Homeowners urged to check pricey garden furniture and tools are covered by home insurance


THE average homeowner could have more than £1,200 of uninsured goods in sheds and garden spaces, according to a new study.

In total, across the UK, homeowners have £24billion worth of uninsured items including expensive tools and garden furniture.

Garden tools, bicycles, BBQs and furniture are some of the most valuable items people leave lying around
Getty – Contributor

Standard buildings and contents insurance policies usually include a certain amount of cover for items kept in the garden or shed.

But two-thirds of Brits have never listed a key “outside” item of value on their home insurance policy – leaving them with a potentially costly bill if thieves make off with the goods.

The research, which was carried out by comparison site MoneySupermarket reveals the average value of goods in a British garden is £1,270.

Garden furniture (49 per cent) is the most common item to be kept outside, followed by DIY tools (46 per cent), bikes (30 per cent) and BBQs (29 per cent).

The average cost of items stored outside

HERE'S the average value of items stored in gardens or sheds according to the region your live in:

  • West Midlands – £1,525
  • East Anglia – £1,511
  • East Midlands – £1,473
  • London – £1,438
  • Yorkshire and the Humber – £1,403
  • Wales – £1,391
  • Scotland – £1,231
  • South East – £1,223
  • South West – £1,096
  • North West – £853
  • North East – £770
  • UK Average – £1,270

Residents in the West Midlands have the highest value items in their garden – coming in at £1,525 on average.

But they were also most likely to have had items stolen previously at 23 per cent, compared to the national average of 16 per cent.

Those living in the North East have the least valuable goods (£853) in their gardens or sheds.

DIY tools, bicycles and garden tools were the most common items stolen from gardens and sheds.

MoneySuperMarket.com is advising people to minimise the risk of theft by fitting locks to garden gates and installing lighting to put off any would-be-thieves.

How to make sure your property stays safe if you store it outside

HERE are MoneySuperMarket.com's top tips for keeping tools, bicycles and furniture protected:

  • Lock valuables away
  • Defend your property with locks on gates
  • Secure your bikes
  • Know your insurance policy

The comparison website also advises bicycle owners to make sure they’re securely locked.

Helen Chambers, head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket.com said: “Particularly in the summer months, there’s the temptation to leave items of value outside overnight or keep your shed unlocked.

“But that could leave you open to a risk of burglary and in turn, possibly void your home cover if you need to make a claim.

“Most standard contents insurance policies include a small amount of cover for garden items, but specifics can vary wildly – so it’s worth checking to ensure that your valuable items are fully covered.

“The home insurance market is very competitive, so it’s also worth checking if you could get a cheaper premium elsewhere.

“If you haven’t switched for a while, that’s probably going to be the case.

“It takes minutes to switch to a competitive policy and you could save up to 43 per cent on your bills.”

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