What is malicious damage?
If someone deliberately defaces or destroys your belongings, with spite, it’s known as malicious damage. Home insurance can help.
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People are complicated creatures. Sometimes, they just want to destroy things. Thankfully, home insurance can help if they ever choose your home or its contents.
That's because all home and contents policies cover malicious damage as standard. That includes any deliberate and spiteful damage done by someone you didn't invite into your home.
Compare malicious damage benefits
Cover for malicious damage comes as standard in all home and contents policies, but there may be variations between which specific items are covered. Compare using the table below and don't forget to click "view details" to see more benefits.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
3 things you should know about malicious damage
- You should report it to the police and let your insurer know immediately.
- If it's committed by someone you invited into your home, it won't be covered.
- If you or your family accidentally breaks something, it's not considered malicious damage.
Different types of damage
Not all damage is malicious. Damage comes in several different forms and they're all treated slightly differently by home insurance.
|Type of damage||Example||How it's covered|
|Malicious||A vandal graffities over your walls and smashes your windows.||As long as you didn't invite the vandal into your home, your insurance will pay for repairs.|
|Intentional||You lose your wedding ring between cracks in the floorboards, so you rip them up.||Unfortunately, it probably won't be covered. Although the damage isn't malicious, it's still intentional so you might not be able to claim.|
|Accidental||You spill red wine on your new cream carpet.||Cover for accidental damage isn't always included as standard. But if it is, or if you've added it to your policy, you'll be covered.|
|Wear and tear||The fabric of your sofa tears after many years of use.||Wear and tear is never covered by home insurance.|
Can landlords get cover for malicious damage?
Yes, but you'll need landlord insurance first. Most insurance brands let customers add cover for malicious damage by tenants onto their landlord insurance policy.
This will pay out if your tenant damages any of your belongings which are in the property, like furniture or carpets. It'll also pay out if they damage the property itself – for example, punching holes in walls or smashing windows.
When aren't you covered by malicious damage?
Certain types of malicious damage are unlikely to be covered by your home insurance. Here are some common situations which probably won't be covered:
- If you caused the damage to get a payout
- If the person is acting with your permission
- If the damage is caused by a paying guest or one of their guests
- If your relative or a member of your household caused the damage
- If the culprit came into your home with your permission
- If the culprit came into your home with permission from your relative or household member
- If you participated in the riot or civil unrest which caused the damage
- If you publicly advertised your home as the venue for a party or event
Malicious damage defined by home insurers
Looking for a by-the-book definition of malicious damage? Here are three extracts from the insurance documents of some big Australian brands:
Tips to reduce the risk of malicious damage
Putting in some simple security measures can not only reduce your risk of malicious damage, it might also bring the cost of your insurance premium down too. You can:
- Install security cameras
- Install motion-activated lights
- Install privacy fencing
- Use deterrents such as anti-graffiti paint
- Join a neighbourhood watch
- Keep the outside of your home clean and tidy
- Clean vandalism and repair damages as soon as possible
Still haven't found what you were looking for?
Check out our beginner's guide on home insurance for more info about what's typically covered by home and contents policies.
Or, if you're looking to protect something particular, like a laptop or piece of jewellery, you might benefit from single-item insurance.
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