How “Acts of God” Affect Auto Insurance Claims
When most drivers file an auto insurance claim, the claim stems from damage due to a collision with another vehicle. But what happens when the damage comes from a storm, a fire, or falling tree? While most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for storm or fire damage, the same coverage does not often apply to auto insurance. Some insurers may deny an auto insurance claim for this type of damage. Their policies may define damage attributable to natural disasters as an “act of God.”
Auto Insurance Claims: Defining and “Act of God”
In legal terms, an “act of God” is defined as an incident that could neither be prevented or avoided by rational foresight. These incidents can include damage from hail storms, floods, blizzards, and wildfires. When a driver files an auto insurance claim for damages from any such incident, the insurer can decline the claim based on the “acts of God” clause in the policy. The clause absolves the insurance carrier of any responsibility for the auto insurance claim, leaving the driver on the hook for the repair costs.
Auto Insurance Claims: Grounds for Negligence
In some instances, the driver can file an auto insurance claim if they can show that the damage the carrier attributed to an “act of God” could have been prevented by other parties. These auto insurance claims can stem from either deliberate action or negligence by another party that contributed to the damage. For instance, if a car in a driveway sustains damage from a neighbor’s tree falling on it, the insurer can classify that as an “act of God.” However, if the policy holder can show that the tree fell due to the neighbor’s negligence in caring for it, the insurer may honor the claim.
Auto Insurance Claims: Read the Fine Print
When drivers base their policy purchases on price, they can miss out on learning the extent of their coverage. If those drivers live near areas prone to natural disasters, they may learn that their auto insurance claim will be denied only after they file their paperwork. The best way to prevent such surprises is to examine the language of the policy for coverage from “acts of God.” While policies that offer protection from storms, fires, and falling objects carry higher premiums, they also allow drivers the chance to file an auto insurance claim and recover those damages.
Auto Insurance Claims: Getting Legal Help
Even with comprehensive coverage, the insurer may still decide to refuse a legitimate auto insurance claim. These refusals can happen for a variety of reasons, such as a carrier overwhelmed with claims after a natural disaster. Drivers who believe that their carriers refused their auto insurance claims for reasons beyond the scope of the policy can obtain legal advice from a qualified attorney. The attorneys at Arguello Law Firm have decades of experience in dealing with auto insurance claim cases.
Source: Insurance Zebra
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NOTE: This blog post is a news story and is not an endorsement of Arguello Law Firm by any party mentioned herein.
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