Garden security and home insurance

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Whether you use your garden to grow prize-winning flowers or simply as a place to grab five minutes of peace, chances are it’s a place that brings you lots of happiness. But what you might not have realised is that your garden also holds a lot of hidden monetary value – the average garden can contain thousands of pounds worth of stuff.

Do you have some nice patio furniture, or useful gardening tools? What about a fancy BBQ? Not only would you want these protected against damage or loss, you’d also want to be covered in case they were stolen.

Is my garden covered by my home insurance policy?

Because a garden is counted as a permanent feature of a home, most people with standard home insurance should have some cover for their garden already.

Buildings insurance generally covers things like:

  • walls
  • patios
  • sheds (which are permanently fitted)
  • conservatories

Contents insurance is there to protect the items that can be moved, from plant pots to garden gnomes, but your insurer may only pay out so much. Make sure you add your home's contents up and get the right cover for your needs - find out how with our guide on how much contents insurance do I need?

Admiral Home Insurance's Gold and Platinum tiers offer garden cover up to £1,000 (Gold) and £2,500 (Platinum), it isn't included with our standard Admiral cover.

What's covered by garden insurance?

It’s a good idea to think about the items in your garden you’d want covered in case of theft. Gardens, sheds and outbuildings are very popular with thieves because they are often far easier to access than a house, so take the time to add all the contents up.

Admiral claims data (2018) shows the average cost of theft from a garden is £2,287. The items most likely to be stolen are:

  • bikes
  • tools
  • garden equipment 

Admiral Home Insurance's Gold and Platinum policies offer £1,500 and £5000 of cover for theft from your locked garden shed. Our standard policy doesn't include this cover.

What isn’t included in garden insurance?

There may be gaps in some home insurance policies which are worth looking into before you buy.

The effects of weather damage on your garden, for example, may not be covered in the same way as they are with your home. Particular items in your garden might be excluded, such as special plants and exotic flowers. If you’re particularly green-fingered and spend a lot of money on making your borders beautiful, this is worth taking into consideration.

Ask each individual insurer about what they’re prepared to cover – you may have to take out more specialist insurance as many insurers may not provide cover for high-value items outside the home.

How can I protect my garden?

Admiral’s data reveals that theft from outside of the home – including sheds, outbuildings, garages and gardens – accounted for 19% of all theft claims in 2018.

Noel Summerfield, Head of Home Insurance at Admiral, says:  "Unfortunately, gardens, sheds and outbuildings are popular with thieves because they tend to be easier to access than a house, whether the owners are at home or not.

“Summertime offers the perfect opportunity to take stock of what’s in your garden and outside storage space, especially if you’re considering investing in new furniture, outdoor toys or sports equipment. 

“As winter approaches and you start to lock away the things you won’t be using as much – tools, lawnmowers, garden equipment and furniture, BBQs and sporting equipment - think about how much value your garden shed or garage is holding. 

"Investing in a good, secure lock for sheds and making sure they're locked at all times, as well as investing in security lights to alert you if someone's in your garden, are just some measures you can take to help prevent a theft.

“As well as being clear on what's covered by your insurance, taking care to protect your garden and outbuildings is equally important.”

7 ways to protect your garden

  1. Damage check - After winter and bad weather, check to make sure your shed or garden walls are still in a decent condition and, if not, make the necessary repairs
  2. Lock up - Any gates or other entrances should have good locks fitted and kept locked at all times
  3. Shed light on the situation - Think about investing in motion-deterrent security lights at the front and back of your house to deter thieves 
  4. Strong borders - Thorny bushes, high fencing and even trellises (which can be decorated with flowers in spring and summer), can help make your garden and house more secure
  5. High winds - If strong winds made you realise items aren’t as secure as you thought, fix any ornaments to the ground. Not only will this stop them blowing away, they’ll also be much harder to steal
  6. Batten down - Loose bricks and garden tools are commonly used to aid break-ins; make sure tools are locked away. Likewise, keep ladders firmly locked to an immovable object and, wherever possible, keep wheelie bins secure as they could offer burglars a handy leg up over walls or into windows
  7. Seasonal changes - Summer furniture isn’t built to withstand a bleak winter, so make sure it’s kept in a safe, dry place.

Top tips for keeping your garage and shed safe:

  • Fit strong padlocks and hardware to shed and garage doors and make sure they are strong enough not to be kicked through
  • Install a lockable steel box or anchor post to the floor for storing expensive equipment
  • Secure locks or bars to windows
  • Install lighting - exterior lights are off-putting for thieves. Fix them near doors and at the rear of your home in a high spot - keep them out of reach

If your shed is where you keep the majority of your stuff, make sure it’s secure with a good-quality lock. If your insurer covers theft from a shed, they'll only pay out in the event of theft if you can prove that it’s locked at all times, and that there was evidence of forced entry.

The easy way to manage your policy on the go