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Is Your Garden Protected?

Have you been splashing the cash on your garden lately? If so, you're not alone: almost a third of Brits spend more money on their garden than on any other area of their home, according to research.

The kit in British gardens is worth an average of £825 with lawnmowers, sheds, greenhouses and patio furniture the most expensive items, according to a survey by Two thirds of us own a barbecue, children's toys lying around the garden are worth around £50, and plants and seeds £100.

Yet while lavishing attention on our "outside rooms", we are not always so careful about making sure they are protected by insurance.

"Many assume their garden's contents are covered under home insurance when this is not always the case," says Darren Black, head of home insurance for "Gardens are more prone to theft and damage during the summer and it's likely householders undervalue the contents in the same way they do household contents.

Thieves are mostly after garden furniture, barbecues and lawnmowers, but even new-laid turf can be lifted. Patios, outbuildings, sheds, walls, fences and gates are normally covered for damage under your buildings policy, as they are classed as fixtures and fittings. But moveable objects are often not covered.”

Cover for items in outbuildings will include the contents of your shed and garage, provided they are kept locked. "Contents in the open" typically covers moveable items normally kept outside such as barbecues, garden furniture, pots and ornaments. Look out for exclusions relevant to your garden: for example some policies exclude plants in pots, such as expensive bonsai, bay or olive trees, and ride-on mowers. Damage by flood or storm to contents in the open is also typically excluded and no insurer covers plants for accidental damage, such as being dug up by your dog or for damage by disease or lack of care.

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