The Pet pandemic

Throughout most of 2020 and the first half of 2021 when the UK was under lockdown, along with a switch to home working, a surge in hot tub sales and a new trend for homemade banana bread, there was also what some called the ‘pandemic pet boom’. According to Rightmove, more than a third of UK households became pet owners following the first lockdown in March 2020. 

Both property owners and tenants shifted priorities when searching for their new homes, with outside spaces and pet-friendly properties now at the top of the search enquiries. 

But what impact does this have on property insurance? 

As a pet owner, scratch marks on the floor, claw marks on the furniture and muddy paw prints across the carpets are all too common. While 99% of the time our furry friends bring nothing but joy to the house, there’s usually something we wish they wouldn’t do. 

It results in additional and unforeseen costs that we could do without, particularly if you don’t have insurance cover to help during these times. 

You might think that either your pet insurance or buildings and contents insurance will cover the cost of damage to your property but this isn’t always the case as there are some exclusions that you need to be aware of. Home contents insurance can include cover for accidental damage but it does often exclude scratching, chewing and tearing caused by household pets. 

Does accidental damage cover any damage caused by pets? 

Most building insurance policies won’t cover damage caused by pets. There are specialist insurance providers that allow for accidental damage caused by pets but these can often be quite expensive. 

An alternative is to look into pet insurance. A pet policy can not only provide cover for accidental damage and 3rd party liability, but also you’ll be able to cover your pet for accidents, injuries and illnesses they may suffer from. 

Give them the Christmas they deserve 

So now to the most important question. Should you buy your pet a Christmas present? Whilst conducting the 2018 pet census, insurer Petplan found nearly 60% of pet owners would feel guilty if they failed to include their pet in Christmas activities, while nearly one in five would actually forgo spending the occasion with their (human) loved ones on 25 December if they felt their pets were not welcome. 

And the insurer’s 2018 pet census, a survey of 60,000 owners, discovered that just under half (47 per cent) buy their pet a Christmas present. 

The expected average spend on Christmas presents for pets this year is £17.45 per animal, according to Pets at Home. 

Owners will buy their pet three Christmas gifts, on average, with 9% planning to buy at least four presents, the retailer found. 

So if you’re a new pet owner, be sure to add your pet to your list when you’re Christmas shopping this year! 

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