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Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Insurance (VMM)

A type of property insurance that covers damages to parts of an insured building or personal property for which the policyholder is responsible

Written by

CFI Team

Published June 30, 2023

Updated July 7, 2023

What is Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Insurance (VMM)?

Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance (VMM) is a type of property insurance that covers damages to parts of an insured building or personal property for which the policyholder is responsible. VMM insurance is ideal for buildings that remain unoccupied for an extended period and is suitable for churches, schools, and commercial buildings. Since the structures remain unoccupied for a long period, they are vulnerable to vandalism.

Most homeowner’s and commercial insurance policies contain vandalism and malicious mischief as some of the risks covered by the policy. When looking into insurance coverage options, property owners should seek a comprehensive coverage that lists vandalism and malicious mischief as one of the perils covered.

For example, commercial buildings located in streets with high foot traffic or an area prone to vandalism should consider getting VMM, since the damage can hurt a business’ reputation and incur huge costs in the form of repairs.

Summary

Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance (VMM) protects the policyholder from losses sustained from intentional acts of vandalism.

The policy covers damages to parts of the insured building and personal property in the property.

VMM insurance is included in most commercial and homeowner’s insurance policies.

Understanding Vandalism and Malicious Mischief Insurance

Vandalism is purposeful damage caused to another person’s property to cause destruction. Examples of vandalism include spraying graffiti on walls, punching holes in a wall, etc. On the other hand, malicious mischief is damage to property that is caused by spite or hatred.

While vandalism is intentional damage to property, the destruction caused by malicious mischief might not have been intended. Initially, insurers provided coverage for damage caused through vandalism, and it was expanded to include malicious mischief to provide wider coverage to damages that vandalism did not cover.

Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance covers damages to a commercial building or premises for which the policyholder is responsible for, as well as any personal property within the covered building. A large number of damages to property recorded in the United States have been linked to angry ex-spouses seeking revenge by causing damage to property.

Properties that are unoccupied for an extended period during the day often carry a higher deductible due to the high risk and frequency of loss. Although VMM may be provided as a standalone policy, it may be written as an endorsement to a policy for the respective type of perils.

What is Not Covered under VMM?

Vandalism and malicious mischief insurance may only apply in certain instances. The cover may not apply if the insured property was unoccupied for more than 60 days. By vacant, it means that the owner did not reside in the house during the period, and the premises were substantially empty of personal property that is ideal for use.

If a property owner is not present for an extended period, they should take additional precautions that make it difficult for vandals to access the property or commit vandalism. For example, installing surveillance cameras and hiring security personnel to guard the premises can act as a deterrent against acts of vandalism.

Vandalism and malicious mischief may also not apply if the damage or losses from vandalism were due to the acts of an insured party. it means that if a marriage is dissolved, the policyholder should immediately update the policy to reflect the changes in the list of insured persons.

If a disgruntled partner returns to the insured premises and causes damages to the building or personal property, the policy is unlikely to apply because the damage is caused by the insured against another person.

Making a VMM Claim

When a property owner suffers damages or losses due to vandalism and malicious mischief, there are several actions that the property owner should take.

First, as soon as the damage occurs, the property owner should file a police report, and the report should include information on all items, fixtures, and equipment that were damaged in the insured property.

The property owner should take photographs of the damaged items in the property to act as a record, which may be required by the insurer when evaluating the extent of damages suffered.

The property owner can hire a licensed public adjuster to prepare the scope of damages by preparing estimates and inventories to determine the total value of the damages. The scope of the damage is attached to the police report, and it is required when submitting a claim to the insurance company.

Once a claim’s been submitted, some insurers may intentionally deny, delay, or dispute a vandalism and malicious mischief claim. When a policyholder submits a claim, they expect the insurer to initiate the process of claims settlement according to the terms provided in the policy document.

However, some insurers may delay or deny paying valid claims without providing a concrete explanation. If the insurer cannot attribute the damage or losses to the property to fraud or criminal acts, then the policyholder has a case against the insurer. The policyholder can launch a complaint against the insurer through the relevant insurance authority in their state.

More Resources

CFI offers the Commercial Banking & Credit Analyst (CBCA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and developing your knowledge base, please explore the additional relevant resources below:

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Variable Universal Life (Vul) Insurance

Variable Universal Life (VUL) Insurance

A life insurance policy that builds cash value

Written by

CFI Team

Published April 28, 2023

Updated June 28, 2023

What Is Variable Universal Life (VUL) Insurance?

Variable Universal Life Insurance is a life insurance policy that builds cash value. The accumulated cash in the policy can be invested in a number of different ways. The investments are chosen by the policyholder, in accordance with their financial goals and risk tolerance.

Variable universal policies differ from whole life policies because there is no “endowment” age. The endowment age – typically pegged at 100 – is the age of the policyholder at which the policy’s cash value will be exactly equal to the stated death benefit amount.

Summary: 

Variable universal life (VUL) insurance is a type of policy that builds cash value.

VUL premiums are very flexible, ranging from minimum monthly payments to maximum allowable monthly payments.

How Does Variable Universal Life Insurance Work?

The “universal” component means that the policyholder can flexibly make payments, with premiums that may range all the way up to the maximum allowed by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. The only requirement for monthly premiums is that they meet a specified minimum amount required to keep the policy in force.

If there is sufficient cash value existing in the policy to cover the required minimum monthly premium amount, the insured is not required to make any payment at all. The minimum payment will simply be drawn from the policy’s existing cash value. (This directly contrasts with whole life insurance, which comes with fixed premium payments that need to be paid so that the policy doesn’t lapse.)

The “variable” component of the name is a reference to the fact that the policyholder can invest in a choice of instruments, such as stocks and bonds, and, therefore, the investment returns can, and will, vary. Some policies offer more than 30 separate sub-accounts for investing in virtually any type of asset class.

Structure of VUL Insurance

To make it more simple, variable universal life insurance is a combination of both a savings element and a death benefit. The VUL policy allows for more flexibility so it can be managed easier. Premiums are paid into the savings component. The savings component, itself, is further broken down into sub-accounts, which can be invested in a wide range of assets, as noted above.

Tax Advantages of VUL Insurance

The insured can withdraw money from the policy, tax-free, in the form of policy loans (up to the total amount of the policy’s accumulated cash value).

Taxes on the gains from policy investments are deferred until the policyholder takes withdrawals of the policy’s cash value in retirement.

Death benefits paid out to the insured’s beneficiaries are not subject to income tax (although they may be subject to estate taxes in some states).

The Downside of VUL Insurance

While variable universal life insurance policies offer flexibility and significant tax benefits, they typically include very high administrative costs (up to several thousand dollars). VUL policies are high commission sales products for insurance agents. The generous commissions must be covered by the administrative costs for the policy.

More Resources

CFI offers the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program for those looking to take their careers to the next level. To keep learning and developing your knowledge base, please explore the additional relevant CFI resources below:

Fix: Malicious Software Error In Microsoft Security Essentials

FIX: Malicious Software error in Microsoft Security Essentials

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Those of you still running Windows 7 are probably very familiarized with Microsoft Security Essentials, which is a built-in antivirus program for Windows XP and Windows 7.

Once Windows 7 reached EOL, Microsoft Security Essentials went out with it, but there are a few things you can do to bypass this issue.

Of course, the Microsoft Security Essentials can also be downloaded onto Windows 10, and the process is quite simple.

We’ve written plenty of articles on Microsoft Security Essentials, so don’t hesitate to browse them for more helpful information.

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Without a doubt, Windows 7 is still one of the most used OS in the world. Despite the fact that there are various reasons to upgrade to Windows 10, users worldwide are still not willing to do so.

And we understand their mistrust with the latest Microsoft addition. Namely, even though Windows 7 has fewer features, it also has much fewer system issues that you may encounter in everyday use. Fewer but not none, sadly.

One of those issues is mild but can be annoying, and is related to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). It seems that some users were prompted with malicious software notification but, both quick or full scan, have found nothing. Moreover, the history log of quarantined files is not available.

Here’s one of the most frequent MSE error messages encountered by users:

Preliminary scan results show that malicious or potentially unwanted software might exist on your system. You can review detected items when the scan has completed.

If you’ve experienced an identical or similar bug, we prepared a few possible workarounds for you to fix this issue.

How do I fix Microsoft Security Essentials bugs in Windows 7?

Your first step should be to check for the latest security updates. Even though Microsoft stopped with upgrades for Windows 7, the system still receives security updates.

Moreover, without those updates, you can experience various issues. And the malware security threats are not the only ones.

2. Scan PC with alternative 3rd-party antimalware software

Besides Microsoft’s security tools, you can use any 3rd-party antivirus to check for possible malware infections. You can download and install free programs or use online security scans in order to identify the problem. Here are some of the most trusted free security solutions:

You can find the latest version and download it here. Pay attention to your system architecture.

Once you have installed the latest version of MSE, try performing a full scan and look for the iteration of previous errors.

4. Uninstall suspicious programs

Moreover, some of the registry files can be placed in Preliminary Scan Results and checked out as possible malware. You should create an exclusion for those files.

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How Much Workers’ Comp Insurance Do You Need?

Workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits and protection for employees who are injured or become ill on the job. The program ensures that employees receive benefits and medical care and, in most cases, protects the employer from legal action in the event of a job-related injury or illness. Workers’ comp is similar to other types of insurance in that a company will pay into a workers’ compensation fund, from which benefits are paid to employees.

“When employees are injured on the job, workers’ compensation provides financial coverage for their medical bills, lost wages and other expenses,” said Jeff Somers, president of Insureon. “In addition to protecting employees, workers’ compensation limits employers’ exposure to lawsuits after work-related injuries.”

Editor’s note: Looking for workers’ compensation insurance? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you with free information.

Did You Know?

The NCCI does not govern all states. Some states have their own bureaus that serve the same functions as the NCCI.

Bottom Line

Your payroll, classification rate and claims history (EMR) all play a role in the cost of your workers’ compensation insurance.

How to save on workers’ compensation insurance costs

It’s understandable if you find these workers’ comp premium criteria worrisome – after all, you can’t quite control the risk level of the type of work your company performs. You might also feel that being penalized for previous claims adds insult to injury, though this model is the foundation of all types of insurance. All this said, there are some ways to lower your workers’ comp premium costs.

1. Train your employees in workplace safety.

Whether your company comprises mostly desk workers or manual laborers, workplace safety training always decreases the chance of employee injuries, which in turn decreases the chance of lawsuits and negative impacts to your workforce. As your number of workplace injuries and illnesses decreases, your EMR appears as less of a red flag to insurers, resulting in lower premiums.

2. Match safety training with safety equipment.

If your team works around hazardous materials, make sure your employees have gloves, hazmat suits and other equipment that prevents hazardous exposure. A well-protected team is less likely to need to file workers’ comp claims.

3. Find hazards and address them now.

Don’t wait for a potential hazard to become an actual one – that’s how you wind up with excessive workers’ comp claims that drive up your premiums. Instead, pinpoint your current workplace hazards and resolve them now, before they lead to harm. This could be as time-consuming as upgrading essential equipment that’s in decline, or as simple as moving extension cords out of the way to reduce the potential for tripping.

Tip

Whether it is for insurance or general safety reasons, conducting regular workplace safety audits is a valuable exercise for any business.

4. Pay premiums annually instead of monthly.

Maybe you’ve seen a company, whether an insurer or a software provider, offer pricing with phrasing like “$10 a month if billed monthly or $8 a month if billed annually.” The question then becomes whether committing to 12 months of service is too much of a gamble. Since you do need workers’ comp, though, you’re better off paying for the full year and getting the discount. The cost savings may be worth any dissatisfaction you might feel with your insurer.

Best workers’ compensation insurance practices

You should make all your employees well aware of what is covered under workers’ comp, what they are entitled to in the event of a work-related illness or injury, and how the business can support them.

Lovejoy recommends creating a program specifically for employees returning to work after an illness or injury.

“Companies should have a formal ‘return to light duty’ program,” he said. “If employees are not fit to return to their normal job duties, they can still return to work and perform modified duties and, as such, reduce the overall claim amount.”

Kiely Kuligowski contributed to the writing and reporting in this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

The Role Of Project Management In The Insurance Industry

Project management can help insurers develop innovative solutions that are tailored to their needs while ensuring compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. It also helps them stay ahead of the competition by giving them an edge in areas such as customer service, product delivery efficiency, cost containment, and more.

By leveraging project management practices such as agile development methods, portfolio optimization tools, and other best practices, insurers can achieve greater success while minimizing risks associated with their projects.

Overview of Insurance Projects Challenges Faced in Insurance Projects

Regulatory compliance is of utmost importance in the insurance industry, because it ensures that companies are meeting all legal requirements.

Stakeholder alignment involves ensuring that everyone involved in a project understands their roles and responsibilities, and works together to achieve success.

Managing risk and cost can be complicated when it comes to insurance projects due to the complexity of products, services, policies, regulations, etc.

Finally, customer satisfaction is always an important factor for any business or organization; this applies especially in the insurance sector where customers expect quality service from their providers.

Companies need to ensure that they provide satisfactory services for their clients by constantly keeping up with changing trends in technology as well as regulatory updates so that customers remain satisfied with their provider’s offerings over time.

Role of Project Management in the Insurance Industry Importance of project management in overcoming insurance project challenges

The insurance industry has long been characterized by rapid change and technology-driven innovation. As a result, project management is critical for meeting the challenges associated with developing successful products, services, and processes in this dynamic environment.

Essentially, project management provides the means to ensure that projects are effectively managed from start to finish. It helps manage risk, costs, and resources while ensuring that deadlines are met within budget.

Additionally, it enables teams to identify potential problems early on in order to take corrective action before they become costly mistakes or delays in product rollouts. By providing structure and guidance for all phases of a project’s lifecycle, suitable tools can be used to help plan, prioritize tasks, and track progress throughout the entire process.

Key responsibilities of a project manager in the insurance industry

This could include allocating resources, managing teams, prioritizing tasks, identifying risks associated with the project, and ensuring that it is completed on time and within budget.

The manager must also ensure stakeholders’ expectations are met throughout the duration of the project by keeping them informed and gathering their feedback so they can be addressed accordingly.

Additionally, the manager should provide regular reports to track progress against goals while proactively addressing any issues that arise along the way. Finally, they must ensure compliance with relevant regulations and industry standards at all times.

Benefits of Project Management in the Insurance Industry Improved project success rates and increased project delivery efficiency

By setting clear goals and objectives, breaking down complex processes into manageable tasks, and creating timelines for delivery, project managers can ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Furthermore, quality assurance protocols help to ensure high-quality outcomes while risk mitigation strategies can be implemented to protect against any potential losses or damages due to unexpected events or circumstances.

Enhanced communication and collaboration among project stakeholders

Projects such as policy development, customer service improvements, and new product launches require a lot of collaboration between different departments and stakeholders. Project management offers an effective way to coordinate communication among all involved parties.

With clear objectives and good project governance, teams can work together more efficiently to achieve desired results with minimal delays or errors. Additionally, having a structured approach for monitoring progress helps ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Better risk management and mitigation strategies

Project managers can help assess risks and develop strategies to manage them effectively. Additionally, project managers can provide guidance for companies on how best to implement new systems and processes that may reduce risk or increase efficiency.

By having a better understanding of their overall operations and goals, insurers can make more informed decisions as they go about doing business.

Furthermore, with project management, insurers also have access to timely feedback from stakeholders and other industry professionals which allows them to stay on top of changing trends while ensuring they remain compliant with applicable regulations.

Streamlined project planning and resource allocation

Project management can help insurers streamline their processes and make better use of resources to reduce overall costs, create efficient timelines, and deliver quality products on time. By using project management techniques such as task delegation, scheduling, resource forecasting, and cost estimation, insurers can ensure that their projects are successfully completed within their budget and timeline constraints.

Increased customer satisfaction and improved quality of deliverables

Project management in the insurance industry helps to ensure that customers receive the best possible service and results from their experiences with insurers. By using project management tools, insurers can better track customer requirements and needs, allowing for more accurate estimates and a higher quality of deliverables.

Enhanced decision-making through data-driven project monitoring and control

Project management provides tools and techniques to monitor, control and measure progress against expected outcomes. This data-driven approach enables managers to make informed decisions that can help reduce risks and optimize results in the insurance industry.

Challenges and Opportunities for Project Management in the Insurance Industry

The insurance industry is highly regulated, and project managers must navigate the complex environment of regulatory requirements. A good understanding of the regulations, as well as a keen eye for risk management are key components necessary to lead successful projects in this sector.

In addition to these challenges, there is also a tremendous opportunity for innovative project solutions to help streamline processes, create efficiencies and improve customer experience.

Project Managers need to keep up with changing technology trends such as automation and artificial intelligence that can be leveraged in order to identify areas where manual labor can be replaced or supplemented by automated processes.

Conclusion

The role of project management in the insurance industry is essential for any business to be successful. By managing projects effectively and efficiently, organizations can increase their profits, reduce costs and improve customer service.

16 Easy And Fun Google Photos Tips And Tricks

Google Photos is a good cloud storage option for your photos, even though its days of unlimited storage are over. The 15GB of free online storage you get with a Google account is now shared across several apps like Gmail and Google Drive. 

Table of Contents

1. Create Movies, Photo Collages, and Animations

You might have noticed that occasionally Google automatically creates collages and animations from your photos, but you can create them yourself whenever you want. Explore the section of Google Photos called Utilities. That’s where you can create a new movie, animation, or collage.

Movies can have soundtracks, and you can control how long each photo appears. When you choose images for a Collage, Google will automatically arrange them into a single image for you. To create an animated gif, choose Animation. 

2. Search Logically

Search by people, places, objects, and specific dates by typing in the search bar at the top of the desktop site or the bottom of the mobile app.

3. Label People & Pets

Select your name and view all selfies and photos of yourself from over the years. Create a slideshow and see how you’ve changed! 

4. Search by Emoji

You can even search by emoji when using the Google Photos app on a mobile device.

5. Add Background Blur

Google One members and Pixel owners can use the Portrait Blur feature that intelligently blurs the background of pics of people. Google just announced that these users would soon be able to blur the backgrounds of other photos as well. 

6. Hide Location Information 7. Download All Your Photos

Google provides a relatively easy way to download all your photos at once by using Google Takeout. Google Takeout is also a great way to export or download all Gmail emails.

8. See the Original While You’re Editing 9. Add Old Photos with PhotoScan 10. Not Just for Android Phones

iPhone users can enjoy Google Photos, too. Download the Google Photos iOS app. 

11. Cast Your Screen to Your TV

If you are using Google Photos on an Android device, you can share photos with everyone in the room by casting your screen to another device, like a television. 

12. Save Space

Deleting photos isn’t the only way to save space in your Google Photos account. Compress your high-quality photos, so you free up space and don’t run up against the dreaded photo storage limit. In the Google Photos app, select your profile picture in the top right corner.

13. Share Images and Albums

There are many sharing options inside Google photos. Share individual images or whole albums with specific people, or create a link that anyone can use. If you add more pictures to a shared album, people you’ve shared the album with (or who have the link) will be able to see the new photos you add to the album.

When you share a photo from within the Google Photos app, you’ll see options to share via Google Photos or other messaging and social media apps.

14. Create Photo Books

While digital photos are great, it’s also nice to have something physical you can hold. On the desktop site, select the Print store to assemble your best photos into a photo book. In the app, select the More icon (three dots) and choose Order photo. You can create a photo book, order a photo print, or create a canvas print of the photo. These make excellent gifts, especially for parents and grandparents. 

15. Use Locked Folders for Better Security

To move a photo on your device to a locked folder, select the More icon and Move to Locked Folder. Moving an image to a locked folder means that it’ll be hidden from other areas of Google Photos and other apps on your device. The photo won’t be backed up or shared, and it will be deleted if you uninstall Google Photos. 

16. Enable Back Up & Sync

As soon as you install the Google Photos mobile app on your phone, you’ll be prompted to enable the Back Up & Sync. This feature automatically saves new photos and videos when you have internet access, which is great if you don’t have much device storage space. Then you’ll always be able to find your images and videos in your Google Photos library. You can set it to only backup and sync when you’re connected to wi-fi. 

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