Do clumsy kids prevent you leaving your house with peace of mind?

  • More than four out of ten (43 per cent) parents do not trust their children when left alone in the house
  • One in five parents (20 per cent) dread summer holidays and half terms
  • Mothers have bigger trust issues than fathers with their children
  • Parents in the south trust their children alone in the house more than parents in the north

New research from Direct Line Home Insurance reveals that 43 per cent of parents do not trust their children when left alone in the house. Mothers are more distrusting than fathers. When asked whether they trust their child to be home alone, almost half (46 per cent) of mums said no, as opposed to just over a third (36 per cent) of dads.

Summer holidays and half-terms can be a tricky situation for any working family. When asked whether or not they dread scheduled time off school for their kids, one in five (20 per cent) parents agreed, saying this presents their children with more time to damage household items.

When parents were asked if they completely trust their child to leave the house in the same condition they left it in, two thirds (66 per cent) of parents disagreed.  The latest study from Direct Line Home insurance finds that 62 per cent of parents aged 35-64 feel as if their troublesome teens have made it harder for them to leave the house with peace of mind.

Katie Lomas, head of Direct Line home insurance said: “When it comes to leaving teenagers alone in the house, it only takes the slightest thing to go wrong to spark all kinds of apprehension. Whether you are out the house for five minutes or five hours, accidents happen, things get broken. Rest assured, our Home Plus policy includes accidental damage cover as standard to help give parents peace of mind up and down the country”.

When it comes to the worst worriers, Wales and the East are in joint top position. Over half (52 per cent) of parents from both areas are unable to leave the house because they think there’s a chance they could return to a broken banister or smashed chandelier. Parents from Yorkshire follow closely in third place.

Teenagers in Wales do not make it any easier for their parents. When asked how often they come home to new damage, one in ten (10 per cent) parents say they come home at least once every week to find something new has been broken by their child whilst they’ve been out of the house.

Percentage of parents that do not trust their child when left alone in the house
Area Percentage
1 Wales 52%
East 52%
2 Yorkshire and The Humber 51%
3 East Midlands 45%
4 Northern Ireland 43%
West Midlands 43%
5 South East 42%
6 North West 41%
7 Scotland 41%
8 London 40%
9 North East 37%
10 South West 36%

Source: Direct Line Home Insurance, 2015

However, not all kids are born with butterfingers; the study reveals that three quarters of parents from the North East (77 per cent) and South West (71 per cent) say they have never come home to an unexpected damage caused by their child. When comparing the north and south, over two thirds (68 per cent) of parents in the south say they trust their child alone in the house whilst only 58 per cent of parents in the north do.

1Research conducted by Consumer Intelligence with a representative sample of 1770 UK parents between 30th September to 9th October 2015

For further information please contact:

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 300 7838 or visiting

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