Aviva reveals claims caused by hapless hounds

As Crufts returns this week, Aviva has opened its annals (or should that be kennels?) to showcase some of its most unusual UK home insurance claims linked to furry friends.


There are plenty of dog-related incidents where home insurance – and particularly accidental damage cover – can come to the rescue.

Aviva reveals it receives around 800* accidental damage claims in the UK each year where dogs play a part. These include items knocked over by family pets, damage caused by pups tripping up owners and possessions lost while taking dogs for a walk. On average, claims from dog-related incidents are valued at around £1,100 each.

Carpets, TVs and laptops are often on the receiving end of canine capers, although one pup wreaked havoc to an entire kitchen when he got curious.

The young Labradane (Labrador / Great Dane cross) got into hot water when he managed to turn on the – thankfully cold – tap in his kitchen, while his owners were out briefly. “Whiskey” caused around £4,000 of damage by flooding the room. He was caught on the house’s security camera wearing a decidedly hangdog expression after he realised the consequences of his actions.

Other dog-related claims include:

  • A customer was cleaning out her fish tank and had buckets of water on the floor. Her laptop was plugged in charging nearby on the arm of a chair. The customer’s dog ran past, caught the charging cable and pulled the laptop into a bucket.
  • One man was decorating his landing area and had set up a step-ladder. His dog knocked over the ladder, spilling a two-litre pot of paint down the stairs.
  • A dog was indirectly responsible for another broken laptop when he refused to get in the car. The customer was going to a meeting and put his laptop on top of the vehicle while he put the dog inside. He then drove off with the laptop still on the car roof.
  • One owner’s dog got excited when he saw another dog on TV. He jumped up at the screen and knocked the set off its stand.
  • A lady was cleaning her bathroom with a bucket of bleach and water. Her dog ran in, knocked over the bucket, spilling it onto the hall carpet.
  • A friend came to visit a customer at her home. The visitor was startled when the customer’s dogs barked and knocked an antique barometer off the wall.
  • Another dog got excited when a caller knocked on the door while his owner was decorating. The dog knocked a pot of paint off the windowsill, ruining the customer’s sofa.
  • An unhelpful hound hit a sour note when he tripped up his owner who was carrying a drink – which landed on his high-end electric keyboard.
  • Yet another carpet was damaged when an excited puppy got its lead tangled around an ironing board. The young pup managed to tip the board over, pulling the hot iron plate-down onto the carpet.

Kelly Whittington, UK Property Claims Director for Aviva says: “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. 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.”


Further information

Data relates to home insurance claims underwritten by Aviva between 2016 and 2021.


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