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Pets in apartments: Sydney ruling sparks insurance questions

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Woman and her pet enjoying together on the balcony of their loft apartment

Animal lovers are over the moon after the NSW Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for pets.

Earlier this week, the NSW Supreme Court delighted animal-lovers when it said apartment buildings would no longer be able to enforce blanket bans on pets.

While buildings will still have scope to ban individual pets - for example, if your neighbour's parakeet is noisy, aggressive, or destructive - they won't be able to place an outright ban on all animals. Sounds fair to us.

That means many apartment-owners, and even some renters, will now be able to keep animals in their home without infringing on any strata rules or regulations.

Of course, before you rush to bring a furry bundle of joy into your home, there are some things to consider - namely, are you insured for any damage they might cause?

A 2017 survey of over 1,000 pet owners found that damage was surprisingly common. The SquareTrade survey found 27% of owners had suffered a damaged laptop due to their pet, 25% had seen a games console damaged and 18% had seen a TV damaged.

Thankfully, it is possible to protect yourself against smashed belongings. All you need is a contents insurance policy with accidental damage cover included.

Accidental damage cover should pay to repair or replace an item if your pet knocks it over or spills something onto it.

So if your cat knocks a glass of red wine all over your expensive cream sofa, or your dog manages to bump the TV off its stand, you won't be left footing the entire bill by yourself.

Incredibly, some home insurance policies even include limited cover for vets bills. That means if your pet is injured accidentally, you'll be able to claim some of the cost back. For example, Westpac's Premier package includes up to $500 for vets bills while Youi will cover up to $1,000 a year.

Of course, contents insurance won't cover everything animal-related. It's unlikely you'll be able to find cover for chewed belongings, clawed furniture, or soiled carpets.

Don't worry though, there's a type of insurance for that too. Routine care pet insurance, an add on to pet insurance, can help towards the cost of behavioural training classes, among other things.

Compare contents insurance policies

We've listed some contents insurance policies from our partners below, highlighting some benefits which are particularly useful for pet-owners. Click 'view details' for more information.

Name Product Accidental Damage Pet Injury Outdoor Contents Theft
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
BonusFinder Award Finalist
Budget Direct Home & Contents Insurance
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Our verdict: The most popular insurer on Finder, Budget Direct prioritises low-cost cover and gives you up to 30% off your first year for new combined policies purchased online. This is a big reason it won this year’s Finder Award for value.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Optional
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Our verdict: Finder’s 2022 Insurer of the Year for Customer Satisfaction and our Top Pick for Fire Damage cover. It’s good if you want a tailored quote over the phone.
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
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Our verdict: Finder's Top Pick for Floods plus cover for other common claims such as fire and theft). Its discount is better than most – 20% off your first year with a combined policy.
Honey Home & Contents Insurance
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5% of contents sum insured
Our verdict: Honey gives you $250 smart sensors to reduce accidents and estimates your rebuild costs for you. Honey was a finalist for the comprehensive category in this year’s Finder Awards.
Australia Post Home & Contents Insurance
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Our verdict: Covers common claims such as fire, storms, floods and rain. It’s also very helpful if you need to rebuild following a disaster. It offers a special safeguard of up to 30%.
Kogan Home & Contents Insurance
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Our verdict: Good comprehensive cover (issued by QBE). Also, get 16% off on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online + $10 monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
BonusFinder Award Finalist
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
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Our verdict: Earn up to 30,000 Qantas Points with every Qantas Home Insurance policy you take out by 28 May. T&Cs and exclusions apply.
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
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$2,000
Our verdict: Provided by Allianz, one of the biggest insurers in Australia. Cover for fire, theft, storm, cyclones and more.
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Picture: GettyImages

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