Thousands of pounds at risk in your garden

Your home insurance policy covers items outside the home as well, but many people either overestimate this or simply don't know how much protection they actually have. This could be a pricey mistake to make...

Felicity King-Evans: Well the warmer weather is finally here and for sun starved Brits that’s an excuse to get straight in the garden and light up the barbeque, but before you do that, have you given any thought to whether or not your gardens contents are covered by your home insurance policy?

We have come to Bents, winner of the UK’s best garden centre 2010, to see just how much the contents of your garden can be worth.

You may think all your valuables are safely locked indoors, but for many people that’s far from the case - in fact we are increasingly filling our gardens with expensive ornaments, costly shrubs and pricey patio furniture.

Individually, items might not cost that much but taken together they're worth a fortune.

Most home insurance policies will include some cover for you garden but this can vary from £250 to unlimited protection, so it’s really important you shop around and find the right policy for you.

And of course may of us have even more expensive kit locked away in our sheds. Tools are small, they’re portable but they can be very pricey, making them a prime target for thieves. I spoke to Julie Owen,’s home insurance specialist about exactly how much protection you need for your garden.

Q1: So Julie, isn’t garden cover included as standard in most home insurance policies?

JO: Well, the good news is that a large number of insurers are now recognising the time effort and expense people are going to and actually creating their gardens, and clearly they want to protect that.

The average value of a garden is about £1,500, which is a whooping amount and really the easy picking in a garden are now things like garden furniture, barbeques, lawnmowers and decorative pots and these are items that can be easily transported and thieves can sell them at car boot fairs.

Q2: How important is it that people secure their sheds properly, can that effect how people make their claim?

JO: Absolutely it does. It’s very difficult to make a claim if you haven’t locked and securely protected your shed or your garage. You have to remember that thieves actually don’t like a challenge so sheds and garages are really easy pickings for them – they are gold mines – so always make sure they are secured with a padlock and they are bolted as well for extra protection. And what ever you do dont leave any tools or implements lying around in your garden which could then be used to break into the shed or garage.

FKE: Julie, thank you very much indeed.

JO: Thank you!

FKE: And finally, if the warmer weather has tempted you out doors, don’t forget to secure your home against thieves, with everybody spending more time in the garden, it’s much easier for people to simply break into your house, so make sure you have secured it.

Garden items used in video:

Sun lounger - £399
Gas BBQ - £149.99
Bistro set (2 chairs) - £249.99
Medium sized chiminea - £69.99
Oil burner - £16.99
Red cushion - £14.99
2 tier topiary - £119.99
3 tier topiary - £99.99
Kernesina - £13.99
Hydrangea - £21.99
Lavender - £14.99
Crimodendron - £39.99

Total: £1,233.84

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