What is an Act of God Clause in my Insurance?

The ‘Act of God’ has long been a term used by insurers to avoid paying out for something caused by the weather, an occurrence where you can’t really pin the blame on anyone, save for the man upstairs. However, the use of such a clause is now a rarity in car insurance policies, and is slowly being reduced to the memory banks of older drivers.

If your car has been caught out by a freak weather storm – be it crushed under a tree or perhaps washed through with flood water – you might be wondering what to do next. Well, by speaking to Scrap Car Comparison, your next move is made simple for you. We specialise in dealing with damaged cars, whether destined for the scrap yard or to be sold as a salvage vehicle and given a new life further down the line. Get in touch today or use our quick and easy online quote generator to find out just how much your car could be worth, and we’ll even come and collect the car directly from your door absolutely free of charge.

A fallen tree crushing a red car on a road

What is an Act of God?

An Act of God, as defined by insurers, is an event:

  • Where no blame can be assigned to a person
  • That couldn’t have been realistically prevented
  • Brought about as a direct result of natural causes

Those three conditions combined basically form up a wordy way of saying “the weather”. This is because more often than not, Acts of God tended to be cars damaged through floods, lightning storms, hail, tornadoes or earthquakes – although the latter trio are rather rare in the UK.

It actually dates back long before the invention of the motor car, with the premise dating back to the Romans (what have they ever done for us?) and was first mentioned back in Tudor times if someone could not appear at court because of a ‘superior force’. It was during the early 1800s that it first appeared in an insurance sense, when The Times reported that ‘By Common Law, Carriers are insurers against every loss of property entrusted to their care, except losses arising from the Act of God, or the King’s enemies.’

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What isn’t classed as an Act of God?

As can be expected, if an Act of God is something where no-one can be blamed, then anything where you can apportion blame, or something that could reasonably be prevented, isn’t one. As an example, a house fire won’t be classed as an Act of God as somewhere down the line there would have been something that could have prevented it. Perhaps there was a kitchen mishap, or there were poor fire safety practices within the house – even if there was poor building work when the house was first put together. Any one of those incidents could have been prevented, and therefore would not be counted as an Act of God. In any event, certain circumstances may arise where your insurance company will refuse to pay out. If this happens, you’ll be better off scrapping your car instead!

Does the Act of God clause still exist?

In a sense, not really. The term has gradually been phased out over the years and the ‘Act of God’ clause has effectively been dropped in favour of a list of specific cases where your policy won’t cover you instead of a vague catch-all term. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the exclusions on your insurance, which will likely include the vast majority of weather-related incidents as well as more specific events such as any form of motorsport or track day – and most will specifically tell you that if you drive on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, even if you drive slowly, you won’t be covered.

Some would argue that the ‘Act of God’ clause should come back because these disastrous situations are going to become more prevalent as time goes on. As climate change wreaks havoc on the planet, it’s looking more and more likely that floods will be drowning our cars and extreme temperatures will be testing their resilience more and more often.

Get the best price with Scrap Car Comparison

If your car has been caught out in an incident that your insurers won’t pay out for, your options may seem limited. Thankfully, Scrap Car Comparison is here to help make things that little bit easier when your insurers won’t help. We have a network of experts spanning all four corners of the country at our fingertips meaning you’re never too far away from one of our collection agents. The condition of your car doesn’t matter to us, we’ll always find you the very best price for your car no matter what’s happened to it. Get started today and find out just how much your old vehicle could be worth.

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