Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 20, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Acts of God are commonly identified as natural disasters
  • Basic insurance coverage does not provide protection
  • You have to add comprehensive coverage to your policy for more protection

Acts of God happen when you least expect them. There’s no way to plan for them, so you need to have sufficient car insurance coverage. It’s important to know how these acts are defined and what coverage is needed on your policy.

Make sure you have the right policy in place before it’s too late. Enter your zip code into our free car insurance comparison tool to find the best rate for the coverage you desire.

What are acts of God?

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Acts of God are defined as natural disasters that occur regardless of how much you may try to avoid or prepare for a scenario. You don’t know when they’re going to happen or how extensive the damage could be.

There are several examples:

  • Hurricanes
  • Fires from lightning strikes
  • Tornadoes
  • Earthquakes

Every insurance company has their own definition of an act of God is. It is up to you to explore this definition to ensure that you have sufficient coverage. It often includes terms such as “unexpected,” “extraordinary” and “unusual.”

There is also often a clause that identifies that it could not have been prevented. If you file a claim with the insurance company, they are going to look at the overall scenario.

If they feel as though the scenario could have been avoided through reasonable foresight, then it’s possible a claim could be denied.

The only way to avoid a claim being denied is to ensure you have sufficient coverage against all possible scenarios.

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What kind of car damage can you expect?

The car damage that you can expect from an act of God is different from getting into a car accident. It could be something minor because of being exposed to the elements or something much more severe.

Some of the damage could include

  • fried electrical components
  • damage to the body
  • broken windows
  • burnt interiors

Every situation is different. Once you experience an act of God, you need to file the claim with your insurance company.

An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case. You will be required to get your car looked at, which includes taking it to a collision center or mechanic. Once the level of damage is identified, a cost to make the repairs will be established.

If you have the coverage on your car insurance policy, then you will pay the deductible and the work will get done. Insurance will pay for the remainder of the repairs minus the deductible as long as the repairs do not exceed the level of coverage that you have on your policy.

Coverage that Provides the Needed Protection

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What is covered on your basic policy is not sufficient. The state only requires car insurance that will protect you in the event of an accident with another vehicle.

In order to be protected against acts of God, you need to have comprehensive car insurance. Comprehensive coverage provides protection against scenarios “other than collisions.” Earthquakes, tornados and more are all covered within this level of coverage.

You can add this coverage to your policy and get quotes to see what the cost increase is on your premiums.

If your car is completely totaled as a result of the natural disaster, you should also look at having gap insurance. This is a form of coverage that will allow you for a total replacement.

It completes the gap between what your car is worth and what you actually owe on a car loan. Otherwise, you could end up in a situation where you still owe on a loan, yet you are no longer in possession of the vehicle.

In the end, you don’t know when an act of God is going to occur. It’s for this very reason that you need to have the protection on your policy.

Without comprehensive insurance and potentially even gap insurance, you could end up spending a lot of money out of pocket on the repairs to your vehicle.

It’s better to be prepared, which means taking the time to add to your policy and have a greater level of protection in place.

Compare car insurance quotes today and find the best rate for the coverage you need.