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School holidays mean accidents at home

School holidays mean accidents at home

Children are one of the major causes of claims for accidental damage on home insurance, and school holidays are ripe for disaster as they often get bored and become prone to mischief!

Accidental damage cover is vital

From knocking over expensive glassware to spilling drinks on expensive new rugs, kids can bring chaos. Not that they’d admit it, coming up with fantastical reasons for why it wasn’t their fault.

But if you don’t have accidental damage included in your home cover, the fibs they tell will be even more annoying as you won’t be insured for what the little tykes have done!

The mayhem kids cause

Here at Policy Expert, we recently looked into the mayhem kids cause over school holidays, what it means for home cover and the sort of excuses children come up with for the things they do.

Our research shows that, on average, kids cause around £739 of damage in the home during their childhood.

True to the stereotype, boisterous boys are believed to be twice as likely to cause damage as girls, although nearly a third of parents, 32%, said they felt both were equally to blame.

And forget the ‘terrible twos’; three and four year olds are the most mischievous, causing almost 20% of the total damage.

The most common targets for tearaway tykes were revealed to be paintwork and interior décor, 29%, followed by carpets/upholstery, 21%, and gadgets, 17%.

Are you covered for the little devils?

As the old proverb goes, the devil makes work for idle hands! And with nearly half of parents, 47%, entertaining children at home during the holidays, families should check their insurance for accidental damage cover – just in case disaster strikes.

Yet despite the naughty things kids do, a quarter of parents, 25%, don’t know if they have accidental damage cover included in their home insurance.

It doesn’t usually cost much to have it added to a policy, and can be well worth it.

Little white lies

Policy Expert’s survey reveals that kids are quick to pass the blame, with the top excuse given being ‘it wasn’t me’.

More inventive excuses included colouring the furniture and walls as it ‘made it look prettier’ and claiming an item ‘broke itself’, as well as blaming a ghost, the family dog, and even grandma!

Top six items children cause damage to:

  • Paintwork / interior décor
  • Carpets / upholstery
  • Gadgets
  • Furniture
  • Glass / mirrors
  • Plumbing / electrics

Top kids’ excuses:

  • It wasn’t me
  • It was an accident
  • I didn’t mean to!
  • Blame grandparent / mum / dad
  • Blame a sibling
  • Say it was an accident / I didn’t mean to
  • The dog told me to / did it
  • Blame a ghost / imaginary friend

Policy Expert

If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 8 February 2017