Is there anything that can drive you round the “U-bend” quite like dropping something into the toilet? It seems these accidents are just waiting to happen, especially if there are children around – and could see your clients’ home insurance policies get blocked up too.
New research from Direct Line home insurance has revealed that the Lego bricks flushed away in Britain could build a tower three times higher than the current world record at 35.05 metres – that’s an estimated 550,000 bricks. Indeed it also somehow equates that children under 10 have flushed four million dolls down the toilet; as well as millions of mobile phones.
According to its research, 12% of parents with a child aged under 10 has had their mobile phone dropped down the toilet at least once. Indeed one in 20 of these parents have seen their car keys flushed down the loo and 10% have seen cash disappear down the U-bend.
When not dropping items down the toilet, children are also causing all sorts of other mischief around the home. Half (50%) of parents with children under 10 years of age have seen their little ones draw on the walls of their home, while almost a third (31%) have seen their children scratch the furniture. Millions will sympathise with the 29% of parents that have seen their children tearing wallpaper off the wall, damaging furniture (27%) and even going so far as to switch off the fridge or freezer (9%).
Of course these moments can leave your clients rushing to make a claim – with overflowing toilets and blocked pipes potentially causing significant damage to a home and neighbouring properties. According to Morgan Simpson, Direct Line home emergency response manager, those with a burst pipe can expect to pay an average of £101 for a plumber to tackle the problem. Given these costs are subject to VAT, householders could face a hefty bill if they have a plumbing emergency, even before the cost of tackling any water damage to flooring, furniture and ceilings. Some plumbers will also charge for travel on top of the rates quoted.
As such, it’s vital to remind your parental clients that they might need home emergency cover as part of their home insurance; not to mention accidental damage cover with their policy.
In addition, the firm offers some tips to help parents prevent incidents occurring:
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- Consider purchasing lid locks for toilets in the home to prevent children dropping items into the bowl
- Install universal outlet covers for plugs in the property for the safety of children and to prevent toys such as playdough being stuffed into sockets
- Limit home access by using doorknob locks for rooms where you don’t want the contents to be damaged or played with
- Stair guards and stair gates are an important safety tool and can also help limit access to rooms in the property
- Install safety latches and locks to keep cupboards shut and inaccessible
- Use endurance paint where you can wash away any stains, such as scribbles or colouring on the walls, without damaging the paint finish