What is an “Act of God”?

The term “Act of God” refers to natural events that cause damage and can’t be prevented - like natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes.

Insurance companies in Canada do not use the term “Act of God” when talking about insurance products, either as a legal term or in any marketing materials. Perils refer to what types of losses are covered and exclusions state what is not covered. Exclusions are very specific, such as flood or earthquake.

Perils

Depending on the policy purchased, you are usually covered against common perils, including fire, damaging winds, and hail. Homeowners insurance and most auto policies include basic peril coverage. Policy wordings are designed to be very specific and to explain exactly what's covered and what's not. If you are ever confused about what’s covered, contact one of our helpful local advisors.

Exclusions

The most common exclusion under a home policy that would be considered an “Act of God” is a flood. No insurance company in Canada offers flood insurance under a home policy. While coverage is offered for Extended Water Damage, this does not cover accidental flood damage.

An earthquake is another common exclusion on most policies but, unlike floods, you can usually purchase additional coverage against earthquakes. While Canada isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind when you think of earthquakes, some areas of Canada are actually more earthquake-prone than others. Check out this map of earthquake zones from Natural Resources Canada to see if you live in an area where you may want to consider earthquake coverage.

For more, see the video on Acts of God from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.