September 27, 2010 19:01 ET

Swinton Says: Beware of the Facebook Parties

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Sept. 27, 2010) - Swinton Insurance is encouraging parents and homeowners to be on their guard if their teenager is planning a house party, following headlines this week about teenager Rebecca Favleau, who received 21,000 responses to her birthday party invite when she put the event on Facebook.

According to new research amongst 1,200 Swinton customers, 43% of parents have had an item in their home damaged as a result of their teenagers or children throwing a party. In addition, 21% of those surveyed had experienced £200 or more worth of damage after a party that went wrong.

As social networking becomes more accessible, and privacy restrictions are lowered, the risk to homes due to invasion of unwanted guests at parties is higher than ever before. The official term for mass parties is a "Skins party" – named after the Channel 4 show where hundreds of teenagers completely trashed a house during a party, after the party was advertised on MySpace, The horror inflicted by these parties can be horrific – an incident in 2008 in Sunderland created £40,000 worth of damage to a £250,000 house.

The survey by Swinton also reveals that a whopping 82% of parents would now feel uncomfortable letting their teenagers have a party in their home, due to fear of the consequences.

Steve Chelton, insurer development manager at Swinton home insurance, said: "Social networking sites such as Facebook, Bebo or My Space are great for connecting people with friends, family and colleagues. But people are unaware of the potential risks associated when an event is posted online. It is very easy for things to get out of hand, and the consequences can be catastrophic. We would strongly advise all users not to include your address on a party invite online, and be very stringent when checking privacy settings.

"By protecting your home from unwanted guests, you will ensure your home remains free from damage, and insurance premiums will remain low"

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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