Whether you're green-fingered or use your garden exclusively for BBQs, make sure your sun trap is protected
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 up to £5,000 worth of stuff.
Consider yours for a moment. 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.
One in seven UK households is the victim of garden theft every year, so make sure your garden has the appropriate level of cover.
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 fencing, walls, gates, patios and sheds. It should also cover you if you have a conservatory.
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.
Admiral Home Insurance does not offer cover for garden contents, but our Gold and Platinum tiers offer garden cover of up to £1,000 and £5,000.
What should I check is included in my 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 shows that the average cost of theft from a garden is £1,593, with bikes, lawnmowers and garden equipment amongst the items most likely to be stolen.
A lot of insurance providers will limit how much you can claim for the contents of your garden on a standard policy – it may be as little as £250 – and may also want you to keep it all in the shed, so make sure this is covered, too.
Admiral Home Insurance doesn’t cover theft from your shed, but our Gold and Platinum policies offer £1,000 and £2,500 of cover respectively. 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?
It’s never a bad time to take stock of how well-protected your garden and outbuildings are. If your shed is where you keep a majority of your stuff, make sure it’s secure, with a good quality lock in place. If your insurer covers theft from a shed, they will 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.
You could also invest in motion-deterrent security lights at the front and back of your house to deter thieves. Strong borders, like 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.
Remember to keep your shed and garden gates locked at all times, even when you’re at home. It’s wise to check the condition of your garden and shed for weather damage or signs of disrepair too. Are there any leaks, and are your walls and fences in good shape?
High winds may also have alerted you to items that aren’t as secure as you thought, so make sure you fix any ornaments, like garden gnomes, to the ground. Not only will this stop them blowing away, they’ll also be much harder to steal.
Summer furniture isn’t built to withstand a bleak winter, so make sure it’s kept in a safe, dry place. These tips, together with the right home insurance policy, should ensure that you can fully enjoy your garden in the knowledge that it’s well-protected.