Long gone are the days that all barbecues were pretty basic and fuelled only by charcoal – now you can buy expensive gas-power models on which you can cook an entire three-course meal at the flick of a switch. They can cost hundreds of pounds to buy, and can therefore can be a tempting target for thieves.
However, if you have splashed out on an expensive BBQ, or even if you are content with a simpler model, don't assume that either kind will be automatically covered by your home insurance policy. Home insurance policies vary widely in terms of what they do and don't cover. Here, we explain what cover you are likely to have, and how you can protect your BBQ equipment.
Always keep your barbecue out of sight when not in use, and ideally locked away
Most items which are secured to the ground, such as brick-built barbecues, statues, and outbuildings, will be covered by your buildings insurance, but any items that are easily movable, are likely to be covered by under a 'contents in the open' clause of your home contents policy. Cover limits can vary widely from a few hundred pounds to several thousands, depending on who you have your insurance with, and claims for single items are likely to be capped.
It is therefore vital to always check the small print so that you know exactly what you are and aren't covered for, and examine the cover limits carefully too – if you have a particularly expensive barbecue, in the event that it is stolen, any insurance pay out may not be enough to cover the full cost of a replacement. If you don't have sufficient cover, you may be able to pay a small additional premium to ensure you have sufficient protection.
When it comes to barbecues that are kept secured locked away when not in use, in the event of a claim, it will usually be treated by insurers as if they were stored in the home. But this means you will also need to be able to prove that the outbuilding was kept securely locked, so it may be worth checking with your insurer to see if they have any minimum security requirements.
How to protect your barbecue
Always keep your barbecue out of sight when not in use, and ideally locked away. If you are putting it away after recent use, however, make sure it has been properly extinguished and is cold to the touch to avoid any potential fire risk.
You should also give your BBQ a thorough check each year and replace any parts which have become worn or damaged. If, for any reason, the barbecue breaks, or stops working if it is a gas-powered model, check to see if you have a warranty in place. If there is one, then the cost of any repairs should be covered by the warranty.
Damage caused by barbecues
It's not only the actual barbecue equipment you need to think about from an insurance perspective, but also the damage that BBQs can cause.
For example, according to research from MORE TH>N Home Insurance, Brits have caused a staggering £617 million of fire damage to their properties after barbecuing drunk. Fortunately, most home insurance policies will cover fire damage to your building and contents caused by a barbecue.
They will also usually cover you for legal liability in case of injury to other people or their property and for example, if a spark from your barbecue sets fire to your neighbour's shed, your home insurance would cover the cost of repairs.
However, bear in mind that if there is evidence that you were drunk while the barbecue accident happened, they could refuse to pay out on the grounds that you weren't taking reasonable care of your property.