficult to predict because everything is unknown. 

Different parts of the world have different risks with Acts of God. For example, a disastrous earthquake is unlikely here in the UK.

However flash flooding does happen, so if there is unprecedented recording-breaking rainfall, there is a heightened risk of flooding. It's easy to insure against a burst pipe in the home because if the water can be turned off quickly, the damage will be minimal and fairly easily repaired. 

However, when rivers are bursting their banks overnight and town centres start flooding, that water cannot be switched off with the turn of a tap. Acts of God do happen and it's worth knowing if your insurance policy includes disaster insurance.

Will my insurance cover an Act of God?

Different insurance companies have different things included as standard in their policies. You need to look at whether your insurance policy covers events that we consider Acts of God. 

The actual wording is unlikely to appear in your insurance documents, do you need to simply look at what your policy covers. It might be worth ringing an insurance company to check what is included before you take out the policy. 

Or if you have a current policy and are worried about something specific, pull out or print off the paperwork and have a good look through it. You could even contact the insurer to ask if Act of God insurance is included. If you're concerned, get the info about what is included in the disaster insurance part of the policy.

Am I covered by other insurance policies?

There may be some overlap between home appliance insurance and your other insurance policies. Generally, home contents insurance will offer some cover for your appliances, but it might have limitations.

For example, you may be covered for accidental damage and/or theft of an appliance, but not for mechanical breakdown, repairs, or call-out fees – all of which can prove costly.

Look carefully at your home and contents insurance policies to see if you’re already covered. You can find this out by checking the policy document you received when you took out or renewed your insurance. If you’re in any doubt, contact your provider. They should be able to confirm what you are and aren’t covered for.

Additionally, some of your appliances might be covered by a warranty. While not strictly an insurance policy, it has a very similar outcome for consumers.

What is considered/excluded and how does it vary between insurers?

As mentioned, insurers have different things included as standard on their policies. This means that what is covered on your home insurance policy, changes depending on who you are insured with. Insurance is all about risk, the risk of something happening. This is how insurance companies plan their policies and set their prices. They can estimate the risk of a fire or a structure failure pretty easily, but the unknown is exactly that, unknown. 

Whilst some policies will include damage from lightning as standard, they might not cover you for a natural disaster.

How to make sure you are protected with your insurance policy

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the coverage you need. Of course, we cannot foresee everything that is going to happen in this life but we can put things into place to help cover us should the worst happen. 

If you live on a floodplain, you need to make sure you are covered should the area flood and your property get damaged. 

It might mean declaring that you live near water or in an area likely to flood and it might mean higher insurance premiums. However, you're better to have a policy in place that will pay out than one that doesn't cover you for potential eventualities. 

Check your documents and get clarification about what is covered on your policy, should you need ever need to make a claim.

What to do in the event of a natural disaster

An Act of God is something we don't see coming. Mother Nature does what she likes and there is little you can do to stop floods, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and other such events. Your safety is paramount during a natural disaster. If you have any time to protect your property from flooding with sandbags, for example, do your best.

However, your safety is more important. You might want to move valuables upstairs if your downstairs is prone to flooding and keep family photographs somewhere where they are safe. 

How will making a claim affect your policy?

As with any insurance policy, if you make a claim, your renewal will likely be more expensive. If in doubt, speak to your insurance company to ask what happens if you need to make a claim. Remember, if you need a new policy, you can compare insurance prices and get cashback on top with Quidco Compare.

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Cash and finance expert Joseph Seager from cfmentor.com says

"We've seen enough Roland Emmerich movies to be entertained, but what should you do in the event of a natural disaster? You need to stay safe. Remember, houses can be rebuilt, damage can be fixed, most belongings can be replaced. 

“You only get one life. If you haven't been told to evacuate, stay in a safe area and wait out the event. Listen to the radio for updates. When everything is over, you'll be able to contact your insurance company to make a claim. This might mean you end up in temporary accommodation, in which case, give the insurance company your updated details."

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If you need extra insurance, how much will it cost on average?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every situation is different and will be looked at in an individual way. Think about the number of questions you have to answer when you take out a home insurance policy. 

These factors all help work out how much you pay for your policy. Insurance companies will look at what extra insurance you are asking for and for what reason, before working out how much it will cost to cover you. It's also worth noting that some insurers will offer extra insurance and some may not.

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FAQs

What is an Act of God?

An Act of God is something out of our control, something we cannot be stopped or even expected. This could be a hurricane, a volcano eruption or flooding. Natural disasters which wipe through anything in their way.

Are Acts of God covered by insurance?

Uncontrollable natural disasters are often covered by your insurance company. However, this can vary from company to company and policy to policy. Check what is covered with yours before you sign up.

What insurance covers natural disasters?

Many policies will cover certain natural disasters as standard. However, you need to check what your policy actually covers. It is your responsibility to check.

How much does disaster insurance cost?

Insurance policies vary in price depending on a number of factors. You might think that certain things won't happen, but they can do, without us knowing about it. The majority of standard homeowners insurance policies will cover natural disasters. Be sure you know what your policy covers you for.

Do I need Act of God insurance?

The biggest cause of natural disasters here in the UK is flooding. However, there have been Earthquakes that have caused damage. You need home insurance to cover you should the worst happen. Most policies will cover you for natural disasters.