Informing home insurance provider about pets
According to petkeen.com, an astonishing 59% (17 million) UK households collectively own a whopping 34 million pets in 2022.
This recent significant increase in pet owners was exacerbated by a pet-buying frenzy during Covid lockdowns. Statistics from a popular pets for home UK selling site saw the demand for puppies rise by 104% during the peak of the May 2020 lockdown.
What some new pet owners do not (or did not) anticipate is the sheer volume of catastrophic destruction a new pet - especially a puppy - can cause in a home.
Additionally, many seasoned pet owners who have had a pet at home for some time very often fail to tell their home insurance company they have a pet or do not think to check their existing home policy includes pet home insurance cover.
According to recent research, a bored, playful or lonely pet such as a dog, cat or rabbit can chew up floorboards, skirting boards, furniture, doors, electrical cables and just about anything else that takes their fancy that’s remotely chewable.
This destruction is clearly evidenced by a range of online stories and viral videos uploaded by pet owners with titles like ‘dog destroyed house’ or pet forum discussions answering queries such as ‘how do I stop my cat from destroying everything?’
And here’s some real hard-hitting food for thought statistics: an average of 1,000 fires a year are caused by pets and, as this could easily potentially happen to you, it’s imperative you make sure you have home pet insurance cover in place.
So if you’re one of the 17 million UK pet owners, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do to make sure you have adequate pet home insurance (not to be confused with pet insurance that covers veterinary care costs such as Petplan or Pets at Home insurance).
Don’t lie to your home insurance provider
You may be tempted to lie or not disclose to your home insurer that you have a pet for fear of increasing your premiums.
However, if your pet causes significant and major [costly] damage to your home, not disclosing a pet to your home insurer may invalidate your insurance (i.e. a claim for expensive pet damage could be refused) and leave you out of pocket.
Do tell the truth to your insurer
To make sure you’re covered for pet damage you will need to tell your insurer that you have a pet and then check if pet damage is covered.
You might like: What happens to pets when their owners die?
Don’t assume you’re covered by your home insurance
Standard home contents policies do not typically provide cover for pet accidents or damage although you may be able to claim for ‘accidental damage’ if you specifically have this additional cover for pet damage claims.
Do shop around for pet damage insurance cover
Don’t leave it to chance and make sure you find an insurer that provides pet damage cover as part of a home contents policy. Most insurers that do provide pet cover will disclose this in their terms and conditions under ‘accidental damage’.
Don’t depend on accidental damage pet insurance cover
Although we’ve mentioned that accidental damage can sometimes cover certain types of pet-related damage, it’s very rare and most policies will exclude compensation for chewing, scratching, tearing, fouling or vomiting, and others will reject any type of pet damage claim - full stop.
So when it comes to claiming on house insurance accidental damage is not guaranteed cover for pet damage.
Do scrutinise the terms and conditions of your insurance and accidental damage cover
Before buying a homeowners insurance policy with pet cover, make sure you read the small print (i.e. the terms and conditions) for any exclusions to make sure you’ve got the cover you need and want for your particular pet and circumstances.
For example, if you have a dog that loves to chew, make sure your policy covers an accidental fire that may have happened as a result of your dog chewing through electrical cables.
Get a great deal on home insurance with pet damage insurance cover
If your home insurance renewal date is coming up, we highly recommend switching providers to save money on your next policy.
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