What Is Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Insurance?

Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance is insurance coverage that protects against losses sustained as a result of vandals. This type of insurance is included in most basic commercial and homeowner policies. It is an important insurance component for properties that are not occupied during well-known periods of the day, such as churches and schools. These structures can become target when they are unoccupied because vandals know there is a reduced risk of being caught.

Key Takeaways

  • Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance is included in most basic commercial and homeowner insurance policies.
  • Schools and churches need this type of insurance because they can be targeted during hours when they are unoccupied.
  • Damage caused by ex-partners is the type of vandalism and malicious mischief insurance that most often results in a claim.
  • Vandalism losses are not covered on dwellings that have been vacant for more than 60 days; losses perpetrated by any policy's named insureds are not covered either.

How Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Insurance Works

Due to the risk and frequency of loss, this coverage typically carries a higher deductible for properties that are known to be unoccupied for certain hours of the day, including churches and schools. Vandalism and mischief are described as the intentional injury or destruction of property. Vandalism and malicious mischief can be written as an endorsement to a standard policy, such as the standard fire policy, in the event that the policy requires a separate endorsement for this type of coverage.

What Is Vandalism and Malicious Mischief?

Vandalism is damage done to someone else’s property, simply for the sake of causing damage. It is one of the most common property crimes. Malicious mischief is similar, though the damage may not have been intended. Some situations, like egging a house, straddle the line, depending on the outcome.

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, for example, someone slashes the tires of your bike, which is stored on the property, that’s vandalism. If someone thinks your music is too loud and sneaks into your home to destroy your stereo, that, too, is vandalism. Both would likely be covered losses if they met your deductible.

What type of vandalism most commonly results in an insurance claim? Damage inflicted by angry ex-husbands/wives/partners. Often fueled by alcohol, exes have been known to take revenge on a former spouse by causing property damage and destruction. If your ex comes into your home and trashes it, that’s vandalism, and it's usually covered.

If you’re not living in a dwelling, it's important to take additional precautions against vandalism.

What’s Not Covered as Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

Vandalism or malicious mischief losses are not covered if a dwelling has been vacant for over 60 consecutive days. A structure is vacant is no one is living there and it’s substantially empty of personal property necessary for normal use.

Vandalism committed by any of the insured is also not covered. What does this mean? Imagine that you live with a partner who is a named insured on your policy. Things go south and they move out, but you neglect to have the policy rewritten. That means they’re still insured under the policy. If they return and trash the place, reimbursement would likely be denied because it’s an intentional act committed by one insured against another.