Archive for the ‘Flood Insurance’ Category

Home Owner Claim & Acts of God

Sunday, August 30th, 2015



Hello, and welcome to the Terranova Insurance Services blog. We are working to create a useful and easy to understand blog relating to the infinite topics surrounding the insurance world. Our goal is to create an environment where anyone can read our blogs and learn about specifics of their policies that they might not have otherwise known about, while creating open discussion about these topics. We plan to discuss everything in and around the insurance world but promise to try to stick with what we feel you’ll find important and informative!

We encourage all readers to ask questions to the author. We also encourage you to share this blog with friends and family members who you feel will benefit from the content. Let’s face it, at some point or another (and like it or not) everyone discusses insurance and has questions that they may or may not ever get the answers to!

Let’s start with a very basic topic: Is “an Act of God” a factor in determining the potential of getting a claim/accident covered by your insurance company? Is there any wording in your policy about how an Act of God might be a reason for the insurance company to cover or deny a claim?

Take for example, a tree that falls on your home during a heavy wind storm.On a broad form homeowners policy (form HO-2) or higher, damage from falling objects (in our case, the tree) is a covered peril on your policy. So you’re automatically covered for the damage the tree causes, right? Well, not so fast. While a fallen tree that causes structural damage is usually covered, what if the tree was heavily rotted, the homeowner knew it was and he or she did nothing toprevent the damage? In this scenario, an insurance company could easily deny the claim due to negligence on the part of the homeowner, NOT because the wind that made the tree fall was an “Act of God”. So while some might consider that the wind was an Act of God, an insurance company may not.

The Insurance Journal (an industry periodical and great reference tool used by many agents and brokers) sums it up like this:

  • The lesson from these cases is simple. The law will not hold a person liable for damage caused by acts of God, but, at the same time, negligence is not excused merely because damage that could have been reasonably avoided occurs during the course of a natural event

What are your thoughts? Have you ever known of a claim that actually was denied by an Act of God? Were the circumstances different than this one?

Email us…we want to hear your similar stories! Or, as always, call Joey or Darryl to discuss this topic.