Vandalism and malicious damage home insurance

Compare home insurance policies that provide cover for deliberate damage done to your home or its contents.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 22 November 2021  | 2 mins read

What is malicious damage in insurance?

Malicious damage is harm, or vandalism, that’s done intentionally to your home or its contents.

Unlike accidental damage in home insurance, which covers mishaps such as spilling a glass of red wine onto the carpet, vandalism and malicious damage deals with acts done in a deliberate attempt to cause harm.

In home insurance, this can include anything from someone purposefully smashing your windows to daubing your walls with graffiti.

Does home insurance cover vandalism or malicious damage?

Most home buildings and contents insurance policies cover damage to your home, or the contents of your home or garden that’s done deliberately and maliciously. 

This is providing that the damage hasn't been done by you, family members living in your home or by paying tenants or guests.

You could also be excluded from making a claim if you’ve been negligent in any way. For example, if you left your home unattended with the windows open or doors unlocked and vandals entered your property  causing malicious damage.

What about unoccupied properties and vandalism?

In most cases, a home insurance policy won’t cover you for loss or damage caused by vandalism if you leave your home unoccupied for more than the period shown in your policy - usually around 30 consecutive days.

A vacant property can be an easy target for vandals. So be sure to ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your home, get a friend to visit periodically and increase security measures if you’re going to leave your property empty for any length of time.

What is classified as vandalism?

In home insurance terms, vandalism is classified as acts that cause intentional, malicious damage or destruction to your property or its contents. This could include deliberate acts such as:

  • Smashing windows
  • Pulling up shrubs or flowers in the garden; digging up your lawn
  • Spraying graffiti on walls
  • Arson

What should I do if my house has been vandalised?

If you’re unfortunate enough to have your home or property intentionally damaged by someone, you should:

  • Report it to the police and get a crime reference number. Some insurance policies will require that you do this quickly, often within 24 hours of discovering the damage
  • Take photographs of the damage to show to your insurer
  • If your home security has been compromised, arrange for necessary repairs to be made
  • Contact your insurance provider

What can I do to prevent malicious damage to my home?

There are steps you can take to deter vandals, including:

  1. Install lighting

    Bright lighting can deter vandals from causing damage. Put up security lights with motion-activated sensors to illuminate dark areas of your property

  2. Security systems

    A burglar alarm and CCTV system make your home less of an appealing target

  3. Plant appeal

    Strategically plant prickly bushes and shrubs to act as a boundary to your property

  4. Strengthen glass

    Adding a layer of security film to your windows gives them extra protection and strength against breakage

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