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Act of God

David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Act of God

Hasn't happened to me (yet) but I was reading about someone who managed to blow up their PC because of a lightening strike, well the PC didn't actually explode more stopped working.  So this guy phones up for a claim under warranty and gets told "no chance, we don't insure against acts of God".
The thing is though, if you're religious anything and everything can be considered an act of god, but the law in the US on the subject goes along the lines of:
An event that directly and exclusively results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution; an inevitable accident.
If we take that as the proper definition, does that mean that if we do something that can prevent the destruction from a natural cause, we prevent an act of God?  Think about it, in our homes we have a PC, TV, consoles, printers, routers, all manner of electrical equipment which we "hope" would be covered if our house was struck by lightening which blew them all up, so if that were to happen, would the insurance company over here say "sorry, act of God, we're not giving you £5,000 to replace the stuff that went bang"?  If they define an act of God as something that could not be prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution, would that mean that by fitting a surge protector strong enough to protect the equipment from a lightening storm (but doesn't for some unknown reason, probably an act of God) we have shown foresight and caution, so act of God couldn't apply?
16 REPLIES
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Act of God

TV's are normally taken out by the lightning surge going down the aerial. Can you get surge protection for this?
8 weeks ago I had an Ethernet modem, VoIP ATA, network card and an adsl filter taken out by a lightning surge on the telephone line which went through a surge protector. Also lost some telephony functionality on a Freeview box and another adsl filter which did not go through the protector.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Act of God

Of course antenna systems can be immunised against all but a massive strike. But I've rarely seen a home broadcast TV/ radio
antenna system so protected.
But in commercial radio systems - the antenna support is either a metal mast and solidly earthed at the base, and/or a thick copper bar / cable is taken down to a good earth at the base of the mast.
The outer of the coaxial cable can be bonded to the mast at the top and the bottom of the mast and there are coaxial surge suppressors too.
But of course all this costs money - and most homeowners  don't bother, including me - even though I know how to do it.
A quick search gave me this:
http://ecmweb.com/nec/electric_article_radio_television/
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Act of God

I have a Belkin surge protector which has built in support for telephone and ariel.  I however use the ethernet over powerline dodahs, so if my house did get hit by lightening I'm guessing it would travel into my ethenet and bypass my surge plug, hrm, maybe I should invest in wireless for my PC.  Oh yeah the protector was something like £20 from PC world and comes with £100k insurance (though odds are they would find a way to never pay out if my PC did blow up).
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Act of God

So (assuming he exists) God is omnipotent. The damage by a lightning strike could be prevented, or at least the risk reduced, by a surge suppressor. A mortal human is therefore countering the Almighty. Ergo, the lightning strike cannot be an Act of God if it is possible for a mortal to prevent it. Ergo, the insurers should pay up. Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Act of God

I agree  Wink
On the other hand, the insurers will then say "you didn't take reasonable steps to avoid the damage, therefore you're liable and the insurance policy won't cover it"  Insurance companies always have you coming and going  Angry
John
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Act of God

*in my opinion*
Lightning is not an act of God, it is just weather.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,241
Thanks: 933
Fixes: 54
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Act of God

Interesting though the discussion is - the original post referred to warranty and that usually (always) refers to faults in the equipment. Now if the equipment was advertised as being resistant to lightening strikes or even acts of God that would be a different matter.
Goes to look at a warranty for a lightning conductor  Shocked Roll eyes
scootie
Grafter
Posts: 4,799
Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Act of God



if lighting is a act of god the dudes that do this must be the men so many people pray to  Wink
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: Act of God

The thing is, a guy in the US had his house struck by lightening, even though he had surge protectors in place one of the PC's went kaput, the other had a fried LAN card but calling the company to get it repaired under warranty they fobbed him off with Act Of God, even though yeah, lightening is an effect of Mother Nature.  It's the general catch all of insurance companies, they don't protect you for acts of war, acts of God or other such nonsense.  There are some things you cannot prevent no matter how hard you try, like giant worms tunneling underground when you built your house with really thick concrete to protect against a bomb, but bombs don't come from underground so the giant worms get in, but you get them later by making them rush off a cliff.
Should act of God really be part of an insurance contract anyhow?  It's not as if you can appeal against it and call God as a witness with "so, did you blow up my PC by throwing bolts of electricity at it, or was it Thor?"  I mean, if a lorry was to be passing my house and it's brakes failed so the lorry went crashing into my house breaking my PS3, couldn't the act of the brakes failing be considered an Act Of God, especially if the brakes were checked recently and had no faults so there was no reason for them to fail.
Has anyone here had an insurance claim denied because of an act of God?
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Act of God

Is this about insurance or warranties?
I would not expect any company to repair under warranty lightning damage, especially if you informed them in the first place.
My insurance specifically state for both buildings and contents that I'm covered. The problem could be proving the PC does not work because of lighning and not normal failure.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Act of God

I know a number of people who have had TVs replaced on their insurance due to lightening strikes and one who had his phone replaced as well.  One friend got a replacement PC from his insurer as well but couldn't get anything for the material he lost that was stored on it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Act of God

'act of god' is a cop-out cheat used by the insurance companies to renege on their contracts.  billy connolly was his usual hilarious self in 'the man who sued god' about this very facet of insurance companies' get-out clauses.
i'd be inclined to make 'em prove that such an entity has tangible, verifiable existence, or scrub such clauses.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,544
Thanks: 190
Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Act of God

It would be interesting to know if anyone has had a claim rejected because of 'an act of God'.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,241
Thanks: 933
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Act of God

Yes - my car was covered in dents from golf ball size hailstones.
Act of God - not covered - now if I could have contacted the other driver  Crazy