The weirdest pet-related insurance claims

How much damage can one pet cause?

A silly Lab puppy looking like he just got caught getting into paint cans and making a colorful mess.

When you're weighing up whether to buy a pet, there's a lot to consider - from whether you can give it enough exercise to the cost of food and veterinary bills.

However, if the tales of Saga insurance customers are to be believed, you may also need to be prepared for some very expensive chaos in your home.

"We are a nation of pet lovers, but even the best behaved dog or cat can leave you with a big bill. Animal accidents in the home can cost thousands to put right," says Saga communications director Paul Green.

"This is why it is important that pet owners protect both their pets and their homes so they ensure that they can get back to normal as quickly as possible. Accidental damage cover is essential for any pet owner to protect themselves against any pet mishaps."

The company has compiled a list of the pet-related insurance claims it's received over the last year; we look at some of the more unusual incidents.

Toasting tortoises
One Saga customer was relaxing at home when her husband starting shouting for help - there was a fire in one of the rooms. After putting it out and investigating the damage, the customer realised that her two pet tortoises had knocked over their heat lamp, starting the fire; luckily, they were unharmed, but the damage cost more than £6,000 to repair.

Protective puppy
One policyholder was at home looking after her daughter's puppy when the next door neighbour's cat came into the garden. The puppy jumped up to chase it away - but didn't realise the patio doors were closed. They were shattered, and cost over £2,000 to repair.

Cat-astrophe
When a Saga customer returned home from shopping, she thought she must have been burgled, after discovering that all her favourite antique ceramic ornaments were smashed on the floor. But she realised the true culprit when she saw her next door neighbour's cat sitting amongst the chaos; the china cost more than £500 to replace.

Decorating dog
Returning from a walk, one woman let her dog off the lead as they came into the house - forgetting that her husband was doing some painting. The dog ran straight through wet paint leaving white paw marks all over the house - which needed to be completely recarpeted.

Dog's dinner
One customer wanted some peace and quiet so took his hearing aids out and placed them on the coffee table. However, his dog, thinking they were some sort of treat, jumped up and ate them. They cost almost £2,000 to replace.

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