Lifestyle Guides

Protecting your shed with home insurance

shed at the end of a garden

The humble garden shed has had a rebrand in recent years. No longer just a place to store the odd garden spade and muddy pair of wellies, many sheds have been converted into offices, gyms or even art studios. 

If you calculate the contents of your shed, it’s likely to be more expensive than you realised. Read on to check you’ve got the right level of cover in place and how to protect your things.

Is my shed covered by my home insurance?

Outbuildings, including sheds and garages, are usually covered by combined home insurance, but check your policy documents to see what is and isn’t covered.

Your buildings insurance should protect against the effects of storms and floods, as well as loss from fire or vandalism.

Contents insurance may cover theft from your shed or outbuilding, but cover limits vary widely. For example, our Gold policy covers up to £1,500, and Platinum covers up to £5,000.

Admiral’s Home Insurance policies cover sheds and outbuildings, and our interactive home is an easy way to check the level of cover for each policy.

Why do I need shed and outbuilding insurance?

Theft from sheds and outbuildings is common for two main reasons:

  • they’re separate from the main building of the home
  • people don’t always lock them

Check that your insurance covers you for theft from outbuildings and how much they’ll pay out if it happens. 

Remember, insurers may reject a claim if you can’t prove that your shed was locked, and the thieves forced entry.

How to calculate the value of your garden shed contents

Make a list of everything you store in your shed or garage and, where possible, note how much each item costs. 

If you bought the items in recent years, you could check your bank statements to see how much they cost.

Alternatively, search online for the make and model of your items to get a rough estimate of the value.

Once you’ve calculated the total, make sure the claims limits of your policy offer enough cover. If the claim limits aren’t enough, contact your insurer to see if you can increase your cover.

What shouldn’t I keep in my shed?

No matter how comprehensive your home insurance cover is, there are some items that won’t be covered:

  • musical instruments 
  • audio-visual or photographic equipment 
  • computers
  • laptops
  • mobiles phones
  • jewellery
  • watches
  • works of art 
  • valuable collections (e.g. stamp or coin)
  • money

Not only are these things too risky to store in an outbuilding, but you also risk losing them to flooding, leaks or fire. Remember that the average shed isn’t well insulated and won’t protect things from cold or damp.

How can I protect my shed?

If you claim for theft, your insurer will likely ask you to prove the shed or outbuilding was secure. Here are a few things you can do to keep your shed or garage safe from thieves:

  • lock the door with a heavy-duty padlock – make sure it’s weatherproofed and tough to break
  • keep valuables like tools out of sight – store them in a lockable box attached to the floor or wall
  • install a protective film or spray to windows – this helps make it difficult for a thief to see inside your shed
  • install safety devices to deter thieves – motion sensor lights, security cameras and burglar alarms are the holy trinity
  • store very valuable items in your home – don’t risk your beloved items in the garden and keep them locked up in a safe place
  • check for weather damage – regularly inspect for signs of decay, damp or rot, especially in the winter

Is my shed or outbuilding covered if I use it for work?

Most home insurance policies don’t cover your home or outbuildings as standard if they’re used for business.

So, if you’re hosting yoga in your garden or making candles for sale in your shed, you’ll need to tell your insurer.

However, if you’re working from home you’re most likely covered for any clerical work such as working at a computer, making phone calls or any paperwork.

Find out more about this in our working from home and insurance guide.

Is my bike covered by home insurance?

You should let your insurer know if your bike is worth over £350.

Lots of providers offer bicycle insurance as an add-on to a standard policy; find out everything you need to know about covering your bicycle.

Make sure you provide all the necessary details for each bike, keep any original receipts as proof of purchase, and invest in a decent bike lock to use every night. Insurers might insist on a lock type for pedal cycles over a certain value.

Flexible home insurance from Admiral

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