Does your home insurance include what’s in your garden?
Check what’s covered by your policy.
Many people develop their gardens into lovely seating areas, buy water features and pergolas, or keep sculptures in their gardens. It’s important to consider whether these items are covered by your usual home insurance, and how you can keep them safe if they aren’t.
For some items in your garden, your home insurance policy is adequate. Normally, home insurance will include your garden furniture for example, although there may be a limit on the value that is permitted.
Items that are fixed in the garden (for example, fences, sheds, and patios) should fall under standard buildings insurance. This is usually only the case if the shed is lockable however, because then it can be secured.
Moveable items like hot tubs and sculptures will fall under your contents insurance. You should always check your policy documents to see what value you’re insured for — this varies between insurance providers and is an important aspect of your policy.
If you want to increase the value of your cover, you can choose to either pay extra for your existing policy or consider a specialist insurer who might better suit your needs.
For those people who have oil tanks in their gardens, bear in mind that it can cost thousands to clear up any spills. So it’s therefore advisable to get insurance that has a high enough liability to cover the cost of cleaning your property up when there has been an incident.
You should also think about whether the liability is high enough to facilitate clearing up the neighbour’s land too. Not all insurance policies cover oil leakage so you’ll need to check yours and switch provider if they don’t meet your needs in this area.
If you rent your home or own a leasehold property you should only need to get contents insurance. This will cover your possessions against theft or damage. If you live in a freehold property, you’ll also need buildings insurance, which covers the actual property itself.
Many people need both buildings and contents insurance, and this costs a lot more, but does ensure that most things you own are protected. Generally, buying a combined contents and buildings policy will be cheaper than buying two separate policies.
You should think carefully about what level of cover you need. With buildings insurance, you’ll be paying too much if you insure your house for its market value, because it is unlikely to cost that much to even completely rebuild it.
The Association of British Insurers has a free calculator on their website, so you can work out how much your home would cost to rebuild, and you can keep checking this whenever your policy comes up for renewal, to see if it has changed.
Similarly, if you overestimate the value of your possessions you’ll pay too much for your content insurance. If you underestimate then you’ll lose out on any claim you need to make. So make sure you work out how much everything costs accurately.
Once you’ve worked these things out, you should shop around on a price comparison site like A Spokesman Said to make sure you’re really getting the best deal. Look for specific mentions of the garden items you’re looking to have covered, and ask the insurer questions before purchasing a policy if you’re unsure about anything.
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