Three Things To Know About Car Insurance Coverage And Acts Of God

The term 'Acts of God', as it relates to car insurance coverage, varies in definition from state to state and also from company to company. The only way to tell how Acts of God is defined in your particular policy is to carefully read the policy, from top to bottom, including the fine print. Following are three things you should know regarding this topic.

First, Acts of God are generally recognized as events of nature over which humans have no influence or control. This may include floods, hailstorms, tornados, hurricanes, lightening strikes, fires and earthquakes. It is important to remember, however, that your particular car insurance policy may define these events any way they choose and what is written in the policy will be what is determined as an allowable claim. Some insurance companies may have exclusions that another provider may cover so it's important to know explicitly what's written in your specific policy.

Second, certain exclusions may exist according to your specific geographic area. If you live in California, as an example, it is common for car insurance policies to have an exclusion for earthquakes since they are fairly common in that area. Policies in Florida will often exclude damage caused by hurricanes. In Kansas, it may be that tornados are excluded from many car insurance policies. Bear in mind that just because certain events may be excluded in certain policies a policyholder can usually obtain the coverage necessary by taking out a rider to the policy. As may be expected, the additional rider will more than likely increase the premium cost of the coverage.

Third, Acts of God on policies written in the United States are usually covered in the comprehensive portion of the policy. This is the section of a car insurance policy that pays benefits for damage done to your vehicle in an event other than a collision caused while the vehicle is in operation. This includes theft, vandalism and things like your car being struck by a home-run baseball that made its way out of the ballpark and into the parking lot where your car is sitting. Acts of God not excluded are also paid under the comprehensive part of your policy if, in fact, you elected to have this optional coverage included. Comprehensive coverage will have a deductible amount that must be paid by the insured before the insurer's portion of the claim will be paid.

Sometimes definitions are fuzzy. Opening your car door during a windstorm, causing the door to be ripped from the hinges is one of those fuzzy areas. The windstorm may be an Act of God, but your opening the door falls under 'human control'.

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