Voluntary property damage – what’s covered?

If you, or another member of your household cause damage to property belonging to an individual, business, or organization, Voluntary Property Damage coverage can provide payments to compensate the victim for their loss.

Voluntary Property Damage (VPD) payments provide home insurance policyholders with a cost-effective alternative to lengthy legal actions that the affected party may undertake in order to recoup costs related to property damage caused by you or someone living in your home.

  • Most insurance companies in Ontario set their limits for Voluntary Property Damage at $1,000; however, this will vary according to insurer and policy.
  • Voluntary Property Damage coverage may also extend to property you have borrowed from a friend or neighbour, such as a snow blower or lawn tractor.
  • There is no deductible for VPD
  • Most policies also cover intentional damage caused by minors (children under 12). For example, if your child throws a rock through your neighbour’s window and breaks an expensive vase, you can ask your insurance provider to compensate for the damage under the VPD. If the damage is caused by someone aged 13 or older, the damage must be unintentional to qualify.

Similar to Voluntary Medical Payments, you don’t need to accept liability for the damages in order to make a Voluntary Property Damage claim; however, coverage is limited to the actual costs of repairing or replacing the damaged property.

What’s excluded from voluntary property damage coverage?

Voluntary property damage coverage does not apply if:

  • You, or a member of your household, caused property damage as a result of criminal activity
  • The cost to repair or replace the property that was damaged is less than the deductible on your insurance policy
  • The victim wants to be compensated for lost time at work, loss of use of the damaged property, or other related claims
  • The damage was deliberately caused (by anyone aged 13 or older)

Generally, Voluntary Property Damage limits are modest and no deductible applies to claims made under this coverage.

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Learn more about what's covered by home insurance in Ontario.

To learn more about Voluntary Property Damage coverage limits and exclusions on your homeowner insurance policy, contact us here at Mitch. Our home insurance specialists will review your existing coverage, explain the fine print, and help you understand your insurance options.

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