Children and water are (accidentally) wreaking havoc in the UK’s homes and may be leading to a number of home emergency cover claims, research by NFU Mutual has indicated.
The study revealed that the ten most common causes of accidental home damage claims are:
- Water damage, not related to weather
- Damage caused by children
- Damage caused by stones
- Spilled wine
- Spilled coffee
- Spilled paint
- Spilled tea
- Electrical power surges
- Accidents with irons
Therefore, although water is leading to a large number of emergency home repairs, children are an incredibly big factor in domestic damage; the research found that kids are seven times more likely to cause accidental damage than cats and dogs, and that overall, children are responsible for the same number of claims as fire damage, spilled paints and spilled drinks combined.
Overall, 22% of accidental home damage claims can be blamed on children, while just 3% can be blamed on pets, and while fire, spillages and paint led to 732 accidental damage claims, children caused a total of 744.
Boys were also found to be far more likely to damage homes than girls; the study revealed that parents of boys are nearly two-thirds more likely to make an accidental damage home insurance claim than parents of girls, with boys responsible for 61% of all damage caused by kids and girls responsible for just 39%.
Boys’ damage was also typically more expensive to repair, with damage caused by boys seeing claims average £1,076 and damage caused by girls averaging £790.
Damage at home is not merely ‘childish scrapes’
NFU Mutual Home Insurance Specialist Victoria Walton said that the old maxim of “boys will be boys” appears to ring true when it comes to accidental damage at home. Parents ought to remember that this damage is not merely “childish scrapes”, but can be significant and costly, she added.
Ms Walton noted that a huge range of unexpected accidents can strike in the home, including kids flushing gadgets down the toilet to cows walking through gardens – both of which were seen in NFU Mutual’s data.
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