It shouldn’t happen to a dog owner – Aviva reveals five years of dog-related home insurance claims

  • Almost 4,000 claims made for canine-related incidents over last five years
  • TVs, tablets, phones and laptops are regular casualties of hound mishaps
  • Dog-related home insurance claims valued at around £1,200 on average
  • More than 100 claims made for hearing aids eaten by dogs during this period

Thousands of four-legged friends will almost certainly have been in the dog house, after causing chaos at their owners’ homes.

According to Aviva’s home claims data, dogs have been responsible (indirectly or directly) for almost 4,000* accidental damage claims over the last five years.

Regular incidents include playful pups knocking over items or tripping up their owners – leading to damage around the home. TVs, laptops, tablets and phones are common casualties of these doggy antics.

In some cases, people have also lost items such as jewellery, hearing aids, watches and wallets while walking their dogs.

Some policies underwritten by Aviva provide cover for damage caused by pets consuming their owners’ possessions. Examples of these claims include dogs eating small, valuable items such as hearing aids, jewellery and dentures  – and in one case, part of a handbag. Depending on the policy, some customers may be covered under optional personal belongings insurance, in such cases.

Over the five-year period, more than 100 claims were made for hearing aids eaten by dogs.

Each dog-related insurance claim was valued at around £1,200* on average during this period, although some canine calamities caused damage costing five-figure sums to put right. The more expensive claims tend to involve jewellery and watches, but in one case, a dog had fallen into a family’s swimming pool and damaged the pool liner. Thankfully the dog was unhurt.

 

Kelly Whittington, Property Claims Director, Aviva UK, says: “Around a third of UK households** are home to a canine “best friend”, so it’s perhaps not surprising that their antics sometimes lead to claims.

“Many home insurance policies include an exclusion for damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling by domestic animals. Cover may be provided under the optional personal belongings section, but it is important that customers check their policy wording and cover. That said, dog-related incidents – such as knocking things over or tripping up their owner – can occur in homes with even the most well-behaved pets, so accidental damage cover can be a useful addition to home insurance policies.

“Personal belongings insurance can also be a valuable add on, covering items on dog walks – or indeed, outside the home, anywhere in the world. Whether a dog has tipped up a TV, caused their owner’s phone to go flying, or even turned on a tap and flooded a kitchen, we’re here to help our customers – even if their pooch has made a dogs dinner of things!”

 

Specific dog-related claims over the last five years include: 

  • The dog ruined my homework – 2022-style. A customer’s grandson was doing his homework on the family laptop when their pet dog knocked it off the coffee table, causing the screen to break.
  • One customer felt deflated after their dog burst their hot tub by jumping up at it.
  • A customer knocked over a pot of paint on their staircase. Their dog came along, walked through the paint and left footprints on the carpet into the living room.
  • Another customer took their dentures out and put them on the arm of their chair while having a snooze. They woke up to find that the dog had eaten them.
  • A Great Dane got excited when it saw a horse on the TV, causing the dog to jump up and crash into the screen, knocking it over.
  • A customer’s phone was damaged when their dog stood on it. The customer advised that the dog in question was a nine-stone Rottweiler.
  • A sporty customer was cleaning her bike when her dog tore past her, chasing a cat. The dog knocked over the bike and bent the frame, irreparably.
  • One customer lost her wedding ring while throwing a ball for her dog. She had lost weight and believed the ring had flown off her hand while they were playing in the park.
  • A dog knocked its owner’s iron off the ironing board and onto a wooden floor while still switched on. The owner was distracted and only noticed when a perfect iron-shaped mark had singed the floor.
  • One dog decided to chew on a pen, transferring ink onto a sofa and a carpet in the process.

*Source: Analysis of Aviva home insurance UK claims data between 2018 and 2022, referencing claims classified as ‘accidental damage’, a total of 3,825 claims. The average claim value during this period is £1,200. ** Source: UK Pet Manufacturer’s Association, 2022.