Does Car Insurance Cover Acts of God?

Acts of God are typically events that occur outside of human control. Comprehensive insurance provides the best car coverage for acts of God.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Sarah Gray
An “act of God” usually refers to a natural disaster that can’t be predicted or controlled. Comprehensive coverage will help pay to repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged due to some acts of God—but check your
car insurance
policy details to find out whether a specific event is covered.

An “act of God” is an event outside of human control

The term “act of God” is often used to refer to natural disasters that occur without human intervention—like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hail, windstorms, tornadoes, mudslides, and floods. It may also be something as simple as a
tree falling on your car
But because the phrase “act of God” can be vague, most insurance companies don’t use that wording in their policy documents. Instead, your insurance agreement will typically list the specific perils that are covered or excluded.

Possible exclusions for act of God insurance

There are times when an insurance company may deny a claim for an act of God, even if the specific event would normally be included in the vehicle owner’s comprehensive coverage.
Coverage could be denied due to a failure to reasonably protect the vehicle from damage—like not moving a car to higher ground before a flood if safer parking was reasonably available. 
An insurance claim might also be denied if the owner fails to protect the vehicle from further damage after the initial incident. For instance, if a falling tree branch breaks your vehicle’s windshield and you fail to cover the opening with plastic, your insurance company may deny coverage for rain damage occurring several days later.
Bottom line: Carefully read the “Conditions” section of your policy agreement to be sure you understand your responsibilities in preventing damage to your vehicle, and look over the “Exclusions” section to see what types of damage aren’t covered.

Comprehensive auto insurance may cover acts of God

You’ll need to buy comprehensive coverage for your vehicle to be covered against damage from acts of God.
Comprehensive coverage is most commonly sold as part of a full coverage policy, which includes liability coverage, collision coverage, and comprehensive coverage in one package. 
You can choose to only add comprehensive or collision coverage to your liability policy, but to be fully protected, it’s usually a good idea to purchase them both.
Here’s what each of these types of insurance will cover:
  • Liability insurance
    : Pays for property damage and bodily injuries to others after an accident where you were at fault.
  • Collision insurance
    : Pays to repair or replace your vehicle after a collision with an object or another car.
  • Comprehensive insurance
    : Sometimes called Other Than Collision (OTC) insurance, this coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged due to theft, vandalism, fire, floods, falling objects, and more.
Need to know: Both comprehensive and collision insurance require a

Best insurance companies for acts of God coverage

Jerry has helped millions of customers find the lowest rates for the car insurance coverage they need. In the process, we’ve learned a lot about what real drivers are paying for minimum liability and full coverage from some of the nation’s top companies: 
Insurance company
Monthly minimum liability cost
Monthly full coverage cost
Plan ahead Some insurance companies may not allow you to add comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy if an extreme weather event is in the short-term forecast for your area.1

What to do if your car is damaged by an act of God

If you have comprehensive coverage and a natural disaster damages your car, here’s what you need to do:
  1. Take photos of the damage. Before you do anything else to the vehicle, document the damage. Take pictures from several different angles, and consider writing out a statement about what happened while the memory is still fresh.
  2. Protect your vehicle from further damage. If your vehicle seems repairable—like you just have a broken window, water damage, or denting—take reasonable care to make sure it won’t be damaged more by animals or weather. For instance, you might cover the vehicle with a tarp, close off the windows with plastic and tape, or move the car to a covered garage. 
  3. Notify your insurance company right away. The sooner you can start the claim filing process, the better. Check the back of your insurance card for a claims number, or go to your insurance provider’s mobile app or website to
    file your claim
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Are acts of God covered on homeowner’s policies?

Standard homeowners insurance policies often include a force majeure clause (or act of God cause) that exclude coverage for some acts of God, like earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes. However, coverage is common for other acts of God, like wildfires, lightning, or tornadoes. Check the Exclusions section of your Homeowners policy or contact your insurance agent to learn more about what is and isn’t covered.

Is a force majeur clase the same as an act of God clause? 

Force majeur clauses typically include anything that would be considered an act of nature, but they may also include man-made catastrophes like war or nuclear disasters.

What is the definition of an act of God?

Acts of God are typically considered natural events that can not be predicted or prevented by people. Examples of acts of God include earthquakes, pandemics, hailstorms, tsunamis, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.

Are acts of God covered by homeowners insurance?

Many homeowners policies will limit liability for acts of God such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or flood damage, so you may need to invest in an add-on like earthquake, windstorm, or flood insurance. However, standard home insurance policies may provide coverage for other acts of God, like fires that start due to lightning strikes.

Is hail damage considered an act of God?

Hail damage is considered an act of God, and damage from hail will be covered under most comprehensive auto policies.

Meet our experts

Amy Bobinger
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.
Sarah Gray
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Writer and Editor
Sarah Gray is an insurance writer with nearly a decade of experience in publishing and writing. Sarah specializes in writing articles that educate car owners and buyers on the full scope of car ownership—from shopping for and buying a new car to scrapping one that’s breathed its last and everything in between. Sarah has authored over 1,500 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from first-time buyer programs to how to get a salvage title for a totaled car.
Prior to joining Jerry, Sarah was a full-time professor of English literature and composition with multiple academic writing publications.

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