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Acts of God According to Insurance Companies

Updated on September 8, 2020
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As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.


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


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.


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