By Daniel Hunter
Pupils aged six to 16 carry electronic gadgets such as tablets and smartphones worth £122 on average to school with them, according to research from the Money Advice Service.
Parents emerge as having a relaxed attitude to the implications of their children losing high value electronic devices, despite just one in seven having personal possessions insurance that would cover the contents of school bags away from the home.
Around one in three said they would be upset if their child lost their school bag, while one in seven says they would worry about the cost of replacing lost items.
“Electronic devices are so integral to our everyday lives now. It’s incredible how quickly they have become ‘must-have’ items — even for children as young as six years old,” said Jane Symonds, head of service delivery at the Money Advice Service.
“It’s easy to underestimate the cost of replacing them or to simply forget to update your existing insurance cover to include newly-purchased gadgets.”
Top tips to protect your children:
1. Know which valuable gadgets your child takes to school.
2. Check what your home contents policy covers.
3. Consider stand-alone possession insurance if your contents insurance doesn’t provide suitable protection.
4. If a bag is left unattended at school, check if valuables are still covered either by your own or the school’s policy.
5. If a valuable item does go missing, file a police report within 24 hours.
6. Consider second-hand electronic items for your child or cheaper alternatives to the most popular or trendy items.
7. Physically protect valuable items or gadgets which are easily damaged items. For example buy a shock and waterproof case and a school bag with a hard base or additional protection.
8. Ensure electronic devices have strong passwords and note down the serial numbers - consider marking items with invisible theft deterrents such as smart water.
9. Protect your SIM in case of theft - note down the phone’s ‘IMEI’ number so the contract can be stopped before expensive bills are run up, or consider a Pay As You Go SIM.
10. Don't invite casual theft — encourage your children to think about their surroundings when they use expensive gadgets like phones and tablets.
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