Garage insurance

Most home insurance policies will cover your garage if it’s inside your property’s boundary. But it’s important to make sure you have the right level of cover.

Eve Powell
Eve Powell
Updated 10 February 2023  | 3 min read
Reviewed by Jasmine Hembury

What is garage insurance?

Garage insurance covers the structure and contents of your garage for any damage or loss that’s caused by things like theft, fire and flooding.

If your garage is within your property’s boundary this cover will often be included as part of your home insurance policy (both buildings and contents).

However, there may be a limit on the amount you can claim. And the level of cover offered may depend on whether your garage is attached to your home or not.

Key points

  • Most home insurance policies cover garages if they’re attached to your home or within the boundary of your property
  • If your garage or outbuilding is detached, you may need to add extra cover or take out separate garage insurance
  • Check that policy limits will be enough to cover the value of your garage contents
  • Installing extra security measures could help to reduce your premiums

Is my garage insured?

This largely depends on your garage - if it’s attached to your home, it may already be covered by your home insurance policy.

But check whether it provides enough protection to cover the value of your garage and its contents.

For an extra cost, you may be able to increase the amount of cover or list items separately if they’re worth more than the policy’s single item limit.

If your home insurance doesn’t extend to your garage, you can often add this to your cover for a fee.

Not all insurers provide this option though, so an alternative is to take out a separate policy.

Contents insurance for your garage

Contents insurance provides financial protection from events like theft, malicious damage, fire and flood for everything stored in your garage.

If you had to unexpectedly replace all your garage items, like power tools, lawnmowers, and garden furniture, the cost could quickly add up.

A contents policy will typically provide cover for their combined value, up to the policy’s limit.

However, you’ll need to tell your insurer about any items worth more than the single item limit to make sure the full cost is covered.

Buildings insurance for your garage

Buildings insurance covers the structure of your garage, including the roof, walls, windows and doors, from unexpected damage.

This is designed to cover the amount it would cost for labour and materials if you needed to rebuild it from scratch.

But just like contents insurance, there may be a limit to how much you can claim.

And you might need to add cover or get a separate policy if your garage or outbuilding isn’t attached to your home.

How much should I insure my garage contents for?

According to Defaqto, 76% of 337 contents policies listed offered contents cover for your garage, up to the total sum insured.[1]

That means the items stored in your garage will be insured for the maximum amount stated on your policy.

So, you’ll need to add up the cost of replacing everything in your garage to work out how much insurance you’ll need and whether your policy will provide enough cover.

Remember that all contents insurance policies have single item limits - this is the most you can claim for any one item.

What’s covered varies greatly between insurers - but for 90% of the policies on Defaqto, the single item article limit is £5,000 or more.[1]

Will my bike be insured if I keep it in the garage?

This depends on your policy. Your bike may be covered but it’s often on the condition that it’s locked up inside the garage and attached to something that’s fixed or can’t easily be moved.

The single item limit will usually apply to bikes too, so if yours is worth more than this amount you’ll need to list it separately on your policy.

And if you also want your bike to be covered when you take it out and about, you’ll probably need to add personal possessions cover to your home insurance policy or take out specialist bicycle insurance.

What isn’t covered by garage insurance?

You’ll need to check the exclusions on your policy, but you won’t usually be covered for:

  • An unlocked garage - Claims for theft won’t be accepted if your garage wasn’t locked
  • Accidental damage - You’ll usually need to take out extra cover for this
  • Wear and tear - You won’t be able to claim for any damage caused over time

Does garage insurance cover my car when it’s parked inside?

No, even when your car is locked in the garage it will still be covered by your car insurance, not your garage insurance.

But keeping your car in a garage can help to lower your car insurance premiums because it’s more secure than parking it on a road.

However, if your car has been declared off the road with a Statutory Off Road Notification, also known as a SORN - you won’t be able to claim on either your car insurance or your garage insurance if something happens to it during this time.

Is my garage roof covered by insurance?

If your garage is attached to your home, any damage to its roof will be covered by your buildings insurance - this covers the structure of the building and its fixtures and fittings.

Am I covered if my garage isn’t attached to my house?

If your garage is detached or an outbuilding, you may need to add extra cover to your policy or take out separate insurance to cover your garage and its contents.

Your garage will usually need to be inside the boundaries of your property. But if it’s part of a nearby block of garages or lock-up, your insurer may still be able to cover it.

You must tell your insurer if your garage isn’t next to your home. Otherwise, this can invalidate any claim you make.

Can I claim for items stolen from my garage if it isn’t locked?

No, it’s usually a condition of your policy that your garage needs to be locked and secure. If there’s no evidence of a break-in, like a broken lock or smashed window, the insurer is likely to reject your claim.

How to improve the security of your garage

Investing in better security could lower the cost of your premiums as well as reduce the chance of theft.

  1. Use a secure lock

    Make sure your lock is working and if you’re upgrading locks on your property, don’t forget to include your garage.

  2. Install a garage defender

    This is a ground lock security bar that prevents up-and-over doors from being wrenched open.

  3. Hide your valuables

    If your garage has windows, consider using a frosted film. Keep expensive items out of sight and secure valuable items, like bikes, with locks.

  4. Get security lights

    Motion detector lights are a good burglar deterrent and particularly useful for detached garages where you’re less likely to hear an intruder trying to get in.

  5. Consider an alarm

    Wireless alarms can send an alert to your phone when a sensor is triggered on your garage.

  6. Install CCTV

    The cameras can help act as a deterrent and capture useful evidence for police and insurers.

What our expert says

Take all the precautions you can to ensure your garage items are protected from burglars. Your insurer may be reluctant to pay out for stolen items if you’ve shown any sort of negligence (i.e. leaving your garage doors unlocked)
Ceri McMillan - Go.Compare home insurance expert

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[1]Last checked 9 December 2022