’Our four-legged friends can inadvertently cause damage to our homes,’ says director

Aviva has revealed that dogs and cats have been responsible for thousands of claims made to the insurer over the last five years.

The firm revealed that it received 5,837 claims classified as accidental damage between 2019 and 2023, with windows, carpets, sofas and electrical gadgets being regular casualties.

Aviva found customers were regularly tripping over their cats and dogs, resulting in the accidental damage of their homes and belongings.

But this was not always the case – in one instance, a dog tripped over a hoover, smashing a mirror to pieces in the process.

Other cases include a dog headbutting and smashing a window after seeing another dog walk past, while an energetic pair of cats with the “zoomies” knocked over a TV while their owner slept.

Aviva also highlighted a situation where an “overzealous” dog spilt paint all over the living room during house renovations.

Hazel Johnson, director of home and motor claims at Aviva, said: “With approximately 23m cats and dogs living in homes across the UK, our four-legged friends can inadvertently cause damage to our homes.

“From curious cats knocking over TVs, to playful pups smashing windows, when it comes to pet-related claims, Aviva has seen them all.

“While most home insurance policies exclude damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing, or fouling by domestic animals, accidental damage cover for other incidents can be a valuable addition to standard home contents policies.”


Aviva also highlighted that some of its home insurance policies do provide cover for belongings that have been swallowed by pets, with one such customer needing help after discovering their rings had been eaten by a hungry hound.

The insurer also saw numerous claims from customers who lost items while out walking their pet, with earrings, bracelets, watches and mobile phones topping the list.

In some cases, the items lost were particularly expensive or sentimental.

“As our claims data shows, expensive and sentimental items can also go walkies while people are strolling their pooches, so personal belongings cover can be useful, covering the loss of items outside the home, anywhere in the world,” Johnson said.

“For more expensive items like hearing aids and engagement rings, customers should ensure they are specified on their home insurance policies in case they ever need to make a claim.”