Why start thinking about my garden now?
Insurer Aviva says that thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by more than 25 per cent after the clocks go forward, with the haul averaging £850.
So what's the average value of a garden's contents then?
MoneySupermarket research suggests items in the garden, such as furniture, barbecues, lawnmowers, plants and shrubs, total a staggering £1,500.
Does my home insurance cover items stored in the garden?
Most insurers have recognised the increased value of garden possessions, and will offer some outside cover, but this varies considerably. For example, for "contents in the open" Liverpool Victoria has a cover limit of £1,000, while More Than offers up to £75,000. Claims for each single item are capped at £250 and £1,500 respectively.
What about items that are locked in outbuildings?
Property that is securely locked away at night is usually treated as if it were stored in the home. M&S Money, for example, offers unlimited cover on its Premier policy. However, all insurers will probably want to know that the outbuilding was adequately secure before they pay out on a claim.
What can I do to ensure my garden is fully covered?
First, check the terms and conditions on your existing home insurance policy. If it is insufficient or you have an item of value that exceeds the single-item limit, you will need to seek additional cover which may add a loading onto your annual premium. But before doing so check to see if there are more comprehensive deal for a lower annual premium at other insurers.