Malicious damage the most common property crime

Zoe FieldingFebruary 22, 20150 min read

More than half a million Australian households were the victims of malicious property damage, while another 400,000 suffered a break-in or attempted break-in at their home in the 2013-14 financial year, a survey published last week has found.

Malicious damage was the most common property crime, with 6% of the 8.8 million households surveyed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics claiming to have suffered at least one incident during the year.

That rate was 10 times higher than the proportion who experienced a motor vehicle theft and double the proportion who said items had been stolen from their vehicle.

Only half of households that experienced malicious property damage reported the incident to police, the ABS survey found. Three quarters reported a break-in but only 43% reported an attempted break-in.

Despite the risk of theft and damage to home and contents, four out of five Australians has inadequate property insurance and one in four has no contents insurance cover at all, according to a separate survey by Quantum Market Research for the Insurance Council of Australia.

Some people said the cost of insurance was too high while others were complacent about the need for coverage.

For landlords, insurance premiums can be claimed as a tax deduction. The scope of landlord insurance varies between policies, but most include coverage against malicious damage to the building and its contents by tenants and their guests, as well as intruders.

Zoe Fielding

I am a freelance journalist and editor with more than 15 years experience specialising in personal finance, property, financial services and financial technology. A skilled writer and researcher, I have extensive experience producing high quality content for corporate and media clients. I am used to working to tight deadlines and tailoring the pieces I produce to suit a variety of audiences and formats.
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