Terminology Tuesday – Vandalism and Malicious Mischief

What is considered vandalism and malicious mischief and why do you need it covered on your property policy?

According to Investopedia.com, the definition of vandalism and malicious mischief insurance (aka VMM insurance) is as follows: “Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance is insurance coverage that protects against losses sustained as a result of vandals.”

As usual, the definition is somewhat vague, so let’s break it down. What is a vandal? Merriam-Webster defines a vandal as “one who willfully or ignorantly destroys, damages, or defaces property belonging to another or to the public.” As defined, then, VMM insurance covers property damage caused by a person (whether intentionally or ignorantly) who does not have an insurable interest in the property.

This type of coverage is included on all property policies, both commercial and personal, but there are usually some limitations you should be aware of before taking this coverage at face value.

  1. Vacant property is excluded unless specifically endorsed onto the policy to be covered. (Vacant is usually defined as a property that has been unoccupied for more than 60 days.)
  2. If the damage is committed by any insured, it is not covered.

As stated above, most property policies offer coverage on VMM, but if your property is vacant and insured specifically as a vacant building, you will need to make sure it is not excluded. If it is excluded, you will need to ask your agent to add an endorsement to your policy to make sure it is covered, just in case. Unfortunately, due to the inherent risks of vacancy, this coverage can be pricey, but if your property is damaged it will be worth the extra premium!

If you have any questions about VMM insurance, please feel free to reach out to our agency for more information.

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