Power tools, garden ornaments, top-of-the-range BBQ, bikes, a stash of booze, perhaps?
Maybe there’s a chest freezer with several hundred pounds’ worth of food. Or a couple of musical instruments and a TV that’s surplus to requirements but which is too good to take to the tip.
Our latest research reveals Brits are stashing an eye-watering £62 billion of costly possessions in garages, sheds and gardens - but they risk leaving themselves financially exposed if these items aren’t fully insured.
Cash in the att… er, garage
The average garage or shed is home to more than £2,000 of items on average, or £35 billion collectively.
Items housed in garages include family heirlooms and DIY kit, as well as more than £1 billion of alcohol.
Gardens, meanwhile, contain £26 billion of accessories including hammocks, ornaments and heaters, equivalent to £1,223 on average per household.
Garages and gardens are often a particular target for thieves in summer, as they hunt out expensive tools, bikes and other equipment. So check the small print of your home insurance policy to see if these items are covered, and for how much.
A bike might only be insured while it’s in your garden if it’s secured to an immovable object
In many cases, the cover limits provided by your contents policy won’t be enough, so you’ll have to call your insurer to increase the amount of protection.
This is especially the case if you use your garage or another outbuilding such as conservatory as a home office, gym or just as living space.
When you check the terms of cover, see what it says about bikes.
A bike might only be insured while it’s in your garden if it’s secured to an immovable object.
In other words, a claim for a bike that’s stolen while left propped against a wall might be turned down.
And if you’ve got exceptionally expensive items in your garden, it could be worth checking what insurers call the ‘single item limit’ on your currency policy – most insurers require anything over the value of £1,500 to be listed separately.
You should also find out what your policy says about liability cover. If, for example, you had a bonfire and a spark set fire to a neighbour’s fence, you could end up being sued. These costs can only be covered if you have liability cover in place.
Don’t make your garden or shed tempting to thieves by leaving lots of items lying around or on show.
Make sure any outbuildings are properly secured so you’re not an easy target.
Install sturdy locks on buildings, and making it difficult for thieves to get in and out of your garden, by mending broken fences, locking gates and even planting thick-growing, prickly bushes around the perimeter.
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.