Broken stuff as a petsitter

Hey Y‘all!
right now I’m on my 3rd sit . Everything is fine , but I broke a super expensive faceserum from the homeowner while I was giving the dogs a quick bath .
I texted her and also checked the internet. It’s around $150.
Does my or the owners THS insurance cover these cases ?
I feel so bad but $150 is so much money and it would really hurt my budget :pleading_face:

No idea if insurance covers, you can email THS support, better than chat. But this is one of the reasons HO’s should clear off bathroom counters and remove items from the shower.


Seems like a no brainer to me. You broke it, you replace it.


The excess on the insurance means it’s unlikely to be worth it. I also have my doubts whether they would cover high end serums or any beauty products anyway - you’d have to check the policy for that.

Did you offer to replace it and did the owner say you should? Maybe they don’t care, maybe it was half empty, maybe they didn’t like it and it just stood around in the open as it was expensive looking. Of course if they say yes please, you’ll need to replace it but do some research and see if you can get it somewhere cheaper than the first search result. If that happens write it off as the cost of doing business. It happens and you’ll know for next time to keep any eye out for things that could break.


My brain must be wired differently then :slight_smile:

When I have guests (relatives, friends, couchsurfing etc) it has happened that things broke. I regard that as a risk that I am taking by receiving them in my home. When it was a young child that was the cause, it would have been on me to prepare better.


@pietkuip House-sitting is not personal, I am a stranger in someone else’s home. I have broken things at sits and not given a second thought to immediately replacing it, no matter the costs. Even if it were close family or friends, I wouldn’t hesitate to replace, which I have done on numerous occasions. It is the moral and ethical thing to do, particularly on a sit.

If we were talking about a five/ten dollar item, that’s different. I broke a picture frame once at a sit and I walked the city trying to find a replacement. The owners weren’t in the slightest concerned about it but I was. But in this case it is an expensive AND easily replaceable item and again, I wouldn’t hesitate in replacing it. It’s part and parcel of accepting responsibility as a sitter and a human being.


I hear you, @ziggy, but I also agree with @lou28, HO’s should really be clearing spaces as much as possible, and I agree with @B1anca - the item could have been half-full or nearly empty, or not very important to them. It’s a tough call. Hopefully the owner gets back to @timella with some news. Although, now it might put the HO in a disadvantaged position - if she says to please replace it, she might be worried that the sitter won’t take care of her home and dog in the best possible way as a matter of revenge…


@botvot yes, all possible, the OP needs to clarify. But sometimes it just isn’t feasible to remove everything within reach, particularly if only a short stay. I certainly wouldn’t be putting everything away if it were my home, that’s the point - it’s not the sitters home, they are a guest. But appreciate your points.

Some homes have too little space for too much stuff. It is something that I have learned to look at the photos for. Cluttered homes are a risk, especially when doing the final cleaning.


Clear off and remove?
No, this is one off the reason why sitters should be careful. We can’t remove everything.

For me and in my country it would be very clear: the one is paying who broken it. I really hope that every sitter has an insurance or THS should make it obligatory.

I’m pretty sure insurance has been discussed on here. I don’t know what country you live in but where I live if I had a guest in my home and they broke something it would be claimed on my homeowners insurance. There is probably insurance for someone who is sitting as a business, but THS sitters are essentially guests.

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How about when the pet chews up something that belongs to the sitter? Or when they used the sitter’s suitcase as their litter tray?

That is the kind of thing that I regard as my risk as a sitter. And the chargers etc that I forgot. And my transport also when extra costs had to do with the HO’s change of plans.

But no, not that rickety old garden chair that broke when I sat down in it. Or fragile ceramics in a cluttered kitchen.

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Homeowners are required by THS to have suitable insurance that will include the sitter
If you have Standard or Premium sitter membership (not Basic) you are also covered for this:

As a Standard and Premium pet parent member, you’re covered by our Home and Contents Protection for every sit organised and confirmed through TrustedHousesitters. This is at no extra cost to you. Underwritten by global insurer, GUARDHOG, our Home and Contents Protection offers property damage, theft, and public liability protection up to $1 million USD. So you can go away with one less thing to worry about.

What’s covered?

If you have an existing home insurance policy and an active Standard or Premium pet parent membership, you’re covered for:

  • Property damage — This covers accidental and malicious damage to your property during a sit. It protects your household goods and your valuable belongings too.
  • Theft — If something goes missing, you’re covered.
  • Public liability — This covers you in case the sitter has an accident in and around your property.

So this should be covered in 2 ways and the homeowner should not be requiring you to pay. You can contact the homeowner and let her know this should be covered under the insurance to replace. Possibly if she is buying $150 face products she may not be bothered with the loss but it may be something she would want to claim for.
There should be no attempt to get you to pay directly to ‘avoid and insurance hassle’. It should be there so it should be used.

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All of those should be covered by the homeowners insurance either theirs or the one they get with the membership. In addition any injury you suffered from the broken chair would be the 3rd party liability section of the insurance.

For me this is covered by my travel insurance.

Well, as HO I’d want to know, but unless it was a brand new full bottle I wouldn’t expect you to pay full replacement cost. I’ve had a number of items get broken during sits and just accept that’s the chance I take having someone living in my house. Accidents happen! As long as my pets are taken care of I’m not bothered. Honestly I’d feel bad if you spent a lot of time or effort replacing something I might not care that much about or was nearly empty, etc. Try not to stress, and let us know how it goes.


Of course I’m gonna replace it ! That’s out of question. But we all pay a membership. So why not check if it’s covered ?

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Absolutely. I’ve had pet sitters in my home, paid actually, not THS. The bathrooms were cleared for them (and clean!) because it was their bathroom during that period. Items removed, new soap left out, and folded clean towels left on the counter. Pretty basic hospitality and manners. I get to show the guest how much I appreciate their services by providing them a home that is clean, prepared, and uncluttered. It sends a mental message: I value you and the care you are providing, because my pets are invaluable. And pet care providers, paid or not, are guests by every set of criteria, including legally.

I read the OP’s post as someone going beyond. If washing a dog they are likely in a muddy, rainy climate and making sure the dog doesn’t get the furniture and home dirty. Washing a dog is thoughtful, time consuming, and messy. If a sitter can take 15-30m to wash a dog, a HO can take 5m to clear off the bathroom counters/showers/bathtubs. If I as the HO/pet person left such an item laying around, I’d take responsibility. Thoughtless and poor planning on my part.


I agree, if I broke something I would have to replace or have it fixed no matter the cost. Accidents happen but we have to take responsibility for them.

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I always clear away everything except those things specifically left for the sitter’s use. On one hand, it’s a form of respect, and on the other hand, I can’t stand the thought that someone will be brushing, flossing, what else, over my items! :joy:


Then of course the owner would pay. I would do it like that.

If I would broke something at the place of friends I would offer to pay or my liability insurance (I don’t know if this is the right translation).

If I would come earlier at home (what never happened) I would pay a good hotel for the sitter without any discussion.

I mean it’s a thing of politeness. If I broke something it’s my responsability.

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