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The cost of the contents of your child’s school bag – more than just the pencils

The cost of the contents of your child’s school bag – more than just the pencils


Summer is over and the school run beings for another year. Sending children back to school with replenished stationary suppliers and costly smartphones, iPads and laptops is the norm research shows. 

Many students need to have such things as laptops and smartphones with them, but the statistics also show that nearly a third don’t have the sort of insurance that allows them to claim compensation if their valuables are lost, stolen or damaged.


One-in-four carry valuables worth up to £1,000

The analysis, by insurer Policy Expert, shows that nearly a quarter of parents (24%) say it would cost between £500 and £999 to replace the things they carry around on a daily basis, such as jewellery, handbags and iPads.

For almost the same number (23%) the figure is anywhere from £250 to £499.


Well over £1,000 for many…

Nearly one-in-five (18%) would ‘only’ have to spend £100 to £249 but for one-in-ten (10%) it’s £1,000 to £1,499.

Some clearly love their gadgets and bling even more. For a small, but not insignificant one-in-twenty (5%), the items they have on them would cost an eye-watering £1,500 to 1,999 to replace.


How times have changed

And showing just how times have changed, where once all you might have had on you was some change in your pocket and a cheap watch, it’s now only just under one-in-ten (12%) that carry possessions worth less than £100.


Most popular items taken to school – purses, wallets and jewellery

As with the parents’ possessions, the sort of things children are being allowed take into school would can be very expensive to replace.

For children aged 14 to 16 the most commonly carried items by almost half of children (48%) are purses and wallets and, likewise, cash (47%).

The next is jewellery (46%), which might have been a special birthday gift or an heirloom from a grandparent, and possibly worth considerable sums.


Next up – Mobile phones, laptops, wearable tech and iPads

High quality smarephones and laptops can cost hundreds or even thousands, and are the fourth and fifth most popular things to take to school, for just under half of kids (44% and 40% respectively).

Wearable tech, such as Fitbits, are next, carried around by just over one-in-three pupils (37%), followed by iPads or tablets (34%), which can also cost hundreds to replace.

The love of gaming continues, with parents allowing nearly one-in-three children (31%) to take in handheld games consoles.

Sports equipment is carried in by around a third as well (29%) and musical instruments which, again, can be very costly to replace, by just under one-in-four (23%).


The possessions younger children take to school

Younger children, those aged between 6 and 10, take in far fewer things, as you’d perhaps expect, but what they do can still add up in value.

The most popular items are musical instruments (30%), followed by handheld games consoles (24%).

Sports equipment is carried in by just over one-in-five (22%), while almost the same number (21%) take in Kindles, so at least they’re hopefully reading a ‘book’!

iPads and tablets are next most popular for one-in-five (20%), followed by wearable tech (16%), jewellery (13%) and mobile phones (5%).


Many taking big financial risk while away

Even though the valuables parents and kids carry on them can be worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds, many don’t have the right insurance to cover them if anything were to happen and their possessions needed replacing.

Around one-in-three (31%) parents say they don’t have any away-from-home cover as part of their home insurance.

At least many (39%) say they do have it, while a worrying just-under one-in-three (30%) aren’t sure if they do or not.


Zero compensation on the cards

Those that don’t have it risk missing out on compensation for anything damaged, lost or stolen by either themselves or their children when they’re on the school run or at school.

Considering that almost one-in-five (17%) say their kids have lost something, and over one-in-twenty (6%) that they’ve managed to damage a possession while at school, they’re taking a considerable financial risk.



Policy Expert

As an online insurer and broker, Policy Expert help our customers to compare insurance products and find a policy that’s right for them. Customer care is at the heart of everything we do and we have a dedicated customer service team on hand by phone, email, twitter and instant chat. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 16th September 2019