Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance is a type of insurance coverage that protects against losses sustained as a result of vandals. Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance is included in most basic commercial and homeowner policies. It is important for properties that are not occupied during well-known periods of the day, such as with churches and schools. While these structures are unoccupied, they become targets by vandals because the vandals know there is a reduced risk of being caught.
This coverage typically carries a higher deductible for properties that are known to be unoccupied for certain hours of the day due to the risk and frequency of loss (such as churches and schools). Vandalism and mischief is described as the intentional injury or destruction of property. Vandalism and malicious mischief can be written as an endorsement to standard policies, such as the standard fire policy, in the event that the policy requires a separate endorsement for this type of coverage.
Vandalism is damage caused to someone else’s property, simply for the sake of causing damage. Malicious mischief is similar, though damage may not have been intended. Some things, like egging a house, straddle the line, depending on the outcome. Vandalism is one of the most common property crimes.
The peril of vandalism or malicious mischief covers damage to parts of the premises for which you’re responsible, as well as to personal property. If someone slashes the tires of your bike on the premises, that’s vandalism. If someone thinks your music is too loud and sneaks into your home to destroy your stereo, that’s vandalism. Both would likely be covered losses if they met your deductible.
What’s the most common kind of vandalism resulting in insurance claims? Angry exes. Often fueled by alcohol, exes have been known to cause damage and destruction to property as revenge. When an ex comes into your home and trashes it, that’s vandalism, and it’s usually covered.
Vandalism or malicious mischief losses are not covered if a dwelling has been vacant for over 60 consecutive days. Vacant means you’re not living there, and it’s substantially empty of personal property necessary for normal use. If you’re not living in the dwelling, there are additional precautions against vandalism that should be taken.
Vandalism committed by any insured is not covered. What does this mean? Imagine that you live with a partner. They’re a named insured on your policy. Things go south and they move out, but you neglect to have the policy rewritten. They’re still insured under the policy. If they return and trash the place, coverage is unlikely because it’s an intentional act committed by one insured against another.