But just one in six are covered for pet damage on their home insurance, research shows
24 August 2015
Idyllic scenes of puppies bounding through the house trailing toilet roll couldn’t be further from the truth, as research shows pets are likely to cause far more damage in the real world.
To mark National Dog Day on 26 August, a Nationwide Building Society poll* reveals pets could be pushing our nation of animal lovers to the limits, with more than a third (39%) causing damage to their owners’ homes. Chewed doors, shredded books and stained carpets are what many pet owners put up with in reality, according to the Society’s research.
Nationwide’s survey, which polled more than 1,000 adults across the UK, highlights the need for adequate home insurance. Nationwide is the only high street financial services provider to offer accidental damage caused by pets as standard on their Home Insurance product.
Despite more than a third of pet owners experiencing damage, just one in six (17%) are covered in the event of their furry friends wreaking havoc in their home, leaving the majority (83%) covering the costs themselves because they are either uninsured, or unaware of their level of cover. And with more than a quarter (26%) of owners claiming their pet caused over £200 of damage, not having the correct level of home insurance cover can prove quite costly.
The poll, which found cats and dogs are to blame for the majority of the damage to the home, at 49 per cent and 46 per cent respectively, highlighted chewed cables, swallowed items and shredded books, magazines and papers as just some of the specific targets of their pets. The most common items damaged include:
- Scratching or damage to doors, walls, floors: 25%
- Chewing, scratching and pecking to home contents: 17%
- Chewing, scratching, pecking to furniture: 16%
- Staining or damage to carpets or rugs:15%
- Chewing, scratching, pecking to electronic devices, such as phone, tablet or PC: 13%
Martyn Dyson, Nationwide’s Head of General Insurance, said: “Owning an animal can be an extremely rewarding experience and the odd bit of damage to the home can be expected. However, when the cost of repairs runs into the hundreds of pounds, animal ownership can turn into a financial headache, particularly if the damage hasn’t been budgeted for. This cost could be avoided by taking the correct level of home insurance cover. The Society’s advice to anyone who has a pet or is looking to give a pet a home is to make sure they are covered, as not all policies include accidental pet damage like Nationwide’s Home Insurance.”
Nationwide offers two different insurance options. The Home Insurance policy includes accidental damage, along with accidental pet damage and personal possessions cover both in and out of the home. The Home Insurance Essentials policy offers accidental damage (excluding accidental pet damage) and personal possessions cover as optional extras. Customers can also benefit from up to 35% no claim discount on contents, and up to 10% no claim discount on buildings insurance if they have been claim-free for up to five years.