How to Know if Your Home Insurance Covers an Act of God

When purchasing home insurance, make sure you understand what acts of God it doesn’t cover, such as floods, earthquakes, and nuclear attack.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
A home insurance policy pays for the repair or replacement of your home, personal belongings, and other buildings and structures on your property.
But what happens if your home suffers damage from an act of God? And what exactly is an "act of God?" in home insurance?
Here's the rundown, with a little help from
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What is an act of God clause?

An "act of God" represents an event that occurs through unpreventable natural causes. Examples of an act of God include
natural disasters
like tornadoes, flooding, and lightning damage.
An act of God clause is a part of many insurance policies and helps define what kind of acts of God the policy covers and which it doesn't. Many insurance companies offer exclusions for such damage at a set price. They might even offer separate coverage altogether.
If you don't know what your insurance covers when it comes to an act of God, talk to an agent or company representative for more information.

What acts of God does home insurance cover?

Insurance companies cover en extensive list of "acts of God". These specific acts of God include:
Acts of nature
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects, such as trees or tree branches
  • Fires
  • Lighting
  • Smoke damage
  • Spoiled items of food resulting from a power outage
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Wind damage from hurricanes, tornadoes, and other inclement weather
Acts of humans
  • Damage resulting from riots and other civil unrest
  • Vandalism and theft
  • Terrorism resulting in explosions, fire, and smoke

What acts of God does home insurance not cover?

While your home insurance policy covers a variety of natural and human-caused acts of God, there are a few things that aren't covered, including:
Natural disasters
  • Areas at high risk for windstorms, such as hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Flood damage
  • Mudslides
Man-made disasters
  • Acts of war
  • Damage caused by mold, rodents, or other pests
  • Environmental contamination
  • An overflowing sewer system, sump pump, or drain
  • Terrorist attacks that include biological, chemical, or nuclear attacks

What is proximate cause?

A proximate cause is when the event that damages your home is normally not covered by your policy, but becomes covered due to its relation to another earlier event that is covered. In such a case, the first event in the chain of events could cause the coverage of subsequent events that follow.
In states that do not observe proximate cause rules, your only course is to buy additional insurance. Common extensions include flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and hurricane insurance
You need to make sure that you own the proper insurance coverage for the area where you live, including insurance for acts of God. To find out specifically what you need, talk to your insurance agent to get a better understanding of the various uncovered acts of God common in your area.
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