Nature and Acts of God: What Is It and What Does It Cover?
Updated on February 22 2024
Being an archipelago and its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is no stranger to natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions. On the average, the Philippines is hit by at least 20 typhoons a year. Due to climate change, these typhoons are more destructive and violent than before. The most recent one that wrecked havoc in he country is Typhoon Rolly last November 2020. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRMMC, Rolly affected 1.9 million people in 8 of the 17 regions.
Natural disasters are events that are beyond our control. No matter how prepared we are, things can still get out of hand. When disasters strike, having an insurance policy can be your only defense. Damages and repairs to your vehicle due to natural disasters can be costly. A car insurance with nature and acts of God coverage can spare you from all these expenses.
What is Nature and Acts of God Car Insurance?
Nature and acts of God coverage pays for the cost of repairs and damages to your vehicle due to natural disasters. It is worth noting however that not all insurance policies come with this coverage. They have different terms and conditions for coverage so it pays to read the fine print and shop around for the right policy. In the Philippines, nature and acts of God insurance may cover the following:
The Philippine is surrounded by bodies of water making it prone to typhoons. In flood-prone areas, heavy rains can cause flooding in a span of minutes. But experiencing typhoons does not make you qualified to avail of acts of God insurance. There are certain conditions that need to be met first:
- There has to be an official announcement from the PAGASA, Philvocs, and other related government agencies
- The damage should happen suddenly and inevitably
- Negligence on your part will render the claim invalid. For example, warnings of landslides and floods had already been issued but you still drove your vehicle to these areas despite the warnings.
Whenever there is a typhoon, there will always be flooding. An acts of God insurance always bundles flooding with typhoon occurrence. Just like in the typhoon, there needs to be an advisory from the government agencies for a claim to be valid. Aside from that, you need ti prove that the damage was caused by the unexpected and unavoidable rising of the water level not because of negligence.
3. Volcanic Eruption
The Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire so volcanic eruptions is a commonplace. There are 24 active volcanoes in the country. The most recent volcanic eruption was Taal Volcano in June 2021, when it spewed sulfur dioxide amounting to 14,326 tons and reached as far as Central Luzon.
Like in typhoon and flooding, there are certain conditions that need to be met for volcanic eruption claims to be valid. First, it should be included in your insurance policy. Second, just like in typhoon and flooding, there should be no negligence on your part in protecting your vehicle. Ashfall is considered unavoidable and unexpected and as such any claim will be valid.
4. Wild Animals
Wild animals, like migratory birds, are considered acts of nature. If they cause damage or accidents to your car, you can file a claim to pay for the costs.
Water damage from man-made sources like pipes and water tanks are not covered by nature and acts of God insurance. However, if the water damage was caused by any of the natura calamities listed in your policy, you can file for a claim.
What is Covered By An Acts of God Insurance?
You cannot purchase nature and acts of God insurance as a standalone policy. It is usually offered as an add-on to comprehensive car insurance for maximum protection. If you have comprehensive car insurance, which is around 1-2% of your car’s total value, you have to add an additional 30% which can increase the total premium you will have to pay. A few thousand pesos would not hurt considering the protection and peace of mind you will get. This type of insurance will cover the following:
1. Reimbursement for Repairs
If your vehicle sustains damage like clogged air filtration system as a result of ashfall, your insurance provider will pay for the repairs by reimbursing your expenses.
2. Payment for Totally Damaged Vehicles
As an acts of God insurance coverage will pay cash for a totally damaged vehicle, your insurance provider will conduct a thorough investigation of your claim. It is worth noting however, that the payment will be equivalent to your car’s current market value and not the original price. For this, you will need to prepare the following documents:
- Police report
- Notarized affidavit
- Photocopy of driver’s license with official receipt
- Photocopy of official receipt and certificate of registration
- Photos of the damage to your vehicle
Natural disasters is something that we cannot control. However, we can do something to protect our investment by getting an Acts of God insurance coverage. Check with your provider and make sure that you understand the terms and conditions of your policy before signing it.