Home insurance & house rabbits

Find out what house insurance is available if you have a house rabbit and what damages is covered

Can I insure my home for damage caused by a naughty house rabbit?

House rabbits can be bundles of fun, but they can also cause their fair share of problems. Whether chewing through cables, digging into the carpet or knocking ornaments down, our furry friends can be destructive without even meaning to be ? and this can cause some expensive headaches for the average homeowner.
Thankfully however, home insurance can come to the rescue? as long as you have a suitable level of cover.

What home insurance is available for pet damage?

Home insurance in the UK is available in two forms ? buildings insurance and contents insurance, which can be bought separately or combined. A buildings insurance policy will protect the structure of your home as well as its fixtures and fittings. A contents insurance policy meanwhile, protects the items you keep in your home such as furniture, carpet, clothes and electrical equipment ? all the things that a bunny can wreak havoc with.
Within the contents aspect of a policy those with house bunnies should look for accidental damage cover. The definition of accidental damage cover is generally uniform among insurers in that it refers to damage caused by unexpected or non-deliberate actions.
However, this is not a standard feature of all policies and even those home insurers that do offer accidental damage cover may only offer it in limited circumstances ? such as for specific items (i.e. accidental damage to TVs and audio equipment) or against specific risks (such as DIY mishaps). For example, Lloyds TSB home insurance offers accidental damage but specifically lists loss or damage caused by chewing, scratching, tearing or fouling by any domestic pets among the risks not covered.
To ensure you are protected for damage caused by a house bunny, look for extended accidental damage cover, which is available from a handful of insurers ? this will usually include damage caused by pets. Insurers that offer pet damage protection as part of their extended accidental damage cover include Sainsbury`s Bank and Halifax home insurance.
Once youve found an insurer that is willing to cover animal-related accidents, give it a call and check to see there are no exclusions ? for example, where some insurers claim to cover pet damage` they may be referring only to cats and dogs.

What options are available to help cover the cost of damaged items?

If your house bunny has done serious damage and you make a claim on the extended accidental damage aspect of your policy you should be able to cover the cost of replacement items. However, this is dependent on several factors including:

  • Have you covered the specific item: Is your home insurance policy up-to-date with the damaged item included on the policy?
  • Is there a limit on specific items: Some insurers will only cover individual items up to a limit such as £1,500 ? so, if you have an item of furniture that your bunny has chewed on, for example, it must be worth less than this limit or be insured separately.
  • New-for-old cover: If a rabbit chews your five-year-old carpet then you will receive a replacement with similar wear and tear if you have indemnity home insurance. Several providers however, offer new-for-old cover ? so you`ll receive a brand new replacement.

Where can you find home insurance with pet protection?

Generally pet insurance will not cover home damage caused by pets ? although some policies do include third party cover in which they will cover damage that pets cause to other people`s property.
So use a home insurance comparison website to compare policies that offer pet damage cover and find a deal that provides suitable coverage at the right price.