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Research indicates 2% of accidental damage to homes caused by goldfish

We are a nation of animal lovers – we love our pets. However, these cuddly animals are wreaking havoc in homes around the country causing an average of £690 damage a year! Just what do you do when Rover has eaten a large chunk of your carpet or trashed the sofa? Well, it appears that pet owners are being left to foot the bill as some home insurance policies do not cover for accidental damage caused by household pets. Not very useful when the worm has turned!

According to research, our pets were responsible for over a £3.3 billion worth of damage to UK households last year. One in five pet owners say their pets have caused significant damage to their home and that around 85% of people who took part in this survey said their home insurance policy would not cover them for this type of damage, or they were unsure if they would and hence did not apply.

There is a degree of lobbying going on to put pressure on home insurance policy providers to include damage caused by pets. It is currently a grey area (or excluded altogether) and does appear very harsh. If you are in any doubt as to whether your policy excludes damage caused by pets, ask an expert. Talk to Westhill Insurance Services – tell them that you have pets and let them check the most suitable home insurance for you. Meanwhile, here are some statistics as to which pet may do the most damage:

> Dogs cause the most trouble (55%)
> Cats claw their way to second past the post (29%)
> Budgies and birds fly in at number 3 (8%)
> Goldfish!! -( How?) Swim in to fourth position (2%)
> Micro-pigs trot in at joint fourth (2%)

Your carpet is at the biggest risk of damage from the family pet (unless it's that goldfish, of course!) – 90% of claims are for carpet damage, whilst sofas come in second.

However, most damage can be prevented. Animals which are bored, lonely, under-exercised or worried cause the most havoc in households. Something simple such as leaving a radio or TV switched on can alleviate problems if you are out of the house for long periods - unless of course you choose a channel that Rover or Tiddles doesn't approve of..... so just in case damage is caused, check your household insurance policy when you first offer a home to these cuddly creatures. If in any doubt, contact Westhill Insurance Services, they may not be able to help with behavioural problems, but they can advise of the most suitable insurance policy for when your pet goes off the rails!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 8th March, 2011