Pet owners urged to pay close attention to insurance small print

Finding the best home insurance can be a minefield at the best of times; comparing prices and coverage is never straightforward, but recent research by consumer services website, Money-Mate, has revealed that if you own a pet you might need to pay even closer attention to the small print.

Most of us purchase insurance, believing that when we need it, the protection will be there. However, while we might be confident that all eventualities are covered, unless you’ve taken out specific accidental damage coverage then you may not be covered after all. News that is likely to cause some dismay amongst the 78% of Brits who say that their pet has caused damage to their home in the past year.
Among that figure, a quarter (24%) said that they were unsuccessful when they tried to claim on content damage caused by their pets, while a further 42% said that they were unsure what animal damages their home insurance covers.
Delving a little further, Money-Mate wanted to know which of our furry friends were responsible for the most destruction. Being the most popular pets, it’s hardly surprising that cats and dogs were the worst culprits, but what might surprise some people is that hamsters take the third spot! Those cute little balls of fluff are also cited as causing personal physical damage to one in four (25%) of survey respondents, who said that they’d suffered trips and falls as a result of the hamsters escaping or using their exercise balls!
The most common damage caused by pets falls into the following categories:

  • Destroyed valuable items (33%)
  • Building damage (29%)
  • Scratching (25%)
  • Tearing (25%)
  • Chewing (19%)
  • Fouling (10%)

However, pets aren’t the sole offenders, with uninvited animal malefactors causing damage in the homes of more than a third (36%) of Brits. Birds, squirrels and foxes seem to be causing the most problems, but there have been claims based on badger and even snail-related damage! Again, not all insurance providers will honour these claims.
‘When you take out insurance, you feel a bit like it’s a case of “job done”,’ says Money-Mate founder, Roopesh Patel, ‘but every policy has its caveats, so it’s important to check out the finer details before you commit. Don’t be lured into purchasing the cheapest policy as you may find out at a later date that you only have the most basic of insurance and a large excess.

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