The latest investigation from Admiral home insurance highlights examples where either a cat or dog has caused havoc in the home, as analysis of its internal claims data revealed pet-related accidents increased by almost a quarter (24%) in 2020 compared to 2019.
One homeowner’s husband was decorating the house when their dog chased a stray cat, which came in through the back door, dragging a can of paint throughout the whole house in the process. Another customer’s puppy was playing with their older dog but they got so tangled in the curtains that when they tried to pull away, they brought the entire curtains down – pole and all.
One poor pooch was so spooked by fireworks going off on bonfire night that he jumped up at the window, got tangled in the curtains, and pulled down the pole which smashed the TV. An excited dog jumped up at its owner, knocking his brand-new iPhone out of his hand and into the washing up bowl.
Another naughty dog dragged a bottle of cooking oil out of its owner’s shopping bag, and across the floor. Unfortunately, the cap was dislodged spreading the oil over the carpet.
A customer’s cat had a cone around its neck as it was recovering from an accident. Its owner had to bathe the cat’s injury, but as she did this, the cat became agitated slopping water over her laptop. Finally, another woman took off her diamond ring and put it on the side while she had a shower. Her curious kitten knocked the ring into the sink and down the plughole. Despite taking the u-bend off, she couldn’t find the ring.
Pets can prove to be costly
Analysis of Admiral’s policyholder claims data over the last two years, revealed that the average value of pet-related claims equates to around £870. When comparing the cost of cat-related accident claims to dog-related claims, the insurer found cat claims on average total £750, whereas dog claims cost 23% more as they equate to over £900.
Noel Summerfield, head of household at Admiral, said “With people spending more time at home over the last year than ever before, many families have found space in their lives for new furry friends. Unfortunately, this means we’ve also seen an increase in the number of claims for accidental damage around the home involving pets, too.
“Unsurprisingly, dogs are likely to cause more problems for homeowners in comparison to cats. This could be because they are generally bigger and often spend more time indoors with their owner, whereas cats often come and go.
“We’ve also seen the average number of accidents caused by dogs increase by more than a quarter (27%) compared with 2019. This isn’t much of a surprise following the rise in the number of rescue dogs being adopted and puppies purchased during the first national lockdown at the beginning of 2020.
Excited pets can be a real whirlwind
“Claims for damage to TVs and computers involving or caused by pets also increased by more than a third (32%), so it’s worth making sure your home is pet-ready and that you have enough space to play, or head outside instead.
“Excited pets can be a real whirlwind, but our data shows this energy can often lead to accidents if it isn’t channelled in the right way. It’s so important to make sure you take care and pay lots of attention to your cats and dogs who have free reign of your home. This is especially true if they are a new addition as it could take some time for them to adjust to their new surroundings.”
As animals can be unpredictable, Admiral is urging new and existing pet owners to double check their home insurance policy as it may not cover all damage caused by pets. To avoid any unexpected costs and mishaps around the home, Admiral has shared some top tips to keep your pets entertained and out of trouble:
Top tips to avoid trouble
- Dog training is a great way to bond with your pet and will also teach your puppy how to understand commands, helping you to keep them in check at home
- Using specialist anti-chew sprays could help to stop your dogs and other pets from chewing your furniture. Make sure the product you use is stain-free and harmless for pets to ingest
- The main cause for pets misbehaving and causing damage is due to a lack of exercise. Dogs should generally be walked at least once a day, but different breeds have different needs, so take the time to research your pet so they stay happy and healthy
- To stop cats from causing chaos around the home, invest in the must-haves like a litter tray, scratching post and toys to keep them stimulated and comfortable
Source: Admiral Home Insurance press release
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