Every once in a while, we get questions that make us really stop and think.
Case in point- A customer called and asked, "if my house is damaged by an Act of God, do I still have to pay the deductible? I've heard that from several people."
Great question……and we bet there are many others who have asked the same questions. Read on for the answer.
But let’s begin with a bit of review to get to the answer- What are Acts of God anyway?
Basically, Acts of God are not man-made. Mother Nature gets the blame here ;) Here's a list of common Acts of God.
- Wind- think hurricanes and tornados
- Landslide or mudslide
- Fallen trees
Wind-related events as well as lightning strikes are covered by a basic property policy. Hail qualifies too. Earthquakes and landslides must be endorsed onto the policy. Flood is NOT covered on an Ohio homeowners insurance policy. You have to buy a separate flood policy. Trees can be a little bit tricky, but if it falls onto an insured building, there is usually coverage for removal and repair of the damaged building. If it just falls into your yard and doesn't damage anything, that's a bit different. But, if coverage does apply, you still must satisfy the deductible requirement. Get more information by reading our article Will homeowners insurance cover fallen trees on my property?
What if you have a claim due to an Act of God? Read our helpful article "How do Ohio homeowners insurance claims work?" for additional information about the claims process.
There is one exception where the deductible may not apply- Acts of God and Ohio homeowners insurance
If you have a total loss, an insurance company will often waive your deductible. So, let's say the tornado comes and flattens your house. No deductible would apply. Your car is turned into a tin can. No deductible. You'll have to check with your own insurance company, but it's a gesture of goodwill among many.
Just for fun, we reviewed our insurance company forms to check the meaning of "Acts of God"
Because that's how we insurance folk roll ;) We even pulled out a licensing textbook. We were curious to see if the term "Acts of God" appeared in either location. It didn't. So it’s a good assumption that “Acts of God” has become one of those unwritten terms that’s become popular in the insurance vocabulary.
So for the majority of things that fall from the sky or are summoned by forces much stronger than ourselves, you will be required to pay your deductible to get the damage fixed.
Are you concerned how your Ohio homeowners policy will respond to Acts of God? Or the types of deductibles that may apply? (warning- they CAN be different) We'll walk you through EXACTLY how our policies treat Acts of God and the deductibles you can be expected to pay (no surprises!) Call or click today!