Is your four-legged friend in the dog house? Average home insurance claim for damage caused by dogs is £1,200
- The average insurance claim for damage caused by a dog at home is £1,200
- A total of 3,825 claims were accepted in five years for damage caused by dogs
- Laptops, TVs and phones are among the most common items damaged
Thousands of dogs around the country have been responsible for expensive home insurance claims, new data has revealed.
Insurer Aviva said it accepted 3,825 insurance claims in the five years between 2018 and 2022 from pet owners whose dog had caused significant damage at home.
The damage averaged £1,200 per claim, and so far this year it has already received 100 dog-related claims.
Canine costs: The average insurance claim for damage caused by a dog at home is £1,200, according to Aviva
It suggested that regular incidents involved puppies knocking over items or tripping up their owners, leading to damage around the home.
Laptops, TVs and phones were said to be common casualties of their pets’ playful behaviour.
In some cases, dog owners have also lost items such as jewellery, hearing aids, watches and wallets while walking their dogs.
Pet owners need to read their policy carefully to ensure that cover is provided for such damage.
Cover varies and some policies will have exclusions for ‘chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling’. This could be a dog or cat that scratched away at a carpet or a sofa, for example.
Claims are also subject to a policy excess, so some people might think about claiming, but decide against it if the value of the damaged items is relatively low.
Aviva would not say how many dog-related home insurance claims it had rejected during the five years.
Owners need to read their home insurance policy carefully to ensure that they are covered for damage done by a pet
Dog causes £500 worth of damage
Pet owners need to read their policy carefully to ensure that cover is provided for damage caused by their pets.
Pictured: This dog caused £500 of damage at home after jumping up at the front door
Not all policies cover such damage as dog owner Andrew Barlett discovered.
He explained: ‘While I was out, my dog jumped up at the front door and pushed the night latch button down, locking the front door from the inside.
‘I didn’t see her do it but could tell because she’d also pulled the curtain down that covers the back of that door.
‘I thought it’d be cheaper and safer to get the lock sorted rather than break a window and get in that way. But the emergency locksmith had to then drill the lock out, bash the night lock off and replace it all, which cost £500.
‘That damage isn’t covered under my home insurance policy. I had additional home emergency cover with Homeserve, but that only covers the cost of replacement keys – not locks.’
Some policies will cover these things, while overs will not. Some insurers may even cover for damage caused by pets consuming their owners’ possessions.
Examples of this found by Aviva included dogs eating small, valuable items such as hearing aids, jewellery and dentures – and in one case, part of a handbag.
During the five year period analysed, more than 100 claims were made for hearing aids eaten by dogs.
And while the average dog-related insurance claims stands at £1,200, some canine calamities causes were far more costly – even venturing into the five-figure territory to put right.
Aviva said that while its more expensive claims tend to involve jewellery and watches, in one case, a dog – which ended up safe and unhurt – had fallen into a family’s swimming pool and damaged the pool liner.
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Kelly Whittington, of Aviva UK, said: ‘Around a third of UK households are home to a canine best friend, so it’s perhaps not surprising that their antics sometimes lead to claims.
‘Many home insurance policies include an exclusion for damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling by domestic animals. Cover may be provided under the optional personal belongings section, but it is important that customers check their policy wording and cover. That said, dog-related incidents – such as knocking things over or tripping up their owner – can occur in homes with even the most well-behaved pets, so accidental damage cover can be a useful addition to home insurance policies.
‘Personal belongings insurance can also be a valuable add on, covering items on dog walks – or indeed, outside the home, anywhere in the world. Whether a dog has tipped up a TV, caused their owner’s phone to go flying, or even turned on a tap and flooded a kitchen, we’re here to help our customers – even if their pooch has made a dogs dinner of things.’
Dog-related insurance claims
Specific dog-related claims during the five years from 2018 have been highlighted by Aviva.
They include a dog who ruined some homework. A customer’s grandson was doing his homework on the family laptop when their pet dog knocked it off the coffee table, causing the screen to break.
Meanwhile, one customer made a claim after their dog burst their hot tub by jumping up at it.
And a customer was left with a new carpet design after knocking over a pot of paint on their staircase, and their dog walking through it and leaving paw prints on the carpet into the living room.
Another customer took their dentures out and put them on the arm of their chair while having a snooze, only to find that the dog had eaten them when they woke up.