Does Home Insurance Cover Destructive House Parties?
Your house has been trashed after your kids had a party. Does your home insurance cover house parties gone wild?
Your home insurance typically covers vandalism, malicious acts or mischief during a party that gets out of control.
What should I do after my house has been trashed?
If anything has been stolen during the party, call the police and report it. Be sure to make a list of what has been stolen. If the police are involved, don’t start cleaning up your house until you are told that you can.
You also need to take pictures and make a list of the damage to show your insurance provider. Contact your insurer right away.
What is vandalism?
Vandalism is the willful destruction of property by a third party, meaning by someone who is not on your home insurance policy and is not your immediate family. You may also see insurers use the terms “malicious mischief” and “malicious acts.”
Did you know that mischief is in the Criminal Code?
If the damage you cause to property is more than $5,000 and the charge is treated as an indictable offence, the maximum punishment is 10 years in prison. The Crown prosecutor must show that you wilfully caused mischief to a property to get a conviction.
How does my home insurance protect me from vandalism?
Vandalism can include:
- Smashing windows, lights, furniture
- Trash dumping
- Egging your house
- Cutting down trees, tearing up lawn
- Damaging other personal property in your home
When doesn’t my home insurance cover vandalism?
- If you have a home-based business, you may not have full coverage if it’s vandalized.
- Most home insurance policies provide coverage to direct family members of the person who bought the policy. If any of those direct family members cause the damage, it’s not considered vandalism.
- Home insurance does not cover vandalism caused by a tenant. Tenants should insure their own possessions. Renting out your property is considered to be a business and is not covered by standard home insurance.
- If your home is vacant for over 60 days, your home insurance will not cover vandalism. If you’re going on a long vacation, you should let your insurer know.
Of note: If you own a condo and your unit or possessions are vandalized, you can expect your condo insurance policy to cover it.
If the condo building’s shared property is vandalized, the condo corporation would have to make a claim on the building’s policy. Shared property in a condo is everything outside the individually owned units such as the lobby, building exterior, hallways, and elevators.
Tips if you or your kids are having a party
Limit the number of guests: You should know the people who are coming to your party. Do not put out a general call that says, “Come on over, I’m having party this weekend.”
Don’t show off your valuables: Put them safely away so that they can’t be stolen or damaged.
Lay down ground rules: For example, tell your guests what parts of the house are off limits and when you expect the party to end and for them to go home. If they’re your friends, they should respect your rules.
Call the police if necessary: If the party is getting is getting out of control, the police can help calm things down or get the party to end.