When it comes to vague and confusing legal terms, “Act of God” might just take the cake. Isn’t everything an Act of God if you are religious? And isn’t nothing an Act of God if you aren’t religious? How can you possibly determine that one hurricane that destroyed a home in Texas is not legally an Act of God? Especially when another hurricane that destroyed a home in New Jersey was legally an Act of God?
While the question is a complex one, here’s what you need to know in general: an Act of God is a natural event that cannot be predicted, anticipated, controlled, prepared for, or forestalled. That is, if no one would have guessed that your home could be damaged in the way it was by a natural force, the insurance company may not be responsible for fixing the damage.
Of course, whether or not your property damage is an Act of God depends on a few very important factors:
It depends on where you live.
Hurricanes are simply unheard of in some parts of the country. Other parts of the country have a history of hurricanes but not of extremely damaging storms (Hurricane Sandy is a perfect example). Still, other parts of the country, like Texas and the Gulf Coast, have a storied history of hurricanes. Not only do people predict that strong tropical storms will batter the coast, but they also prepare for the storms when they construct buildings and homes.
It depends on the hurricane.
It’s confusing but true: one hurricane can be considered an Act of God while another one is not. What’s the difference? The strength of the storm and where it hits. If a hurricane produces normal winds and the normal amount of damage, it is expected. If a hurricane produces extreme winds and unforeseen damage, it could be ruled an Act of God.
It depends on your insurance policy and your damage.
Not all insurance policies are the same! Read your homeowner’s insurance policy closely to determine what damage is covered and whether there are any clauses related to “Acts of God.”
It depends on whether you will fight your insurance company.
Sometimes an insurance company has decided that it simply doesn’t want to pay your claim. Or, an insurance company may face hundreds or thousands of expensive claims from a recent natural disaster. In those situations, the company will often fall back on saying the storm was an Act of God. Do you want to accept this excuse, or do you want to fight for the money you are contractually owed? At the Voss Law Firm, we have experience handling Act of God cases and with helping families get the insurance claim money they deserve after a hurricane damages their property.
We offer free, confidential consultations to hurricane victims who are fighting their insurance company over a residential claim. To schedule your meeting with a residential insurance claim attorney, call us today at 888-614-7730.