Garden insurance

The cost of garden furniture, equipment, plants and pots can really add up. Find out how your home insurance can help to protect them and when you might need extra cover.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 21 December 2021  | 2 min read

Does home insurance cover garden equipment?

Any equipment that can be moved, like tools and lawnmowers, will typically fall under your contents insurance.

If you have very expensive garden equipment, you may be able to pay an additional amount to your home insurance provider to protect their value through your policy.

Garages, sheds, summer houses and other structures, as well as the fixed parts of your garden like paths, walls and patios, are usually covered by your buildings insurance.

  • Home insurance often includes a set amount of cover for your garden and outdoor equipment
  • For more valuable garden items, you might need a policy add-on or specialist cover
  • To avoid underinsuring, make sure you include the contents of your garden and shed
  • Your policy may require you to lock and store valuable items away safely

Does home insurance cover items left in the garden?

You’ll need to check the terms and conditions of your policy, as some insurers may not protect items kept outside as standard.

Typically, things left out in the open like garden furniture, plants, pots and containers, will be covered. But you might be required to keep certain valuable items securely locked away.

Be aware that if you don’t follow your insurer’s guidelines and your items are stolen or damaged you may not be covered.

How do I insure my garden?

While you can find providers that offer specialist garden insurance, most home insurance policies include a set amount of cover for your garden.

This will protect your garden and outside items from theft, loss and damage.

If you want more protection for expensive items, like top-of-the-range barbecues or garden furniture, you may be able to pay an extra sum to include these under your home insurance.

Some insurers will sell different levels of cover and others will offer garden cover as an optional add-on to your policy. Or you can take out standalone specialist insurance.

How much cover do I need?

To get the right level of cover, take a look around your garden. Work out how much it would cost to replace everything by adding up the value of what you can see.

Keep in mind that there’s often a limit on the total value of contents you can cover that are kept in outbuildings and sheds.

And you may need to list expensive items separately, like trampolines or hot tubs, if your policy has a single-item limit - this is often between £1,500 and £2,000.

What isn’t included in the garden cover offered with home insurance?

Again, this will vary between policies. For example, you might find that weather damage in your garden isn’t covered in the same way that it is for your home.

Often exclusions for the garden mean that any damage to your outbuildings and possessions caused by severe weather won’t be covered, so make sure you check this.

And some insurers will only cover plants that are damaged if they’re in pots, but not if they’re planted in the ground. Certain species of plants or flowers may also be excluded.

It’s worth comparing different providers to see what is and isn’t included. You may find you have to take out extra or separate insurance for high-value items.

What do I need to remember when looking at garden insurance?

When it comes to insuring your garden, you’ll need to check what cover is included with your home insurance policy.

And make sure you look at the single-item limits - you may need to get extra cover for valuable items or take out specialist insurance.

It’s a good idea to take photos of your more expensive items as proof of ownership and to keep hold of your receipts. This can make it easier if you need to make a claim.

Remember that any lost, damaged or stolen garden items will be replaced on a new for old basis - so you’ll need to have the right level of cover to buy replacements at today’s prices.

Insurance for digging up pipes in the garden

If you need to dig up your garden to access blocked or damaged pipes, your home insurance will usually cover you for accidental damage to underground services if the blockage is your fault.

That includes breaking the pipe and fixing it again, if it can’t be easily unclogged.

It won’t cover the cost of re-landscaping it, but if you need to make a claim it’s worth asking.

Insuring fish in the pond

If you keep fish in a pond or livestock in your garden, these might not be covered, so you might need to consider pet insurance.

How can I protect my garden?

Outdoor spaces, sheds, garages and outbuildings are often seen as easy targets, so it’s important you protect them as best you can.

Shed security 

Thieves know that sheds can be packed full of expensive items, like power tools and pedal bikes. So, keep your shed or outbuilding locked securely whenever it’s not in use, especially overnight. 

You could buy a shed alarm and, if your shed has windows, think about adding extra protection with laminate sheets so they’re difficult to break. Keep expensive tools in lockable cupboards or cabinets inside your shed. 

Garden fence security

Keep fences, hedges and walls at the front of your property under a metre high, so potential thieves are unable to hide behind them. Install higher fencing that’s difficult to climb over at the back of your house . (UK police forces generally recommend around 1.8 metres high). 

Consider putting up a trellis as a topping to your fence and plant spiky shrubs, along garden fences and walls to act as further barriers to entry.

Keep your fence in a good state of repair. Old or rotten wood is easy to break into. 

Garden gate security

Gates should be heavy, durable and lockable, the same size as your fencing (1.8m) and preferably fitted with two locks (top and bottom). Keep your gates, including ones on the side of your home, locked at all times, even when you’re at home. Choose a design that prevents any potential thieves from getting a good hand or foothold to climb the gate.

Secure outdoor storage

If you don’t have a shed or outbuilding to store your valuables in overnight, then consider investing in a garden storage unit. You can buy them in a size to suit small tools and foldaway garden chairs, or large enough to house your lawnmower and barbecue. 

Secure bike sheds

Bikes are usually covered by your home insurance if they’re stolen or damaged at home. But there’ll be a limit on what an insurer will pay out. This is  - often around £500. 

If your bike is worth more than that (and many are these days) you might want to take out specialist bike insurance as an add-on to your policy. This will provide a higher limit of cover and protect your bikes away from home, too.

Keeping bikes locked away is vital as they’re a popular target for thieves. If you don’t have a shed or garage, then you could invest in a bike storage shed - a lockable secure unit - to keep in the garden.

Whatever the case, you’ll need to be sure your bike is stored securely at home for your policy to be valid. Check your documents to make sure your security measures comply with your policy’s requirements.

Top tips for keeping your garden secure

  1. Many thieves are opportunists, so don’t leave valuable items, like patio heaters, out in the garden overnight. Lock them away in a shed or outbuilding

  2. If that’s not possible, hide them from view or cover with tarpaulin

  3. Secure garden furniture to the floor with ground anchor

  4. Don’t leave ladders or wheelie bins next to fencing or garden walls as thieves could use them to gain entry to your garden

  5. Install security lights, motion sensors and a home alarm system

  6. Heavy planters are difficult to move but for extra security you can secure pots to the ground with chains or bolts

  7. Gravel flooring means any intruder will struggle to keep silent if they approach your home and garden