Are the contents of your child’s schoolbag insured?
When I was at school I was one of those kids who loved getting there early just so I could play football with my friends before the bell rang. As soon as I arrived I’d head straight for the yard, chuck my schoolbag on the ground to make some goal posts and burn off some steam for half an hour before I had to sit down and try to focus for the ENTIRE morning.
Even back then the contents of my schoolbag were pretty valuable, especially when I had my trainers, football boots and even a mobile phone in there. As a few of the following stats point out though, the average value of the contents in a child’s schoolbag has risen drastically in recent years. Parents may also be unaware that most of the time the contents of a schoolbag are not even insured if they were to get damaged or even worse, stolen. So is it time to think again about schoolbag insurance, checking your existing policies to see if the most valuable items of a schoolbag are covered and taking steps to add them to the policy if they are not?
So how much is a schoolbag worth these days?
According to a survey of over 2000 parents of children aged from 6 to 16 the contents of an average schoolbag are now worth a sizeable £122. When you add up the value of all the electronic gadgets – such as iPads, smartphones, MP3 players and tablets – taken by children to UK schools every day the total value adds up to more than £1 billion.
According to the same survey the percentage of children aged 11-16 who take a smartphone to school is around 57% – which didn’t shock me all that much. What did shock me was the finding that children as young as 6 would refuse to leave the house without a smartphone! My two boys are aged 3 and 4 and they do play on my wife’s phone sometimes but I really can’t imagine sending them to school with one at age 6, perhaps I’ll eat my words about that in a few years.
Another interesting statistic was that around 80% of mothers felt that it was unnecessary to insure the contents of a schoolbag versus only 72% of fathers. This kind of explains why only 16% of parents currently have a personal possessions policy in place which covers the contents of a school bag.
Do you have schoolbag insurance as part of your current policy?
The figures above definitely show that it is worth checking whether the contents of a schoolbag are covered when you compare and then take out your next home insurance policy. I’d also take into consideration any excesses you might have to pay in the event of a claim and whether a small claim like this might negatively affect your no claims discount so much that it makes the idea of claiming counterproductive. Finally, try and find out whether the contents of a schoolbag would still be insured if the bag has simply been left unattended by a child and then stolen – rather than the contents simply being damaged or stolen whilst still in your child’s possession – as some insurance companies might exclude this.
Alternatively you may feel that a family gadget insurance policy works out to be more cost effective in giving you the cover you need, lowering the excesses payable and also keeping any claims separate from your standard home policy.
You can’t put an old head onto young shoulders
You may be fortunate enough to have one those naturally sensible kid’s, I envy you if you do. For most of us though this is just not the case. My eldest boy has only been at school for a year and we’ve already had to deal with lost coats, broken zips and damaged shoes due to the games kids play or him just simply forgetting where he left something. Kids will be kids at the end of the day and if we’re going to allow them to take expensive gadgets to school at a younger age than ever before, then I suppose it’s inevitable that a good chunk of us parents will end up having to deal with a breakage or theft of these items at some point. At least you can take some simple steps to lessen the financial blow by either making sure you are covered on your standard home insurance policy or by taking out a separate policy, if you think it is necessary of course.