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Old 13.09.2019, 12:09
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Pet damage. What Insurance?

So I'm looking at a couple policies for my private liability insurance and figured I'd make sure I have coverage for pet damage, even though mine wont do anything I figure landlord may find an excuse! I saw companies like AXA have a well defined pet supplement but I was able to get a much better deal with Elvia. However, I cannot find anything specific including or excluding pet damage. This is the one section on pet ownership, can anyone help explain if that included pet damage to an apartment? It seems broad.


Ownership of dogs, cats, horses, goats and other common pets for non-commercial purposes, ownership of bees and liability arising from the ownership of aquariums are insured. Losses caused by wild and venomous animals are only insured
by special agreement.
The following are also insured for a sum of up to CHF 2,000 per event:
_ Losses caused by these animals without the owner or the person looking after the animal being liable
_ Damage/injury caused by an insured personís pets to a person who is looking after them temporarily on a non-commercial basis, even if there is no statutory liability
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Old 13.09.2019, 12:38
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Re: Pet damage. What Insurance?

AFAIK (but I am not an insurance expert!) there are two kinds of pet damage coverage - household contents, which would usually be used in the case of 'wear and tear' damage to your flat, and liability insurance that covers damages caused by your dog to another person, animal, etc.

Where there might be overlap is a discussion for your insurance agent.

Casting my mind back 15 plus years, we thought we were covered for pet damage to the rented flat under our standard household contents, but apparently things like (to my eye invisible) scratches to parquet flooring were not covered. Whether the denial was because of extraordinary circumstances - i.e., having more than one dog in the household - or whether this was a standard exclusion is again something you'd need to check with your agent.

It was explained to me back then that we would have needed a special coverage for that, something we did not have. Perhaps that is the pet supplement you mentioned.

IIRC, even though not covered the bill came to only ca 2K, as the repair to a floor is prorated by age.

Liability insurance is mandatory for dog owners in canton ZH, coverage minimum of CHF 1 million required. (We have to show our insurance policy when registering a dog in our SZ Gemeinde, YMMV.) This is usually a standard part of Privathaftpflicht insurance but you might need to jump through a few hoops, such as declaring the animals, insurer dependent.

In hindsight, in a country where dog ownership is considered Kausalhaftung, my personal view is better to be over than under insured.

Your best bet is to sit down with the agent, describe your living situation, list your pets, and ask what coverage is recommended.

All the best...
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Old 13.09.2019, 13:05
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Re: Pet damage. What Insurance?

When in CH our insurance was through AXA, our landlord insisted on us having appropriate liability coverage for any damages caused by the dog.

Our old girl had a terrible bladder infection which we were at the time unaware of. During the night she had to pee so found a discrete corner to go in. The following day whilst on our first walk I noticed her passing blood, and consequently found the blood stained patch of wood floor. Too late for me to do anything.
AXA were brilliant, I phoned and sent photos, they arranged and paid for the repair without questions. They even contacted later to see if the old lady had recovered. That time, luckily, yes.

She would never have knowingly caused any damage, insurance is there for these unforeseen incidents.
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Old 13.09.2019, 15:23
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Re: Pet damage. What Insurance?

IIRC the owner's responsibility will depend on the type of animal.

Birds and fish can't be trained but behave predictably, in a controllable manner. Any damage is the owner's responsibility thus they can be held liable.

Dogs can and should be trained, and if necessary taken on a leash. Any damage is the owner's responsibility thus they can be held liable.

Cats can't be trained beyond the most basic stuff. Damage by cat pee in the apartment is the owner's responsibility, but damage caused while they're roaming freely isn't.

Horses may well be a category of their own. They can be trained thus damage caused in ordinary situations are probably the rider's/holder's responsibility. However when in flight/panic mode they're uncontrollable so that may be exempt. Given their size and damage they can cause they may be completely excluded from standard 3rd party liability insurance to begin with, perhaps check your contract or talk to your insurance agent.

Something along those lines.
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Old 16.09.2019, 16:40
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Re: Pet damage. What Insurance?

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AXA were brilliant, I phoned and sent photos, they arranged and paid for the repair without questions. They even contacted later to see if the old lady had recovered. That time, luckily, yes.

Lucky you. When I had similar (an elderly cat that peed on some parquet which, having done it once, inevitably got worse and burned the parquet) my insurance company (or at least the loss adjuster) were worse than useless, to the extent of siding with the landlord to try to get me to pay the full cost of replacing 22-year-old parquet through a whole contiguous 2 rooms instead of the 6 m2 signed off on the Protokoll, and refusing to cough up until I ended up going to the Mieterverband, who wrote me a very strongly-worded letter to send them.
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Old 18.09.2019, 10:12
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Re: Pet damage. What Insurance?

So for future reference if anyone searches.

AXA requires the pet damage supplement which is a fairly expensive relative to the liability.

Elvia includes it in their liability.
"We confirm that our personal liability also covers damages to the rented apartment caused by your pet." -response from them.
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