The days when the average garden would include nothing much more than a few gnomes and a mouldy PVC patio table are long-gone. Now, you can’t move for chimneas, gas barbeques, water features and ‘summer houses’ – or ‘sheds’, as they used to be known - laden with treasures.
But where there are easily accessible valuables, you’re sure to find thieves. So it’s hardly surprising that according to recent research from Gocompare.com, one in five homeowners have been victims of garden theft or vandalism.
The research showed that the average value of property either stolen or damage was estimated to be worth £311, while 16% of homeowners affected suffered losses of £500 or more.
Usual items like bikes and garden furniture figure in the list of most frequently stolen items – but you might be surprised to learn that shrubs and trees were also some of the most frequently lifted items from people’s gardens, too.
This might be worrying for some green-fingered homeowners, as as not all home insurance policies will offer cover for expensive plants. In fact, only 44% of home policies offer it and, not every insurer offers plant cover as an optional extra. Even then, some policies only provide £200 of cover for plants, which won’t stretch very far if you have to replace mature or rare specimens.
Mark Greening home insurance expert at Gocompare.com, said, “Home insurance policies vary hugely in the cover they provide for gardens and their contents, so homeowners need to carefully assess the value of their outdoor possessions and compare policy features and limits as well as prices. If the contents of your garden are particularly valuable, you may need to consider a specialist garden insurance policy.”