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Does landlord insurance pay for stolen property and vandalism?

October 4, 2020

Unlike homeowners insurance, landlord insurance companies only cover vandalism if it has been added as additional coverage to an insurance policy. You will want to consider if vandalism is a risk for your property depending on the neighborhood, geographic area, and crime rate of the area, and if so, make sure that you add insurance coverage for it.

The amount of coverage you'll receive for vandalism will depend on what level of coverage you choose to have for it when adding it to your landlord insurance policy. The type of coverage you select here if you choose to add vandalism coverage, can lead to whether your insurance policy will pay for the replacement cost of what the property was originally insured at, or for the actual cash value that the property is at now.

What is considered vandalism?

Landlord insurance policies consider vandalism to be any intentional damage done to the property. Any accidental damage done by the tenant or other people, such as a tenant's guest accidentally throwing a baseball through a window, will not be considered vandalism. A tenant causing property damage by intentionally destroying a wall with a sledgehammer however, is considered vandalism. Without vandalism coverage, you'll either need to use the tenant's security deposit, pay out of pocket for the repairs, or even take the tenant to court. Your landlord liability insurance will also not cover any legal fees that you may incur if you decide to take the tenant to court in this scenario.

Will vandalism cover the loss or destruction of a tenant's personal property?

No. It's important to note that if somebody comes in and intentionally destroys the tenants personal belongings as well as puts holes in the property's walls, your vandalism coverage (if you've added it to your policy) will only cover the damages to the rental property. Damages to any tenant's belongings under any circumstances are not considered a covered loss in landlord insurance. In order for your tenant's personal belongings to be covered, they'll need to have their own renters insurance. A renters insurance policy will not only cover them in the event of vandalism, but for incidents such as fires that result in the loss of their personal belongings.

If a break-in occurs, is that considered vandalism?

Break ins, and the damages from them, are not considered vandalism under most landlord insurance policies. In order to have coverage for this, you would want to separately consider adding burglary coverage to your landlord insurance policy.

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