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Acts of God According to Insurance Companies

Updated on September 8, 2020
PAINTDRIPS profile image

As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

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Tornado Mishap

Have you ever endured an “Act of God?” According to insurance companies and in particular our car insurance, an Act of God is defined as any natural disaster outside of human control, aka floods, volcanoes, hurricanes and other such related events. This implies that God drops a house on your property and you are not covered unless you bought specific policy coverage for that “act of God.” Who foresees a tornado where none ever happens? In California where I live, I would be more prone to foresee an earthquake than a tornado.

First of all, I feel very offended that God is blamed for these natural disasters that the insurance companies don’t want to cover. I hardly think God is to blame. Second, it is pretty insulting that they cover theft but not wind.

Where the cyclone pulled up the roof and where it dropped it onto our car.
Where the cyclone pulled up the roof and where it dropped it onto our car. | Source

My Car's Story

Some years ago, my husband was working at a radio station as the manager. The site was somewhat remote on the edge of town and there were few buildings there at that time. Since then the town has grown out that direction and swallowed up the open land. Back then my husband worked the night shift at the radio station and consequently, ours was the only car in the parking lot. It seemed the wind picked up and a rare tornado formed over the building pulling the metal awning and poles from one side of the building and then dropping them on top of the only car in the parking lot, ours. One of the poles was shoved through the windshield right at the driver’s side so that if he had been in the car at the time, my husband would have lost his head. Seeing the humor in the situation, my husband looked up and told God, “You missed.” Personally, I thought he was asking for retaliation but God must have a sense of humor too.

We had thought at the time that we were covered by insurance only to be informed later that it was an Act of God, and they don’t cover that. The people who owned the building were covered for the replacement of the awning but not for where it dropped. Isn’t that just wrong?

In the photo, you see the building and space where the red arrow had marked the awning, as well as where it dropped marked by the red circle. It wasn’t a very big tornado and that’s all the damage it did before it blew away. The question is should we think God was mad at us for dropping an awning on us? Should we examine our lives to see if there is some hidden sin we were unaware of? Actually we do that on a regular basis and we felt sure if there was something wrong enough for God to drop buildings on us, He would not have missed.

Hurricane Repairs
Hurricane Repairs | Source

Insurance Companies

If you are like me, you wonder why we have insurance if it won’t cover unexpected things like wind, floods, earthquakes, etc. What is the use of getting insurance if you are only covered for things that could be prevented? Isn’t that counterintuitive?

I know the world isn't fair, but why isn't it ever unfair in my favor?

— Bill Watterson
I realize it could have been worse.
I realize it could have been worse. | Source

Comprehensive vs. Liability

I read up on insurance because I was having trouble understanding where the problem was. Comprehensive coverage does cover acts of God or anything other than collision. Comprehensive coverage is optional, and I guess we didn’t have it at that time because the car was older and paid for.

We had to replace the windshield ourselves.
We had to replace the windshield ourselves. | Source

Property Damage on Someone Else’s Property

Then I assumed because we were on someone else’s property that their insurance would cover property damage that ours did not. Wrong. They just told us that their insurance didn’t cover Acts of God. Sorry.

Life can be unfair at times but that is no reason to give up on it.

— Unknown

Have you every had damage the insurance called "act of God"?

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Instead of dropping something on our car, it could have pick up our car and dumped it elsewhere.
Instead of dropping something on our car, it could have pick up our car and dumped it elsewhere. | Source

Accidents

The way I read it, they want to call an Act of God, anything that could not be prevented by diligence, vigilance, and preparedness. They don’t work for us, the customer/consumer. They work for the stockholders who don’t want to pay out if at all possible. I don’t pretend to understand how insurance works, but doesn’t it seem a better option to cover “Acts of God” but not things that could have been prevented by diligence, vigilance, and preparedness?

Prove God Exists

An atheist on a social media site I read took exception with this term. It seems the term “Act of God” implies that the insurance company believes in the existence of God. The atheist believed that he could challenge anything the insurance company refused to pay by taking them to court and making them prove the existence of God or else pay his damages. Actually Act of God doesn’t mean that the insurance company believes in the existence of God any more than the atheist does. It is just a legal term referring to any natural event outside of human control. Funny the things that have been handed down as legal terms but don’t necessarily mean what they say literally.

If you have nothing to be grateful for, check your pulse.

— Anonymous

What Happened

So what happened to our car? We had to replace the windshield ourselves out-of-pocket and live with the rest of the dents until we could get it to a body shop. We couldn’t fight the insurance companies or our friends who owned the building and property. It wouldn’t have been worth it to us even if we won the case.

It was a shock to see my husband on the late news looking over a heap of twisted metal and seeking our car under it. The reporter stood there explaining that the only damage the twister caused was to one person’s car… at which I stood up and said, “That’s my car!” This is not the way to find you are in the news.

You're on your own.
You're on your own. | Source

Final Thoughts

With all the fires burning right now all around us in California, I think that insurance has become a racket where they sweet-talking you into getting it but work hard to find ways not to deliver anything in return. My heart goes out to all those folks who are watching their homes burn to the ground. That is no act of God!

Have you ever been presented with an “act of God” that your insurance would not cover? How did you react to it? Do you have any solutions or ideas you may like to share in the comments below? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Dolores Monet,

      This is so true. They are not our friends. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Ann Carr,

      Yes, that was strange, wasn't it? My husband felt sure someone up there doesn't like him. Haha. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      10 months ago from East Coast, United States

      After hearing about a difficult time people I knew went through with an insurance company (the same one I use) I decided to call my agent and ask questions to clarify what they even mean on the coverage report. The young lady I spoke to had trouble explaining what some of the coverage meant. Also, we must remember that insurance is a business whose priority is to enrich the owners, stockholders, etc. A claims adjuster earns more money by keeping claim payments as low as possible. They are not our friends.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Mary Norton,

      I can hardly blame them really when so many people are out to cheat them and claim damage where there is none, or try to sue other people's insurance company for more than they are entitled. It's when honest people get shafted that I have to be insulted. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Crampton,

      It was certainly surprising. I thought, wow, that looks familiar. And then it struck me, wait, that's MY CAR under that rubble. And then, OMG, that's my HUSBAND trying to clear out the rubble. It was a shock. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Liz Westwood,

      Yes, they love coming up with ways not to pay out rather than ways to serve the public. I could never work for a company like that. My mantra is to help people wherever I can, but stick it to them whenever I can. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Marie Flint,

      You make sense, my friend. It was an opportunity to begin again and get a new car. Although at the time we didn't want to look at it that way, that is what eventually happened. I applaud you for not owning a car. I'm not sure how we would manage without one although I'm beginning to think a bike might be a reasonable alternative. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      RoadMonkey,

      To be honest, insurance is something I will only get if I am forced to (like car insurance). I guess I've become cynical but I don't believe in it or have any hope that it will ever cover our needs. It is one of those things no one really wants but everyone needs to have like underwear or personal hygiene. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Dora Weithers,

      So true, my friend. I believe God sees and will compensate. He has certainly had my back and my welfare in mind better than any insurance company ever could. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      10 months ago from SW England

      I've never had this misfortune but I do agree with you that it is grossly unfair and that it's insurance companies wanting to dodge paying out.

      What bad luck to be parked in that particular spot!

      Ann

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Linda Lum,

      As a Christian, I agree. Everything in one form or another, is an Act of God, isn't it? I still think it's offensive to pay for an "accident" which is an Act of God but not pay for a "natural disaster". Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Peggy Woods,

      Thanks, Peggy. It is hard on the unsuspecting customer. Who would think of including tornado insurance in place like Fresno? It isn't expected or usual. That's what they are counting on. I'm glad you are covered for floods. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Virginia Allain,

      It is a racket, isn't it? They would like to be seen and helpful and essential and they are really disappointing and dishonest. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Devika Primić,

      I agree. They should be losing customers over reports like this. I'm sure I'm not the only one unhappy. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      You are right, it could have been worst but I no longer talk about insurance companies. It's a business that plays on people's fears. I wonder if there is a place for an insurance company that is honest. I am sure there is and that they will be profitable, too.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      It must have been a big shock seeing the damaged car on the news. It's good to hear that your husband wasn't injured. This is an interesting article, Denise.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      10 months ago from UK

      I have often wondered about this get out clause with insurance. I heard if cars trapped in an underground car park in a flash flood that were written off, but not covered.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Lorna Lamon,

      I just read that homeowners in the California hills are being charged 4 times a higher rate just to include "fire" in their insurance package, because of all these wildfires raging. For those people not living in high fire risk areas, or tornado risk areas, or flood risk areas, who would have thought to even include such things in their policies? I like your idea of Climate Change insurance but the problem with that is that you would have to get them to admit there IS a Climate Change. They won't even admit there is a God while blaming these things on Him. It's a Catch 22. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Bill Holland,

      I figure God looked down and said, "Well, let's cut Bill a break. He's been through enough." No one decided to drop a house on you. That's good. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Rosina S Khan,

      It was a difficult time but I am over it mostly. I still wonder about insurance companies who require you to have insurance but then won't give back anything substantial for the price. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      10 months ago from Jacksonville, FL USA

      I worked for a few insurance brokers in my time. Yes, comprehensive covers things like hitting a deer, a tree falling on your car, and the like. Often the insured waives the coverage once the car significantly becomes devalued.

      I, for one, do not own a car. I see them as egotistical, polluting, gas-guzzling entities. I walk, ride a bike, take a bus, or car pool. While the latter may sound contradictory, it's not the same as owning the vehicle myself and being the only person in the car.

      Somewhere I remember Jesus advising about how to react when disaster strikes with, "Homes can again be built." In other words, just see the wreckage for what it is and realize that it is the opportunity to create something anew, perhaps better.

      I understand your frustration, Denise, and this is a good article because some auto insurance policy holders don't even know what comprehensive coverage is or whether they have it. This is informative. Good job!

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 

      10 months ago

      Interesting hub. I am glad no one was injured and that you managed to repair and replace the car in a reasonable time. Insurance companies definitely don't want to pay out unless forced to! Thankfully, I have not had an "Act Of God" incident but we had to replace some tiles on the roof some years back but the insurance company refused to pay because they said it was a "maintenance" issue, not damage. Insurance is a service I believe in and pay for but it iss vital to read and understand the policy.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile imageAUTHOR

      Denise McGill 

      10 months ago from Fresno CA

      Eric Dierker,

      I remember I was pretty angry about it back when it happened but I have learned that God has my back even when insurance companies don't. He provided a way to replace the windshield but not fix the body damage and then He made a way to replace the car. So it all worked out. Thanks for commenting.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      It seems difficult, if not impossible, to fight the insurance company on anything they don't want to pay. Don't worry; there has been and will be other acts of God in our favor.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      I've never had to deal with damages by an "Act of God," but as a Christian, I don't know how I would/could label something as not being an act of God.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      We do pay extra for flood insurance every year. Federal flood insurance did not yet exist when my parent's home was flooded due to the effects of Hurricane Beulah when I was still living at home many decades ago. We have had floods in Houston, and while the flood insurance does help, it does not pay at 100%, so there are still losses. We have had friends whose homes were affected by flooding.

      I agree with Lorna when she wrote that "Climate Change Disaster" would be a better name. So sorry you had that experience with your car.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      10 months ago from Central Florida

      And health insurance finds every loophole it can to avoid paying your medical bills. What a racket.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      This is the first time I heard of Acts of God. Sounds a disrespect to client. You created an informative hub and with a lot of damage to cope with. It is not a good approach to not pay for damages.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I have very little respect for insurance companies, and that might be overstating the amount of respect I have for them....and no, I have never faced such a situation to my personal property, so I consider myself quite lucky or....maybe God just likes me best! LOL Not likely!

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      10 months ago

      I feel that they should call it a 'Climate Change Disaster' instead of an 'Act of God', as most of the disaster's that are happening in the world today are due to climate change.

      Thankfully I've never been in that situation, however, I have friends who have been flooded out and true to form, the insurance company would not pay out as it was an 'Act of God'. Insurance companies need to update their policies as these types of disasters become more commonplace. An interesting and thought provoking article Denise.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      10 months ago

      Fortunately, I have never been presented with an act of God much to God's Grace. I really sympathize with your situation where under no circumstances they would provide insurance coverage for your car, calling it an Act of God. Thanks for sharing, Denise.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Wow, what a story. I can't believe no coverage anywhere. But that is one of those where we shake our head and just ask why and remember how grateful we really are. I liked your style in this article, very easy on the eyes.

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