If the dog tells your child to write on your wall, can you blame grandma?


I’ve always thought the biggest danger to interior walls comes from, well, accidents. People like me trying to put up shelves, or spilling a glass of wine when England score a penalty.

Not a bit of it. It’s children. They make you and me look like amateurs. And London kids are among the worst.

Insurance companies brace themselves when the schools break up because they know what’s coming. They estimate that, on average, kids cause around £739 of damage in the home during their childhood.

Swinton Insurance company say kids in Northern Ireland are the most destructive, causing an average of £615 worth of damage per claim, followed by children in London (£519) and the West Midlands (£477).

Policy Expert website says parents blame boys for twice as much damage as girls, although a third of parents are more politically correct and share the blame equally. Two, three and four year olds cause almost 20% of the total damage.

Paintwork and interior décor are the target in 29% of cases, carpets/upholstery 21%, and gadgets 17%.

Reasons given by the little darlings include saying that they coloured furniture and walls to make it look prettier, and blaming a ghost, the family dog, and grandma.

Top excuses are:
It wasn’t me
It was an accident
I didn’t mean to!
It was grandpa / mum / dad
It was my brother / sister
I didn’t mean to
The dog told me to do it
It was a ghost
Of course it’s not always the kids. An insurance claim in Preston, Lancashire, explained that a snail had chewed through £78-worth of carpet in the home of a 73-year-old man.

And as you know, it always pays to read your policy closely. A lawyer (in the US, perhaps?) bought a pack of cigars and insured them against catastrophes – including floods, storms, and fire. A few months later he filed a claim saying his cigars had all disappeared in a series of “small fires”. The insurance company (correctly) assumed he’d smoked them, and told him to get lost, but the judge made them pay up because they didn’t specify the type or size of fire in the contract.

So if children, snails, ghosts, falling space debris, or even general wear and tear have left your paintwork looking shabby, our mission in life is to do London’s best job of redecorating your walls. Call me on 0208 946 5045 to arrange a quotation.

Best wishes

Geoff Parvin
Artist in residence