Parents unaware of the rise of the 'Techie Tot'.
09 June 2011
'When asked if their child had used a gadget without them knowing it at the time, nearly a fifth of parents said that sending a text message from their phone (19%) was one of the most common occurrences. Children also like to run-up the phone bill with a quarter (25%) of parents saying a child had used a landline without their knowledge at the time. Also on the list were children downloading apps onto their parents’ smartphones, with 10% of parents revealing their child had downloaded software without their prior knowledge.
Despite this high use of gadgets by techie tots and older children, the vast majority (90%) of parents feel uncomfortable with their children getting their hands on what can be an expensive item. Ranking their fears of what items they dreaded their children getting hold of and possibly damaging, parents listed laptops (63%), HD TVs (41%) and tablets (34%) as their main concerns. Perhaps a sign of the times, the once expensive DVD player now ranks low on the list of items parents are concerned about, with 39% saying they would be least worried about children damaging them.
It also appears older parents are slower to notice how young children are now using gadgets, with nearly half (44%) of parents aged 55 or over not feeling comfortable letting children play with any gadgets until they reach ten years old or older. In comparison, the youngest parents, those aged between18-24, have embraced the technological revolution with nearly a quarter (23%) feeling comfortable allowing children under the age of two to use these gadgets.
The Legal & General results also showed:
- Dads (36%) are more comfortable than mums (23%) letting children under the age of four play with techie gadgets
- Virtually no parents aged 55 or over (0.6%) felt comfortable letting a child under the age of two play with any gadgets
- Half of parents (50%) do not know for sure if their gadgets are covered for damage under their home insurance.
Mike Lawler, director for Legal & General's general insurance direct business said: “I find it amazing how quickly young toddlers know how to use technology gadgets. But inquisitive fingers can soon become expensive fingers if the gadget they play with should break. We are increasingly bringing new and often expensive pieces of technology into our homes, which if left within reach can be very tempting for a child to then play with. While smartphones and HD TVs can help to keep children entertained, we need to be watchful to protect these expensive items and also those little fingers.
At Legal & General we believe it is important that parents regularly check their insurance policy to see what cover they have in place. If they’re unsure then they should contact their insurance provider or adviser and if necessary arrange for insurance cover to be put in place. For an additional cost, it is also possible to include accidental damage cover as part of the home contents insurance. This may provide some financial help towards meeting the cost of a replacement or repair of a technology gadget if it is unfortunately accidentally broken or damaged.
Parents cannot always have eyes in the back of their head so quality insurance cover can help with the challenge of enquiring minds!”
For more information on the house insurance cover available from Legal & General for gadgets in or out of the home visit: www.legalandgeneral.com/tech-savvy-kids
Notes to editors
Sources: The survey was conducted by OnePoll, between 13th April and 15th April 2011with a total of 200 people across the UK.
Accidental damage cover may be added as additional cover to most household insurance contents policy to provide financial help towards the cost of damage caused to household items accidentally. It is also possible to include cover for personal possessions that are used inside or outside of the home, again for an additional premium.
If a customer should need to make a claim they will need to demonstrate that they did take all reasonable care to prevent any damage happening. They should also bear in mind that making a claim could impact any no claims discount that they may have and that there is likely to be policy excess, which would apply to any claim, they may make. The typical excess is £100 and this amount would be deducted from every valid claim payment. Customer should check with their insurance provider or adviser to be clear on the actual cover available and the policy terms.
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