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Acts of God and home insurance

Rebecca Goodman
Written by  Rebecca Goodman
5 min read
Updated: 15 Feb 2024

Acts of God are natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes or volcanoes, but what do they mean when it comes to your home insurance?

What is an Act of God? 

The phrase ‘Act of God’ refers to a range of different scenarios that may impact you and your home. They usually include extreme, unforeseen weather conditions which are unavoidable and aren’t anyone’s fault.  

They are also sometimes known as ‘force majeure clauses’ although instead of using these terms, most insurers now list which of these events you are and aren’t covered for. The following are usually all included: 

  • Hurricanes 

  • Floods 

  • Tsunamis 

  • Volcano eruptions 

  • Storms 

  • Lighting  

flood

What is not considered an Act of God? 

If someone or something is to blame for an incident, and it could have been prevented or avoided, then it’s not an Act of God. For example, a flood caused by a leaking tap or a fire that started because of an iron left on. These are both examples where a person is the cause of the incident and therefore aren’t classed as Acts of God.     

Do insurance companies still use the term Act of God? 

If you look at your home insurance policy details, you probably won’t find the term ‘Act of God’ as most insurers now avoid it. Instead, they make it clearer by listing all of the things you are and aren’t covered for, up to an annual limit of money. However, if you’re unsure of your cover levels, contact your insurer and it should be able to explain everything to you. 

Can I buy Act of God insurance? 

There aren’t specific ‘Acts of God’ insurance policies as this term instead refers to a type of incident that may impact your home. Your home insurance policy should also cover you for a range of scenarios, such as floods and fires, so you shouldn’t need to buy the extra cover, if it existed. 

Does my home insurance cover natural disasters? 

Your home insurance policy should cover you for some of the incidents considered Acts of God, such as floods, fires, and storm damage. The amount of cover depends on your policy and the level of cover you have bought.   

The exact things you are covered for will be listed in your policy documents, which will have been sent to you by your insurer, or you can probably find on their website. 

Not every scenario will be covered, and there will also be exclusions, which should be listed in the documents. 

Am I covered for floods and storm damage? 

Most home insurance policies provide some cover for flood and storm damage. If you live in a flood-risk area (you can check if you do on the Gov.uk website) your insurance is probably going to be more expensive, or you may have to pay a higher excess if you make a claim.  

Properties in high flood risk areas can also get protection from the Government’s Flood Re scheme which will provide cover if standard insurers won’t.  

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