What is an 'Act of God'?

Rachel Greene-Taylor
Written by: Rachel Greene-Taylor
Posted on: 17 November 2015

A plague on both your houses!

An act of God sounds very grand and Biblical, but in this instance we're not talking plagues of locusts, we're concerned with more common, British, problems.

Acts of God are actually events outside human control - like flash floods, earthquakes, volcanoes or other natural disasters. They're often significant due to the massive amounts of damage they leave behind.

What am I insured for?

Insurance rates are based on risk. Fires, burst water pipes and damaged roofs occur a lot more frequently than hurricanes or earthquakes.

Obviously there are no active volcanoes in the UK, so we don't have to worry about them. Tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes aren't unheard of, but when they do occur they're much weaker than the ones we see in Hollywood movies.

Insurance companies aren't trying to catch you out. They look at where you live and assess the risks in your area – and if your home isn't covered automatically, then you can normally add on optional extras to boost your cover.

Two women sit in a boat on a flooded street

Can I protect my home?

You're not defenceless against these acts of the Almighty.

In the UK, damage from flooding is growing more common. If this is a known hazard in your area then it's a really good idea to make sure your home insurance covers you in the event of a flood.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the bad weather between December 2013 and February 2014 resulted in 18,700 flood claims, which ended up costing £451 million.

The new government and insurance industry Flood Re scheme is also designed to give further protection against flooding.

If you're worried about floods in your area, follow the advice from The Environment Agency and sign up for flood warnings.

What does Buildings Insurance cover?

Well, that all depends on the insurance company.

Buildings Insurance usually covers your home for things like lightning and earthquakes, but every insurer is different. Make sure you check what's covered before you buy.

The biggest earthquake ever recorded in the UK was in 1931, and it hit 6.3 on the Richter Scale. So, although the risk may not be great, it's always good to know where you stand.

Mother Nature can be a cruel mistress.

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Things you need to know about Over 50s life insurance:
Premiums stop after your 90th birthday but you still enjoy cover for the rest of your life. In the first year, if you die from natural causes we will refund any premiums, or if you die as a result of an accident, we will pay your cash sum. After the first year regardless of the cause of death we will pay your cash sum. Depending on how long you live, the total sum paid in premiums may be more than the cash sum payable on death. If you stop paying your premiums before the end of your policy your cover will stop 30 days after your missed premium and you won’t get anything back. This isn’t a savings or investment product and has no cash value unless a valid claim is made. Inflation will reduce the buying power of your cash sum in the future.

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