Vandalism, in short, is the intentional act of damaging or destroying someone’s property without their consent. Vandalism is a covered peril in landlord and HOA/COA policies, but there are exclusions, and you need to keep the deductible in mind before filing a claim.

What kind of vandalism is covered?

Physical acts of vandalism, such as spraypainting graffiti, wilfully broken windows, or smashed mailboxes, are covered by most property insurance policies. This means your insurance carrier will cover the costs of repairing damages due to vandalism, minus the deductible

Common exclusions

Cyber vandalism: Cyber vandalism is a common exclusion for most landlord and HOA/COA insurance policies, as electronic data is not considered tangible property. 

Vacancy: If the property is vacant for more than 60 consecutive days, your insurance policy will normally not cover loss or damages due to vandalism. Vacant properties are more prone to mischief, so if your property is vacant (even if it's for a shorter period of time), it’s highly recommended to install an alarm or surveillance system.

Filing a claim for vandalism

If your rental property has been vandalized, it is important to act quickly and document all the damages. Keep in mind the deductible however before you file a claim. If the deductible is $2000, there is no point in filing a claim if the damages are less than that. It's important to know that filing a claim will also most likely increase your premium amount on your next renewal, or even make increase the likelihood of a nonrenewal, so this should be done with consideration. 

If you want to file a claim for vandalism, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Before making any repairs or cleaning up, take photos or videos of the. This will help to provide evidence to the insurance provider and support your claim.
  2. File a police report: Contact your local police department and file a report about the vandalism. Be sure to obtain a copy of the report to provide to your insurance provider.
  3. Contact your insurance provider: Notify your insurance provider as soon as possible about the vandalism and provide them with any relevant information, such as the police report and documentation of the damage. The insurance provider will likely send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the amount of the claim.

After completing these steps, you can make temporary repairs if needed. Make sure to keep any receipts or documentation of the repairs to include with your claim.

Bottom line

Vandalism coverage is a standard covered peril in property insurance policies. It provides protection for policyholders against intentional damage caused by third parties. Vandalism can include anything from broken windows and graffiti to more extensive damage like smashed walls or destroyed appliances. Your policy will cover the costs of repairing the damages, minus the deductible.