Malicious Damage vs Accidental Damage

It is often assumed by landlords that their landlord insurance will cover malicious damage as standard, when in actuality not many insurance services will cover malicious damage caused by tenants as standard at no extra cost within a landlord insurance policy – but we do! So we thought we would give some further information in regards to malicious damage and accidental damage to clarify the distinction between the two.

What is Malicious Damage?

Malicious damage is, of course, damage that was caused by the tenant (or someone who was legally on the premises) purposely or with malicious intent to the rented property. A lot of people believe that they are covered against malicious damage by tenant as the vast majority of landlord insurance policies will state that they do cover against malicious damage. However, this usually excludes malicious damage by tenants and actually just covers against malicious damage caused by someone who was unlawfully on the premises. Deliberate damage can be made to the property, however, without it being a malicious act. For instance, a tenant may decide to put up a shelf or hang paintings on the walls. Though the damage was caused deliberately, it wasn’t done with malicious intentions.

Examples of Malicious Damage

  • Smashing windows of the property on purpose
  • Graffiti on the property walls
  • Doors pulled off of their hinges
  • Furniture set on fire
  • Creating large holes in the walls and/or ceilings
  • Theft of landlord property could even be considered malicious damage

Basically, if it’s damage that you would report to the police then it’s most likely to be malicious damage.

What is Accidental Damage?

Accidental damage is just that: damage that was accidentally caused to the property. Unlike natural wear and tear (which is inevitable and expected when your property is being rented out for long periods of time), accidental damage is something that was caused unexpectedly by the tenant and was in no way intentional. Wear and tear can be monitored over time through frequent property inspections to ensure that the property is being maintained to the expected standards, however accidental damage is something will often happy instantaneously through mishap rather than a gradual degradation of property condition.

Examples of Accidental Damage

  • Accidental spills on the carpeting or furniture
  • Scratches along the wallpaper from moving furniture
  • Putting your foot through the loft floor
  • Dropping something heavy in the sink, causing a chip or crack
  • DIY projects gone wrong
  • Young children doodling on the walls in felt tip pen

It’s also important to note that not all landlord insurance policies will cover accidental damage caused by pets!

Does your landlords insurance policy include malicious damage by tenant cover?

Contact us to discuss your Landlord Insurance!

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