“Half term weeks can mean expensive new presents!” says home insurer

Parents: did you notice how expensive the Half Term week was? You should have, because there were plenty of clues, including in the Daily Telegraph:

Half-term break to cost parents £1.7bn

Londoners will shell out the most, averaging nearly £500 for the week.

Cash-strapped parents will shell out an average of £230 to keep their children entertained for half-term break, totalling £1.7bn nationwide.

Source: Daily Telegraph, 13 February 2013

If parents are really spending £1.7bn every half term, perhaps the only way to save our failing economy is to abolish schools altogether for the majority of the country. Don’t kid yourself that this isn’t something Gove’s already considered. Continuing the Telegraph story:

One in five mums and dads have put themselves in debt struggling to afford the cost of school holidays, according to research from Sheila’s Wheels home insurance. With more than half of parents admitting that they are concerned about the cost of entertaining the kids as household budgets continue to buckle under the strain of the rising cost of living.

What’s more, over a third of parents admit that February half-term is the worst holiday for entertaining children, with a more than four in ten mums and dads revealing the winter weather forces them to splurge on gifts and expensive excursions to keep their kids busy.

That would be Sheila’s Wheels Home Insurance who published the press release this very story was based on, of which 72% made the Telegraph untouched (nice work on the remaining 28%, Kara Gammell).

Why would Sheila’s Wheels commission research to suggest the half term holiday is a near-ruinously expensive affair? We’ll let their spokesperson answer that one, in a quote from the press release which didn’t make it into the Telegraph’s story:

Jacky Brown, at Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, said: “In these tough economic times it is no wonder that the costs associated with keeping kids entertained over the holidays are putting added pressure on family finances.

“Understandably, every parent wants the very best for their children but as that often comes with a hefty price tag, it can really help the peace of mind for a family to make sure they have adequate home insurance to cover all of your child’s expensive possessions as new. Also, it’s important to make sure you have adequate personal possessions cover away from the home.”

The answer is clear, then: this story warning of the financial perils of having to bear the brunt of entertaining your offspring is nothing more than a reminder to buy insurance.