The UK is a nation of pet lovers, and having a cat or dog flap fitted to a door to allow our furry friends in and out is very common.
But there’s a darker side to such animal-loving acts of kindness. Mini-entrances for four-legged creatures could impact on your insurance premiums, and even ability to make a claim as they can place your home at greater risk of being burgled.
In the past it’s even led to the police issuing words of warning as thieves use long, hook-ended poles, or even just their arms, to push through cat flaps and steal house, shed or car keys, which people have left in or near doors.
Insurers might not pay out if security isn’t good
Cat and dog flaps can cause a problem for homeowners who subsequently make claims to their insurer for stolen items.
If there are no signs of forced entry, it may be in the terms of some insurance policies that the insurer won’t pay out, no matter what the circumstances.
Other insurers might decide that the claimant has been negligent in providing basic levels of security for their home, especially if keys were left within reach of a cat or dog flap, nullifying a claim.
Another problem is that with no sign of forced entry, the insurer has to agree that the insured is telling the truth and if there’s no proof they may not meet the claim.
Losing your no claims bonus
If you do claim due to your house being burgled by thieves simply getting their hands on keys through a flap, you will also lose your no claims bonus which will increase the cost of your premiums.
Insurers will offer decent discounts to those who have built up a number of years without having made a claim, deciding that they’re less of a risk to insure.
What you should do if you have a cat or dog flap
Here’s some advice for those with cat or dog flaps:
– Don’t leave keys in locks or near doors with dog or cat flaps fitted.
– If you have inherited a dog or cat flap from your home’s previous owners, get rid of it.
– Only have small flaps fitted; tiny burglars (some thieves even use children) might be able to squeeze through flaps for large dogs.
We’re dedicated to helping customers find the insurance policy that’s right for them. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them at the best price. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 4 November 2013