Insuring your plants

If you have expensive indoor or outdoor plants, you’ll want to protect them against theft and damage. Read our guide to find out more.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 1 February 2022  | 3 mins read

Do you need plant insurance?

From bay trees to hanging baskets, orchids to ornamental containers, those of us who like to flex our green fingers often invest a lot of time and hard-earned cash on indoor and outdoor plants.

As a result, we may have nurtured a collection of blooms, shrubs and bushes that could be worth thousands of pounds.

Unfortunately, plants and pots in gardens can be easy pickings for thieves.

Luckily, home insurance often includes cover for your greenery, so it can help you recover the costs of stolen or damaged plants and restore your garden to its original glory if you need to make a claim.

Key points

  • Hanging baskets, potted trees and ornamental planted containers are popular targets for thieves
  • Home insurance often provides some cover for your garden plants as standard
  • Policies will have set limits on how much they’ll pay out for garden plants, so check your cover is enough

Does home insurance cover plants?

Contents insurance will cover indoor plants and most will also provide some cover for loss or damage to garden plants, hedges, trees, shrubs and lawns in your outdoor space as standard, too.

Do check your policy documents carefully though, as some very basic policies may not provide any garden insurance at all.

Policies are designed to pay out for damage or loss of garden plants due to:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Lightning and earthquakes
  • Malicious damage and vandalism
  • Falling building masonry, roof tiles or tree branches
  • Falling television aerials and satellite dishes

Loss or damage to your plants that’s caused by a storm or flood might not be covered. Be aware that each policy will have their own exclusions to look out for. So, read the terms and conditions carefully.

For example, in some cases, plants in pots that can be moved may be covered by your policy, whereas plants in the ground may be excluded.

Natural ageing of plants, and plants damaged by frost or pets will probably not be covered too.

In cases of accidental damage - for example if your lawn mower spun out of control and ruined an expensive flower bed - you may need to pay extra to add this kind of protection to a policy.

There’ll be a set limit on the amount your insurer will pay out for plants. This could be as high as £2,000 or as little as a few hundred pounds, barely enough to cover a few shrubs, so check your policy carefully.

If you have lots of plants and flowers, or it’s particularly expensive, you could look at increasing your cover limit or adding specialist garden cover to your policy.

Does buildings insurance cover gardens?

Outbuildings like your shed and garage, as well as your drives and footpaths, are all seen as part of the structure of your home in insurance terms. As such, they’re covered under buildings insurance for damage from things like fire, water or oil leaks, theft or flood.

Your gates and fences will be covered for damage, too (though not usually for damage caused by storms or floods.)

Do I need to list expensive plants separately on my policy?

Policies will usually have a single-item limit. This could be as much as £1,000 but is usually a lot less - just a couple of hundred pounds in some cases.

So, if you have any particularly expensive plants, shrubs or trees worth more than the single-item limit, you’ll need to let your insurer know about them to be sure they can be included in the policy.

How can I work out the value of my garden contents?

Your plants, flowers and shrubs, plus patio pots and baskets can really add up in value. So, it’s important to calculate the cost of everything in your outdoor space to be confident you’re not underinsured.

Walk around your garden and price everything in it. Our home contents insurance calculator can help. Remember that mature plants that you’ve had for a long time will be worth more than seedlings and younger plants. Check online or at a local garden centre for current prices.

What can I do to protect the plants in my garden?

  • Many thieves are opportunists, so avoid leaving lots of expensive pots and plants on display in your front garden
  • Don’t leave ladders or wheelie bins next to fencing or garden walls as thieves could use them to gain entry to your garden
  • Install security lights, motion sensors and a home alarm system
  • Heavy planters are difficult to move but you can secure pots to the ground with chains or bolts
  • Fix hanging baskets well out of reach
  • Newly planted shrubs and plants are easier to uproot and take away than those that are well-established. You can take off tags so as not to draw attention to them

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