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.
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 Financial Advisors.
The most common exclusion under a home policy considered an “Act of God” is a flood. To help you stay prepared, we’ve introduced Comprehensive Water: complete and flexible coverage designed to insure you against many types of water damage to your home, like flooding caused by an overflow from rivers, lakes and creeks. Currently available in Alberta and Ontario, Comprehensive Water will be offered across Canada in 2017. Until then, you can purchase Extended Water for your home policy which covers you if water enters your home through septic or sewer or backups.
An earthquake is a common exclusion on most policies but 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.