UK Insurance Giant Names Pets as Culprit in Over 6,000 Claims

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson

Between 2019 and 2023, dogs and cats identified as cause for missing jewelry, broken electronics, and property damage.

Photo Credit: margouillat photo /

Whether you share space with a mini mutt, a feisty feline or something larger and akin to the proverbial “bull in a china shop”, odds are that if you own a pet, you’ve replaced at least a few items in your home. Soft furnishings become scratching pads, carpets become stained, and breakables get knocked over and ultimately binned.

Truth be told, all of the above (and more) are the everyday occurrences that pet parents have learned to live with and budget for. But what about the bigger ticket items? Such as the mutt that noshed on $4,000 in cash that his family had stashed away. Or when valuables such as jewelry or those pricey earbuds you just bought get scarfed down as quickly and easily as a favorite treat?

Well, a UK-based insurance company confirms that between 2019 and 2023, dogs and/or cats were the cause of more than 6,000 insurance claims – yes, in the UK alone.

Insurance giant Aviva advises it’s not just those smaller “consumables” that have been driving up the number of claims they’ve received from pet owners. Laptops, iPads, and flat-screen TVs tend to get knocked over rather frequently by flying felines or are stepped on and damaged beyond repair by larger dogs.

This is just a sampling of what their insurance adjustors are hearing from clients. One pet parent put in a replacement claim for the large window their dog had head-butted and smashed. Others have asked for compensation related to items lost while walking the dog – such as cell phones, jewelry, and fitness monitors. Some have sought a pay-out for damages incurred when the owner has tripped over an enthusiastic dog (or cat) and taken down a pricey electronic device in the fall.

Here's where it gets interesting for those who co-habit with a furry friend. According to Aviva’s Director of Home and Motor Claims, Hazel Johnson, “While most home insurance policies exclude damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling by domestic animals, accidental damage cover for other incidents can be a valuable addition to standard home contents policies.”

Out of curiosity, I checked a number of home insurance companies in North America. Not to be construed with pet insurance specific to covering your pet’s medical costs, it appears that a standard home insurance policy would be sufficient to ensure you receive compensation for any of the above-mentioned damage done by the family pet.

The caveat being that it would be replacement costs for something that happened on your premises. If your pet has triggers and it was to bite or cause injury to someone outside of your home, you would need a separate rider (additional coverage) for that - and this is where breed-specific issues may be at play. Not sure? Speak to your insurance agent to get clarity on what your policy does – and more importantly, doesn’t – cover.

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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