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When you picture yourself getting a dog, you think about the warm fuzzy cuddles, the endless hours of fun and the long-lasting relationship you are going to develop. What you don’t think about is the chaos they may cause and the damage they may do to your property. But, maybe you should.
Insurance company Aviva has revealed that accidental damage caused by naughty dogs has accounted for more than 800 claims over the last year. Those claims have been valued at around £1,100 each — with dogs running kitchen taps, knocking paint pots over and breaking electrical items when left unattended in the house.
One couple were forced to make a claim after Whiskey, a Labrador and Great Dane cross, was caught flooding the kitchen on their house security system. The young canine turned on the cold water tap while his owners were out of the house and caused around £4,000 worth of damage.
Aviva also dealt with another claim involving a naughty pup and two liters of paint. The dog’s owner was decorating the landing area of his home when his four-legged friend knocked over a stepladder.
The ladder fell to the ground and hit off his paint pots on the way down. As a result, the highly pigmented liquid ran all the way down the stairs and caused a ghastly stain.
Meanwhile, some owners have been forced to take out claims after being tripped up by their dogs. One example saw an owner spill their drink on an expensive keyboard after their pet got tangled up under their feet.
Other incidents involving electrical items have been seen laptops fall into fish tanks, TVs come off their stands and mobile phones knocked off countertops.
One owner, who was cleaning out her fish tank, had placed several buckets of water on the floor. Unfortunately for her, the buckets were situated next to where her laptop de ella was charging. Therefore, when her dog ran past her and got caught up in the charging cable, she pulled her expensive laptop into one of the cleaning buckets.
Meanwhile, one dog got excited when he saw another four-legged friend on TV and jumped at the screen – causing it to come its stand.
Another excitable pup caused damage to one owner’s carpet after he pulled a hot iron down by tipping over an ironing board. He then proceeded to drag the iron across the room leaving a lovely burn mark on the floor.
Speaking to Sky News, Sarah Poulter, external communications manager at Aviva, said: “I’m a dog-owner myself and am used to seeing the odd pup-related incident – but thankfully nothing quite on the same scale as those experienced by some of our customers.
“Whiskey is clearly a talented dog – although no doubt his owners weren’t quite so impressed when they first saw the mess he had made! Thankfully we were able to put things right. It just goes to show that Whiskey and water don’t always mix.”
Kelly Whittington, UK property claims director for Aviva, added: “Dogs are beloved members of millions of UK homes. They get involved in all aspects of family life – and our possessions are sometimes on the receiving end.
“Most home insurance policies have exclusions for damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling by domestic animals, so we’d urge customers to check their cover.”
While Gareth Holme, an associate at Plexus Law, has advised insurers to “look more closely at their conditions and exclusions” to avoid any unwanted outgoing for pet-related damages.
He said: “While it is standard for insurers to require disclosure of pet ownership on a home insurance policy, and damage is often excluded from cover, the wording and application of such terms may need revisiting as claim numbers increase.
“No doubt, as different insurers apply different underwriting strategies, scope of cover and premiums will vary, resulting in a competitive market to the benefit of homeowners.”
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