With us Britons enjoying longer and hotter summers every year, we are spending more and more time in – and money on – our gardens. In fact, according to the Horticultural Trades Association, we spend a staggering £3 billion plus a year on furniture, plants and garden equipment.
However, many of us do not actually realise that our gardens may not be protected by our home insurance in the event of theft, loss or damage.
It’s something that probably many of us have not even thought about – insuring our garden. But it makes sense to protect our investment. The cost of garden furniture, ornaments, state of the art barbecues etc all soon mount up as we have seen and if something happens, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket.
And no matter how hard we try and protect our gardens, they will never be as secure as our homes, meaning that they are left vulnerable to theft and vandalism.
Recent research from the insurer Direct Line reported that one in ten of homeowners is likely to be a victim of theft from their gardens. They say that the most common items that are stolen are hanging baskets, lawnmowers, gnomes, furniture, tools and even the plants!
Similarly, the Nationwide list garden furniture as the most common item to be stolen, followed by bicycles, garden ornaments and statues. Even your clothes on the washing line are not safe, with them being the seventh most common item that goes missing from the garden!
And its not just theft that is a problem. The weather can wreck havoc on your garden with snowstorms and gales causing severe damage and sadly, mindless vandalism is all too common.
Check your home insurance policy thoroughly to see what cover you have, if any. If it does offer cover for the garden as standard, do not that only a limited number of insurers do and even then it will probably be basic cover.
While most policies will cover sheds and other outbuildings, do not assume that this includes the rest of the garden – it probably won’t.
If you garden is not covered, then look at possibly changing insurer. And if you are not convinced, why not go around your garden and tot up how much it will cost to replace everything, plants included. You could be shocked!