Esure home insurance is encouraging parents to ensure that their children’s school bags are covered under existing insurance policies. According to the company, the average school bag for children of secondary school age (11-16) is now worth approximately £265 as more pupils take expensive gadgets into the classroom.
60% of parents admitted their children never go to school without a mobile phone, while 17% take a hand-held games console for use during breaks, according to esure’s research. 30% take MP3/MP4 players to school everyday and 9% use electronic diaries or organisers rather than traditional paper alternatives.
The company has demonstrated that some pupils may be taking goods worth as much as £1,100 to school including items such as designer sportswear and glasses, expensive watches, musical instruments and a selection of electronic goods.
Head of home insurance at esure, Nikki Sellers, said: "Gone are the days of arming your kids with a fountain pen, exercise book and a pair of plimsolls on the first day of school. Nowadays designer gear and hi-tech gadgetry are the must-haves for today's school children.”
Parents are encouraged to take out 'personal possessions away from the home' cover to protect possessions against loss, theft and damage while children are at school. It adds that, where possible, expensive items should be left at home.
Parents are advised to remind children to take care on the way to and from school and to protect possessions as much as possible, avoiding the temptation to ‘show off’. Padlocks should be used and designer brands should be avoided.
Children going on school trips, especially abroad, need to be covered by their parents’ contents insurance under the 'personal possessions away from the home' category. Musical instruments borrowed from school may also need to be insured.
"With the average bag at £265 it's crucial to ensure that the valuables being carried around in school bags are not only insured but, if possible, kept away from school. The best place for anything of value is at home in the bedroom rather than in the classroom," says Ms Sellers.
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