BIBA is urges gardeners who are purchasing expensive items like patio heaters or a large amount of garden products to take steps to ensure that their new purchases are covered within their home insurance, and to take adequate security measures.
Key advice being given to gardeners includes:
Contact your Insurance Broker who will be able to:
- Advise if you are covered and arrange cover if needed.
- Check your policy for restrictions or exclusions e.g. Do items have to be locked away at night?
- Check the policy to ensure you have adequate cover for items in the garden, there are often limits on policies (as low as £250, but more commonly £500) and arrange extended cover if necessary.
- Check your excess so that you can afford to pay it if something does happen.
Commenting on the warning, Graeme Trudgill, Head of Corporate Affairs at BIBA, said:
“It is absolutely vital that if purchases are expensive, consumers have taken action to ensure they are covered by their insurance policies.”
“Causes of claims we have seen include: theft of plants, iron gates, statues, garden equipment and furniture (even gnomes!); accidental damage to garden furniture; and fires originating from barbeques or even from neighbouring properties.”
“Home Insurance is more complicated than people think and policies differ for items in the garden – many policies do not cover shrubs or trees as standard. I strongly urge people not to be caught out by assuming that they are covered by their present home insurance. If they have any concerns they should contact their insurance broker who would be able to advise them and take steps to ensure they are fully covered.”
“Also policyholders should check they have adequate cover for theft of oil from oil heating storage tanks – this has been very popular with the recent increase in oil prices. A claim could run into several thousand pounds!”
Precautions people can take to reduce the likelihood of a garden claim include:
- Fit a security light overlooking the garden
- Put items in a locked shed overnight, especially expensive equipment such as ride on lawn mowers
- Lock your side gate
- Do not leave a barbeque unattended
High Net Worth policies will cover gardens to a greater extent, for example Sterling Insurance Company give up to £15,000 for outdoor items although you can purchase unlimited cover.