Acts of God

29/04/2013 -- Admin
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Unpredictable Acts of God can ruin your holiday and cost you money.

Acts of God Definition

The term, used in law for centuries, defines events of "superior force" that are not man made, avoidable, preventable, foreseen or anticipated.  Nobody can be held responsible - except Mother Nature or God, of course.

As a traveller AoG's can affect your carrier, accommodation, excursion and service providers.

They cause cancellations, curtailment, missed departure and additional expense. Both providers and travellers can find themselves with contractual liabilities. This is where insurance can help.

What is Covered

A comprehensive travel policy can cover you for irrecoverable, unused travel and accommodation costs (including excursions) and other pre-paid charges which you have paid/are contracted to pay, plus reasonable additional travel expenses incurred if the trip has to be cancelled, cut short or interrupted due to (including Acts of God):

  • A Government directive prohibiting all travel to/recommending evacuation from the area you were planning to visit/are staying in due to natural disaster, eg, earthquake, tsunami, flood, hurricane, epidemic.
  • The Police or other authorities requesting you to stay at/return home due to a serious incident, eg: fire, explosion, storm, flood, subsidence, fallen trees, collision by road vehicles, malicious act/theft.

Recent 'Acts of God' Examples

New York and Prague

A couple of years ago, who'd have thought that holidaymakers would have to factor hurricane cover into their travel insurance policy for New York?  Or flooding for Prague?

Many Brits visiting Lower Manhattan in 2012 and Central Europe in 2013 found themselves without catastrophe cover. Always read the small print on natural disasters.

If your travel plans are disrupted, then you're out on a limb if you don't have a travel insurance policy with this cover.

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Always heed warnings of an impending disaster - the Foreign Office website is a good place to start.

Your policy could be invalid if you travel against official advice. You'll find up-to-date travel info on the 'know before you go' section.

Association of British Insurers

Suzanne Moore of the ABI (Association of British Insurers) says:
"If there was an unexpected earthquake, you should be covered...However, if you visited Mount Etna now, went walking in the local village and expected to be treated from lava burns you may have problems."