Kids run wild: Parents report increase in damage to homes since lockdown

Adults are paying out nearly £300 to cover the cost of repairing accidental damage in the home caused by children

Posted on 12 Feb 2021

A fifth (22%) of parents say their kids are causing more damage than usual in the home, since lockdown 
Since lockdown, kids are more prone to getting paint and pens on walls and doors, breaking beds and smashing tv’s
As parents juggle childcare and working from home, more than one in ten (11%) adults admit children ‘run wild’ since lockdown  
How can you claw back costs? Confused.com’s guide clears up what’s covered on your home insurance and shares tips on how to prevent damage to your home

While cooped up under lockdown restrictions, parents are reporting that kids are causing more damage around the home, than usual. 

In fact, adults are paying out £293, on average to cover the cost of repairing accidental damage caused by their little angels. That’s according to new research by Confused.com.

In fact, a fifth of exasperated parents (22%) say their kids are causing more damage than usual in the home, since lockdown. The little tykes have been more prone to getting paint and pens on walls and doors, as well as breaking beds and smashing tv’s.

Some of the most-common mishaps caused by children include:
Getting paint, pen or glue on the furniture (43%)
Getting paint and pen on the walls and doors (41%)
Breaking flooring or damaging carpets (29%)
Breaking door handles (25%)
Breaking computers and tablets (25%)
Breaking the bed (22%)
Breaking the TV (18%)

And the destruction doesn’t stop there. Shockingly, more than one in seven guardians (15%) admitted that their kids caused a kitchen fire, with one child even blowing up a microwave! 

Despite trying to get creative with activities to keep kids occupied, nearly a third of parents (29%) have said they’re trying to work from home at the same time as looking after their little ones, which explains why more than one in ten parents (11%) have admitted their children are ‘running wild’ in the house, since lockdown. Trying to juggle working from home, home schooling and childcare must make it tricky for parents to supervise at all times, so it comes as no surprise that the ‘arts and crafts’ often end up over the walls!
 
But before we all start delving into the kids’ university fund to pay for repairs, Confused.com has cleared up exactly what is covered when making a claim on a home insurance policy, as well as some handy tips to prevent further destruction in the home. According to the experts, accidents like unintentionally knocking over the TV or your child’s creative drawing over the sofa would be covered on insurance, but free-standing electricals like laptops and tablets might not be included – so be sure to check!

It might well help save a pretty penny, as research reveals that four out of five parents (78%) have paid out of their own pocket to fix damage caused by their kids in the home. And while the average repair cost rings in at nearly £300, one in ten unlucky adults (10%) have paid out between £500-700, and some have even had to fork out over a grand to patch up damages. 

On the flip side, staggeringly more than a third (35%) of parents admit they’ve had to make a claim on their home insurance for damage caused by their kids. But surprisingly, more than one in seven adults (15%) say that they’re confused about how to make a claim on their home insurance for accidental damage, while more than one in five (22%) have said they’re confused about what’s covered on their insurance for accidental damage. 

With many of us spending more time inside with our little ones, more than a quarter of guardians (27%) are struggling to find ideas for activities to keeps their kids occupied. And while the majority of destruction caused by kids will be down to clumsiness, more than a third of parents (35%) have found that their children are more restless since being stuck at home during lockdown – which explains the increase in accidents. 

It’s a particularly tough time for little ones, as more than a quarter of guardians (27%) think their kids have more energy because they are missing out on social interactions with other children. On top of that, one in five parents (18%) have admitted that they’re children are misbehaving more since being stuck at home during lockdown. 

Based on Confused.com research, some of the most popular ways to try and occupy children during lockdown include colouring and drawing and doing Arts and Crafts, as well as baking and cooking or doing jigsaw puzzles. Some parents have tried to keep their kids busy by going on walks and runs, while others have tried passing the time with the TV or iPad.  

But sometimes, these activities can cause more harm than good. For parents who have to keep one eye on the work laptop and one eye on the kids, it’s easy to see how homes are being unintentionally redecorated with permanent felt-tip features on sofas and batter all down the cupboard doors! It’s no wonder that there’s more accidents around the house when it’s so tough for parents to supervise at all times. 

But it’s easy to see why little ones are getting distracted, as only a third (33%) of adults found arts and crafts to be a success in occupying their kids, with similar success rates for colouring and drawing, baking and going on walks or for runs. Doing jigsaw puzzles hasn’t seemed to pique children’s attention, as only just over a quarter of parents (28%) found this to be a good distraction technique. 

It’s certainly worthwhile getting clued up, as almost three-quarters of those that claimed (71%) on their home insurance for damages caused by their children were successful in claiming back the costs of repairs. 

And with us being stuck in lockdown conditions indefinitely, this will likely come as a sigh of relief for most parents. 
 
Jessica Willock, home insurance expert at Confused.com, says: "Lockdown has given parents the chance to spend more time at home with our little ones.  But more time at home means more opportunities for things to get broken around the house.

“On top of home-schooling and keeping kids occupied, it’s no fun having to pay out for repairs. Our guide can clear up what’s covered on your home insurance for accidental damage and some tips on how to child-proof your home in the first instance. That way, you won’t need to pay out any more than you need to.”

 
ENDS

Notes to editors
Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of Confused.com. This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 21/01/2021 and 29/01/2021.

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About Confused.com

Launched in 2002, Confused.com was the UK's first digital marketplace for car insurance and is one of the leading brands in the sector, generating over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the years to include home insurance, van insurance, motorcycle insurance, and car finance comparison, as well as a number of tools designed to save consumers money.

Confused.com is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides an objective and unbiased service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more. Confused.com’s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators.

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Confused.com PR Team

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If your enquiry is time-critical, please write "URGENT" in your email subject line. If you would like a ring-back, please include your telephone number. 

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