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Los ANgeles car insuranceWhat is an act of God? Most definitions use language like, "an unavoidable catastrophe caused by nature" and "something that alters events in a way outside of human control." As you may expect, it has nothing to do with believing a supreme being is a causal factor, but simply refers to unexpected situations and disasters that cannot be controlled, usually related to the natural world. When it comes to insurance, we tend to instead think of acts of God as earthquakes, floods, or fires that destroy our homes and possessions. But what about cars? Do you know where your auto insurance policy stands on acts of God? What if tornado winds flip your car over, a lightning strike starts it on fire, or it is crushed by a stampede of wild animals?

In reality we purchase insurance to protect us from the possibility of an unlikely occurrence, and most insurance companies no longer use the expression act of God, referring instead to specified perils. The concept of risk assumes that individuals will take a measure of responsibility and try to avoid perils where possible. An act of God largely assumes that such measures cannot be taken, as the occurrence is truly outside of one's control. In most cases, negligence is not involved, and drivers cannot be held liable for a loss that occurs due to an act of God. However, some so-called acts of God or nature can be avoided and damage or loss prevented. If you live in a flood plain or along a seismic fault line, your home and vehicle insurance may not cover damage from an earthquake or flood, since these are common and not unexpected events that can be predicted with some degree of certainty.

Most vehicle policies are not limited to coverage only while you are driving. They provide collision, liability and comprehensive coverage, the latter generally covering loss that occurs while your vehicle is standing still. The comprehensive portion also covers damage when you hit a deer, hail or rocks smash your windshield, or your car is damaged by a tree that blows over in a storm. Occasionally collision coverage may apply, too. For example, if you are driving your vehicle and you brake to avoid a gap that opens up in the street, causing the vehicle behind to rear-end you; or during an ice storm another driver loses control of his car and it slides into your vehicle.

In most cases, your vehicle's comprehensive policy will cover natural catastrophes or acts of God. However, although the comprehensive portion of a policy is generally fairly low cost, many people try to lower their premiums by carrying only basic coverage, keeping a high deductible, or skipping comprehensive coverage completely. When an unexpected act of God or nature strikes, this can mean significant out-of-pocket costs or complete loss of your means of transportation. So how do you decide whether it is worth the cost of additional coverage? Predictability is one factor. For example, if you live near a hurricane-prone area, or if you've just moved into a lovely property on the San Andreas Fault line, you may want to alter your auto policy accordingly. The value of your car and replacement cost are also factors. If you drive an old beater, it may not be cost effective to pay the extra premium, although you may want to take into account your willingness to use public transportation until you can afford a replacement. If you still owe money on your vehicle, having no comprehensive coverage could mean you end up making payments on a vehicle you no longer have.

Regardless of your personal situation, acts of God are random uncontrollable occurrences that can strike anyone, anywhere, anytime. It's important to know what your Los Angeles car insurance policy says about coverage and exclusions. Don't assume coverage. Contact True Rate Insurance at 855-735-1600 to learn more.
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