AutoInsurance.com
January 17, 2023

Acts of God in Car Insurance

Hailstorms, earthquakes, and floods, oh my!

When talking about a topic as practical as car insurance, rarely does the word “God,” or any religious language, come up. That’s not the case when it comes to an “act of God,” a term you might come across when discussing insurance coverage. But what does it actually mean, and does your car insurance cover these so-called Godly acts?

What Is an Act of God in Car Insurance?

An act of God in car insurance is an event no human can prevent. Typically, acts of God refer to natural disasters such as the following:

  • Earthquakes
  • Floods
  • Hail
  • Hurricanes
  • Lightning
  • Sinkholes
  • Falling Trees
  • Wildfires
  • Windstorms
  • Volcanic eruptions

CheckDID YOU KNOW?

As of the most recent data, Texas has the highest number of hail storm claims of any state, followed by Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois.1

Does Car Insurance Cover Acts of God?

While your car insurance policy may not use the term “acts of God,” it might cover them under comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage includes property damages from incidents other than collisions. Aside from natural disasters, this type of coverage may also cover auto theft and vandalism. However, if your comprehensive coverage specifically excludes natural disasters, or if you don’t have comprehensive coverage at all, your policy won’t cover acts of God.

How Claims for Acts of God Work

Acts of God claims work like any other type of auto insurance claim. Here’s a general overview of the coverage process.

  1. You submit a claim to your car insurance company or directly to your licensed insurance agent, providing pictures and notes about the damages and conditions that caused the damages.
  2. Your insurance provider reviews the claim. The insurer may have an insurance adjuster view your car, either physically or digitally.
  3. If the insurance company approves your claim, you must pay your insurance deductible before your provider will contribute financially for the needed repairs. The insurer will then pay for repairs up to your coverage limit, which is your car’s actual cash value. If your insurance provider declares your car to be a total loss and you have new car replacement coverage, it could replace your car.
  4. If your car isn’t being replaced, you’ll get your vehicle repaired and await the reimbursement check from your insurance provider.2

How to Get Coverage for Acts of God

To get coverage for acts of God, you’ll need comprehensive insurance that includes coverage for natural disasters like hail.

CheckNOTE:

No state requires you to carry comprehensive coverage as a part of your auto insurance. However, it’s part of full coverage car insurance, along with collision, medical payments/personal injury protection, and liability insurance.

Related Coverages

In addition to comprehensive coverage, the following protections will come in handy if your vehicle experiences an act of God.

  • Roadside assistance: If an act of God leaves you stranded on the side of the road, roadside assistance could pay for towing or fuel delivery.
  • Rental car reimbursement: You’ll be able to get a rental car while your car is being repaired under a covered claim. Your insurance company will give you a daily limit on how much it’ll contribute toward the cost of the rental and for how many days total.
  • Glass coverage: While some comprehensive coverage policies include glass or windshield coverage, this coverage is sometimes separate.
  • Gap insurance: If your car is a loan or lease, your loaner or lessor may require you to have gap insurance, which will cover the remainder of your loan or lease balance if your car is totaled.
  • New car replacement coverage: Similar to gap insurance, new car replacement coverage will pay your totaled car’s actual cash value so you can replace it.

Conclusion

Learn more about auto insurance coverages like acts of God. Or read our frequently asked questions below for more information on coverage for these events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do acts of God increase the cost of insurance?

Possibly. It depends on your policy and your provider.

Who is liable for an act of God?

If your car insurance policy covers acts of God (i.e., natural disasters), the insurer is liable to pay for property damage caused by such an event. If your car insurance doesn’t cover acts of God, the insured person is liable to pay for the damages out of pocket.

Is it worth fixing hail damage on a car?

Fixing hail damage on a car may or may not be worthwhile. It may be worth doing if the damage costs more than your comprehensive deductible. But if the damage is more costly than 50 to 60 percent of your car’s actual cash value, you may be better off declaring the car a total loss and replacing it instead of repairing it.

Citations

  1. Top 5 States for Hail Claims: 2017-2019 Data. National Insurance Crime Bureau. (2020, Apr 28).
    https://www.nicb.org/news/news-releases/top-5-states-hail-claims-2017-2019-data

  2. Act of God Insurance. Lemonade Insurance.
    https://www.lemonade.com/car/explained/act-of-god-insurance/