Home insurance policies usually have exclusions for pet-related damage, including chewing, scratching and fouling 

Around 800 accidental damage claims in the UK per year are caused by dogs, according to Aviva.

The insurer said that on average, dog-related claims are valued at around £1,110 each.

Unusual claims linked to dogs that Aviva has seen include an incident involving a young labradane called Whiskey, who was caught on a house security camera turning on the kitchen cold water tap when home alone. This subsequently flooded the room, causing around £4,000 worth of damage.

In another example, a dog owner was cleaning out a fish tank at home and therefore had buckets of water on the floor. The policyholder’s pet dog managed to get tangled in some charging cables nearby, sinking a laptop in one of the water buckets.

Double checking exclusions

Kelly Whittington, UK property claims director at Aviva, said: “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.

”But as our records show, there are plenty of dog-related incidents where home insurance - and particularly accidental damage cover - can come to the rescue.

“Accidental damage cover is a useful addition to home contents insurance, in case of unexpected breakages and spills in the home. If customers would like to make sure they have the best cover for their needs, we’d urge them to speak to their insurer or broker.

“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.”