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What Does ‘Act of God’ Mean for Your Warranties?

act of god flood

What is an 'Act of God'?

The phrase “Act of God” may evoke images of the Father Almighty smiting the black sheep of the bible. But more often than not, when someone says an act of God, they’re referring to an uncontrollable event. Most likely a natural disaster.

Hurricanes, floods, bushfires, lightning, volcanoes, tsunamis and even an exceptionally heavy rainstorm are considered acts of God. These are events that are out of human control. That’s what an act of God in warranties means.

So, what does this have to do with emergency plumbing? Well, the chances are high that you’ll find a clause in the warranty of your hot water system stating that the unit is not covered against acts of God or natural disasters. The same goes for air conditioning and a plethora of other white goods.

For example, both Rinnai and Rheem are two leading brands that do not honour warranties for these worst-case scenarios, which is fair enough.

Why should they replace your water heater free of charge just because a flood carries it off towards the horizon never to be seen again? This is also known as a force majeure clause, which means that the company is not liable for unforeseeable and unavoidable catastrophes.

This is actually standard practice. Homes, cars and appliances are typically not covered by insurance or warranties for acts of God unless you take additional coverage. Your insurance policy will most likely mention force majeure clauses.

But why acts of God? Why not refer to these scenarios as natural disasters or uncontrollable events – which they are? It all dates back to centuries-old legal precedents contrived when atheists were not considered mainstream.

You might expect these legalities to have been updated to represent modern values, but not everyone has jumped on board. And as a result, several people have attempted to sue God for damages. Billy Connolly even starred in a film about it.

Why Does the 'God Clause' Exist?

The “God Clause” may sound mysterious and portentous, but it’s a crucial part of many warranties and contracts. Essentially, it’s a provision that frees both parties from certain obligations in the event of extraordinary, uncontrollable circumstances, often referred to as “acts of God”.

It’s a standard clause for insurance companies to use in the English-speaking legal world. But why does this force majeure clause exist in the first place? Well, it all comes down to fairness and practicality.

Unpredictable events: Nature can be unpredictable. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters can wreak havoc on the best-laid plans. The God Clause acknowledges that these events are beyond anyone’s control, and it wouldn’t be fair to hold someone accountable for something they couldn’t foresee or prevent.

Legal protection: It’s also a legal safeguard. By including the God Clause, both parties are protected from potential lawsuits or disputes that could arise due to events beyond their control. It helps prevent costly legal battles and ensures that contracts remain reasonable and enforceable.

Business continuity: In a broader sense, the God Clause allows businesses to continue operating in the face of unexpected challenges, which may even involve personal injuries. Without it, even minor disruptions could lead to contract breaches and financial strain.

In summary, the force majeure clauses are a practical and fair provision that acknowledges the uncertainties of life while operating within contract law. If you ever want to challenge this clause, it becomes a civil law matter.

It’s a way to ensure that contracts remain reasonable and that both parties have some protection when faced with unforeseeable events. It’s not just a way for companies to escape liability.

So, What’s the Moral of the Story?

Always read the fine print. This way, you can take out the appropriate insurance for your home and possessions and know that you’ll be covered against natural catastrophes that the Father Almighty or Mother Nature – however you want to look at it – throw your way.

Essentially, it’s a legal matter that exists within your insurance policy or warranty that takes natural events into account.

And if you need repairs or the installation of a new unit that’s not covered by warranties, you can call Mr Emergency for assistance, 24/7, every day of the year. We offer a range of finance options** payment terms for eligible customers through finance providers Zip and Humm. Anything else is just a recipe for natural disaster.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.

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