A Confused.com guide to insuring your garden outbuildings
When we think of home insurance, we usually just think of protecting the main building. But home insurance policies can cover your garden shed and outbuildings too.
Confused.com looks at how to keep your outbuildings and their contents safe.
Keep burglars at bay.
When locking the house up tight at night, don’t forget to lock up the garden shed. Thieves see outbuildings as easy pickings as owners often undervalue the items stored inside. The value of power tools, lawnmowers, bicycles etc. can be quite significant, so get into the habit of securing the shed.
For more security tips, see Confused.com’s Top 10 Tips to Keep Burglars at Bay.
Insuring your shed
Protecting your garden shed and outbuildings is easy. Many buildings and contents insurance policies cover outdoor structures like sheds, garages, gazebos and greenhouses (check your policy small print to see if you’re covered).
However, as fewer than 65% of households have home insurance (according to Home Office figures), those homeowners will have to cover the cost if anything happens to the outbuildings – such as theft or damage.
Bear in mind, if your home insurance policy does cover outbuildings, you may have to upgrade the contents insurance to cover specific valuable items such as expensive tools or an expensive bicycle. Once again, check your policy small print or contact the insurer to see whether you need to extend the cover.
Confused.com’s top tips to protect your shed
1. Secure garden valuables
Don’t leave bicycles, garden toys or a lawnmower lying around once you’ve finished with them. Store them securely in your shed as your policy may not cover you for theft or damage otherwise.
2. Secure your tools
Your home insurance policy could be nullified if a thief uses tools you left lying around (such as a ladder or hammer) to gain entry into your house or outbuilding. For the same reason, don’t hide house keys in your shed – it’s an obvious place for a burglar to look.
3. Invest in some floodlighting
Deter thieves by illuminating the garden with a sensor light, or fit a mains or battery-powered alarm to your shed.
4. Get a lock
Keeping your shed and outbuildings padlocked will deter thieves and keep your contents safe. Also take care to ensure the shed is firmly anchored to the ground, as sheds can sometimes be lifted up and moved.
For more advice on how to keep your property safe, read Protect Your Home This Summer: Combine Home Insurance with Common-Sense Anti-Burglary Tips.