Pets in apartments: Sydney ruling sparks insurance questions

Posted: 14 October 2020 3:35 pm

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
Save 30% on your first year's premium when you purchase a new combined Home & Contents insurance policy online. T&Cs apply.
Westpac Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. Promo code: COVER
St. George Home and Contents
Save up to 25% when you purchase cover online. Promo code: COVER
Virgin Home and Contents Insurance
Purchase a new eligible Virgin Home and Contents Insurance policy online and you'll also save 30% on your first year’s premium. T&Cs Apply.
Domain Home Buildings & Contents Insurance
Domain Insure uses property data to help build your quote faster.
Huddle Comprehensive Home and Contents Insurance
Save up to 20% on your policy in the first year.
Qantas Home and Contents Insurance
Earn up to 20,000 Qantas Points when you apply. Points awarded will be based on your premium. T&Cs & exclusions apply.
Seniors Top Home & Contents Insurance
Buy online and save up to 30% on a new home and contents insurance policy. T&Cs apply.
Youi Building and Contents Insurance
Youi Home Insurance takes the time to tailor a premium for you.
QBE Home & Contents Insurance
Save up to 20% on your first years’ premium with a new combined QBE Home and Contents policy online. T&Cs apply.

Compare up to 4 providers

Picture: GettyImages

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