Are your garden contents covered by your home insurance?

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Garden contents insuranceA recent study by Aviva found that the average garden today is worth just under £2,000, which makes gardens a prime target for thieves – particularly in the summer months. Expensive garden furniture, patio heaters, features, ornaments and even children’s play sets are all at risk of opportunistic thieves.

It’s therefore well worth making sure your garden contents are fully covered by your home insurance policy – before you come back from a family holiday to find you’ve been the victim of a burglary!

Common stolen garden items

  • Power tools (drills etc.)
  • Hand held tools (spades, shovels etc.)
  • Lawnmowers
  • Ladders
  • Barbeques
  • Furniture
  • Ornaments
  • Patio heaters
  • Plants and pots
  • Even lawn, paving or decking have been known to be dug/ripped up and stolen

What is covered by your home insurance policy?

Most standard buildings and contents home insurance policies will include a certain amount of content cover for your garden.

The ‘buildings’ part of your policy often covers items in your garden such as sheds, patios, conservatories, fences and gates, as these things are classed as fixtures and fittings of your home. The difference in the ‘contents’ cover is that those are items which can be moved around, so garden wise, things like plant pots, ornaments and furniture can be included. This part of your policy is known as ‘contents in the open’ cover. However, the amount of this cover may vary from insurer to insurer.

Get the right level of cover

When enquiring about insurance for your garden, it is worth making a rough valuation of the contents you are likely to keep in it to make sure you have the right amount of cover. Home contents insurers usually have a limit on the amount you can claim, for example; up to £300, up to £3,000 or no limit at all. If you realise you are underinsured, you may be able to arrange extra cover with your current insurer. This could prove to be cheaper than taking out a separate policy with a different provider.

Regarding contents in your shed or outbuilding, you may find that you will only be covered if you have a lock on the door. Small details like these need to be checked so you know where you stand if you were to make a claim.

Common garden insurance exclusions

With all insurance policies, make sure you are familiar with any exclusions it may have. In terms of insuring garden items, a lot of insurers will not pay out if the contents of your garden have been damaged by a natural event, for example a storm or flood.

Damage to trees, lawns, shrubs or plants may also not be covered, although many insurers do include these in the policy.

Also, for expensive garden contents like bicycles, lawnmowers, power tools and children’s toys, your insurer will most likely request that these are locked away safely when not in use.

At we are currently offering home insurance on a fixed rate until 2016. To get a quote or for more information head over to our home insurance deals page here.

For more information, read our full guide on home security tips for summer.