Pet considerations for your home and car insurance - avoid a ruff start to the year
GoCompare Insurance has reported a 269%* increase in the number of people searching for pet insurance, seven days after Christmas, compared with the same timeframe in 2019, proving that the increase in demand for dogs during the pandemic wasn’t just while we were in lockdown. While many pet owners will already know the importance of taking up pet insurance, lots of new dog owners may not have considered how it could also affect their home or car insurance. GoCompare has looked at some of the other insurance considerations when you become a pet parent.
Considerations for Home Insurance
The nation’s dogs are costing owners over £1.5bn in household damage a year . Since Christmas, many will have joined the 12 million dog-owning homes across the UK, but GoCompare urges customers to check their home insurance policies as many exclude pet damage. GoCompare has listed some considerations:
- It’s worth noting that pet insurance may not cover any household damage caused by your four-legged friend. Pet insurance will cover or contribute towards the cost of healthcare if your dog falls ill or gets injured, but probably won’t cover you if your sofa has been chewed by an excitable pup!
- You also might want to be careful if you visit your mother-in-law who has some cherished, expensive possession which she shows off to every guest. If your pet chews it, she’ll be unlikely to be able to claim on her insurance and your position as favourite in-law could plummet.
- But here is a good tip: it’s worth discussing with your insurance provider the options available to you to cover the cost of any damage caused by your pooch. Your provider might suggest that you extend the accidental damage cover in your home insurance policy or take out an additional separate accidental cover, depending on your circumstances.
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Considerations for Car Insurance
- It’s legal to take your pet in the car with you, but rule 57 of the Highway Code outlines that dogs or other animals must be suitably restrained so that they cannot distract the driver or injure occupants or themselves in a sudden stop. Whilst a dog seat harness, carrier or guard are not required by law, if your pooch is found to have contributed to an accident, your car insurance could be invalidated.
- Even if your car insurance covers your dog as a passenger or as personal property, it may not pay for all the veterinary bills incurred from a car accident. And, if your dog causes you to drive without due care and attention that could be 3 – 9 points on your licence.
- But here’s another good tip: if you plan on driving with your dog in the car it’s a great idea to discuss this with your insurance provider, as they may recommend taking out pet insurance which covers emergency treatment in car accidents. This can reassure you that your pet will receive the best possible care should the worse happen on one of your treasured days out together.
Hannah Isitt, a pet insurance expert at GoCompare said “It is always important to check your home and car policy details to make sure they cover what you need, including any damage caused by your pet or veterinary treatment resulting from an emergency situation.
“You may need to consider extended accidental cover or pet insurance to cover all eventualities. You might also want to consider third-party liability cover when you insure your pet. If your dog injures someone or another dog, or damages or breaks someone else’s belongings or property you will be covered.”
For information on travelling with your pet, click here: https://www.gocompare.com/motoring/guides/driving-safely-withs-a-pet-in-the-car/
*Data Source: GoCompare consumer data, 2019-2021.