What is an "Act of God"?
The dictionary defines "Act of God" as a manifestation of a violent or destructive natural force, such as a lightning strike or an earthquake, which is beyond human power to cause, prevent, or control.
Acts of God may include:
- Unusual weather factors - hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, hail storms, high winds
- Unusual geological phenomena - mudslides, earthquakes, tidal waves, rockslides, volcanoes, sink holes
- Unusual hazards - meteor damage, plagues of insects
Many insurance policies for property damage exclude from their protection damages caused by "Acts of God". Insurance companies and agents have varying definitions and interpretations of the term "Act of God". However, these coverage loopholes generally refer to serious natural disasters and extreme weather events that cannot be foreseen, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, extraordinarily high tides, violent winds, and floods.
No one can be held responsible for events such as tornadoes, hurricanes, hail storms or lightning bolts. But if these events are a regular occurrence in an area, they are not unusual or unpredicted. When damage occurs from these events because a person or company was negligent in preparing for an inevitable natural disaster, then there is a responsible party involved. In many cases, when the insurance company declares the loss is the result of an "Act of God", there are other circumstances which may come into play - this is exactly why an independent evaluation by an experienced first party attorney is critical to your case.
For example, hurricanes are a fact of life on the Gulf Coast. Building codes in hurricane-prone states require that houses be constructed so that they can withstand an ordinary hurricane. If a Louisiana home's foundation is washed out because of inadequate construction, the damage is due to the construction defects and is not an "Act of God."
If a hurricane is so unusually extreme that most buildings could not withstand its force, it cannot be expected that contractors and builders would foresee such a disaster. Hurricane damage in these cases can be attributed to an "Act of God." Hurricane Katrina is such an example.
What can I do if my weather-related claim has been denied?
If your home or business sustained property damage in a weather event and the insurance company claims the damage is due to an "Act of God", do not take the rejection at face value. While an "Act of God" may have triggered the event, it may be human negligence that actually caused your property to sustain damage.
The insurance litigation attorneys at The Voss Law Firm, P.C. help individuals, condominium associations, and businesses to recover the insurance compensation they have already paid for. If your property damage claim has been rejected, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. at 1-888-614-7730 to schedule a free consultation with an insurance claims lawyer. We can look over your insurance policy, investigate your claim and let you know what your options are.
When you call, be sure to request our free book, Disputes With Your Insurance Company - What All Consumers Need to Know.