Kids do the darndest things. They also flood houses, crack spa pools, incinerate decorations and conduct wildly dangerous experiments.
All this according to research conducted by AA Insurance over the last 12 months, which shows that 10 per cent of the total $30 million in contents claims were caused by children.
The AA Insurance claims team has seen it all, she says, from phones being thrown down toilets, to every kind of liquid and solid dropped on laptop keyboards.
"While some can be expensive, and frustrating, sometimes you have to smile at why it's happened and at the kids' reasoning behind it," says AA Insurance customer relations manager Amelia Macandrew.
The damages caused vary from the relatively expensive to eye-watering figures.
One of the more expensive examples included a teenager who became distracted on his phone and left the kitchen tap running. The entire kitchen was flooded, with water getting under the floorboards, lino and the carpet in the living room and cost over $15,000 to dry out and repair.
Another customer's kids caused $20,000 of damage by wrestling in a spa pool and cracking the fibreglass lining.
This wasn't even the most expensive example shared. This accolade goes to the son who was conducting a science experiment on the stove, which then exploded and burnt the floor and three cupboards. This little lesson ended up costing $22,000.
On the quirkier side, one girl took reality TV a step too far and tried to water the plants on the television screen, causing the demise of a TV worth thousands of dollars.
One of the more hilarious stories comes from an 8-year-old girl who almost burnt down her family home when she put a five-foot Halloween skeleton, dressed as Santa, next to the fireplace and that had a lit candle on the mantle. The clothing ignited and the skeleton began to melt, but thankfully a parent quickly moved the flaming Santa skeleton across the hall, out the front door and extinguished it on the driveway. While the accident only caused $100 of contents damage, the bill for damage to the house came to $3,300.
In another incident, a customer was outside hanging the washing, while the children he was minding took a pair of scissors to his $4,000 couch and chairs.
"While some incidents are relatively small and don't take much to rectify, others are a life lesson in expensive mistakes," said Macandrew. "Our recommendation is that, if you have children, it pays to take out contents insurance; not only to protect your own property, but your legal liability for damage caused to someone else's too."