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Accidental damage insurance for pets

Time to read: 5 mins

As a pet owner, scratch marks on the floor, claws on the furniture and muddy paw prints across the carpets are all too common. While 99% of the time our furry friends bring nothing but joy to the house, but there’s always something we wish they wouldn’t do.

It results in additional and unforeseen costs that we could do without particularly if you don’t have insurance cover to help during these times.

You might think that either your pet insurance or buildings and contents insurance will cover the cost of damage to your property but this isn’t always the case as there are some exclusions that you need to be aware of. Home contents insurance does include cover for accidental damage but it does often exclude scratching, chewing and tearing caused by household pets.

What is accidental damage?

Accidental damage has different definitions which can vary by insurer and what policy you are looking for. Where there is no definition then the financial ombudsman service describe it as something that is:

  • unforeseen
  • unintentional
  • not only physical damage to an item, but also something that resulted in a loss of function (unable to perform the task it was designed to do)

Will home insurance cover damage to my house?

Home insurance typically excludes accidental damage mainly because it’s often difficult to predict damage caused by an animal accurately. Some animals are well trained and have excellent behaviour whilst others are less so.

Often self-insurance is a good place to start – setting aside a little extra money to cover the cost of any damage that may be caused by pets. There are specialist insurance providers that offer cover for accidental damage but these can often be quite expensive although they may be worth exploring should you require more extensive cover.

Another alternative is to look into pet insurance. By choosing a pet policy you can not only get cover for accidental damage and 3rd party liability, but also you’ll be able to cover your pet for accidents, injuries and illnesses they may suffer from. They can provide more affordable cover in one policy for your pet rather than having multiple separate plans.

What if my pet damages someone else’s property?

If your dog damages someone else’s home or property then you will be able to claim for the damage on your pet insurance. With our lifetime plans and pre-existing condition plans you can claim for up to £750 for accidental damage whether that’s for your own property or another person’s.

How can I stop my pet causing damage?

The best way to avoid an accidental damage claim is to stop the pets from causing damage in the first place.  A case in Australia from 2020 shows cat Eve who racked up £15,000 worth of water damage to a home by flooding the house. So to make sure the same doesn’t happen to you, let’s explore some tips.

Dog and puppy training courses

These sessions can prove to be very effective in embedding good habits into puppies from a young age.

Regular exercise

Getting out and about is important to relieving tension in pets, tiring them out and mentally stimulating them can make dogs less likely to be disruptive while in the home. You could also look to provide scratch posts in the house so cats look to use those instead of your sofa to sate their scratching desires!

Spray deterrents

You could always look for natural sprays to deter pets from scratching the floors and furniture. Herbal sprays on your furniture can be used for cats of all ages and has proved useful in stopping cats from scratching your furnishings.

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