What is malicious damage insurance: a guide for landlords and small businesses

Unfortunately, malicious damage can affect anyone, potentially causing serious harm to your income. There are a number of different insurance covers you might need to protect against malicious damage, so we’ve put together this guide to help you out.

What is malicious damage insurance?

Malicious damage insurance doesn’t usually exist as a cover in its own right, but there are several types of insurance that can help cover the costs of repairs and replacements to items damaged maliciously, as well as covers that can help minimise lost income if you’re forced to pause operations.

But what counts as malicious damage? Well, the definition of malicious damage for most insurers is damage caused by someone who is not legally allowed to occupy the premises. However, some insurers define malicious damage differently, so you will need to check the exact wording of the policy you take out to be sure what is and what isn’t covered.

If you get your insurance through Simply Business you can read through each policy before deciding which one to buy, and if anything isn’t clear you can call up our contact centre where someone will be able to go over the policy with you.

What does malicious damage insurance cover?

Insurance that covers malicious damage will usually pay the cost of repairing the damages caused by malicious damage. So buildings insurance can pay the cost of repairing damage done to your business building, while contents insurance could pay for repairs or replacements of contents that are damaged maliciously. The exact coverage will depend on what insurance you have.

When you buy your insurance, make sure you check your documents carefully so you know exactly what is and what isn’t covered. There may also be certain conditions that you need to meet – if you don’t, your insurance may be void, meaning your insurer can refuse to pay out if you make a claim.

Malicious damage insurance for landlords

There are some very important distinctions when it comes to malicious damage insurance for landlords. Firstly, in most cases, malicious damage insurance will only cover you for damage caused by parties who are not legally allowed to occupy the property. This could be guests of your current tenants, former tenants who are refusing to leave after their lease has expired, squatters, etc.

Some insurers will cover malicious damage caused by those who do have a legal right to occupy the property – your tenants, for starters – so you will need to check the policy wording to see exactly what is covered.

Most of the time malicious damage insurance doesn’t exist as a separate cover, but will usually be covered under other types of insurance. If you have landlord buildings insurance, for example, that will usually cover malicious damage caused to your building itself.

However, if your property is a flat, you might find that it’s the freeholder’s responsibility to have buildings insurance. If that’s the case, you might want to take out landlord fixtures and fittings insurance instead, which would cover things like a fitted kitchen or bathroom should they be damaged maliciously.

And if you offer your property furnished – either fully or just with white goods – landlord contents insurance can pay to replace your furniture in cases like these.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that your tenants’ possessions aren’t covered under landlord contents insurance, so if they were also damaged maliciously they would not be able to claim. It’s a good idea to make tenants aware they’ll need to take out insurance for their own belongings.

If your property is damaged to such an extent that it needs repair work or redecoration, it will likely need to be empty while that work takes place. For that reason, it’s worth considering loss of rent cover, which can cover your lost rent for that period.

You can combine all of these covers into a single landlord insurance policy through Simply Business. And if you’re a commercial landlord, you can also get many of the above covers in a specialised commercial property insurance policy.

Malicious damage insurance for businesses

Whether it’s vandals or disgruntled customers, businesses can be in danger of malicious damage. If you own the building where you run your business or shop, then you may want to consider business buildings insurance to protect against malicious damage.

If you rent your business premises then you’re not usually responsible for insuring the building – that will be up to your landlord. It’s best to check, but if you don’t own the property, chances are you won’t need to worry about insuring the bricks and mortar themselves.

However, there are still several other considerations when it comes to malicious damage insurance for businesses. Almost anything that’s part of your business can fall victim to malicious damage. Business contents insurance can take care of the furniture and equipment, while stock cover is what you want to look into if you need to protect your stock.

Plus if you’ve made any improvements to the building – adding in air conditioning units, for example – and these are damaged maliciously, then if you have tenant’s improvements as part of your cover, it could pay for repairs and replacements.

Even if insuring the building and making sure it’s repaired isn’t your responsibility, you could find that you have to move out – either temporarily or permanently – if repair or redecoration work needs to be done on the building. To help cover your losses during that period, you can add business interruption insurance to your policy.

There are a lot of covers to think about, but once you’ve decided on the ones you want, you can add them all – and any other covers you need – into a single business insurance policy from Simply Business.

How to make a malicious damage insurance claim

If you have an insurance policy with Simply Business and you need to make a claim for malicious damage, contact us as soon as possible online, by email, or over the phone on 0333 207 0560.

We’ll assign you a dedicated claims handler who will be in charge of your case. Dealing with any insurance claim can be stressful but it can be a lot harder when someone has deliberately caused you harm, so your claims handler is there to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

They will go through everything you need to do, but you’ll need to provide some details about the damage as well as some supporting evidence (such as photographs). Once the Simply Business claims team have all the information they need, they’ll review your claim, and if it’s successful it will be paid out within 24 hours of being settled.

If you have any more questions about malicious damage insurance just ask in the comments.

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