Garden thefts warning for homeowners
Shropshire homeowners have been reminded to make sure they take their gardens into account when it comes to arranging insurance.
Research has shown that the average British garden contains £1,457 worth of valuable items, but only 41 per cent of homeowners polled listed their outdoor belongings on their home insurance policies.
Dave Williams, from Henshalls Insurance Brokers in Newport and Shrewsbury, has urged homeowners to remember that “contents” means not just the items inside your home, but those outside too.
“The survey showed the most commonly stolen item from the garden was bikes, closely followed by lawnmowers making up 32 per cent of thefts and gardening tools 19 per cent," he said.
“Shrubs, pots, chairs, tables and garden toys should all be taken into consideration when you’re arranging cover too, as they all add up and it could be expensive to replace them if you’re the target of opportunist thieves.
“Given the challenging situation we’ve all faced during lockdown with extra time at home and the incredible weather we’ve had, it can be tempting to leave valuable items outside overnight or to leave the garden shed unlocked.
“But as well as leaving you open to a risk of burglary, failing to secure your garden items could possibly void your home insurance cover if you need to make a claim.”
Mr Williams said most standard contents insurance policies included a small amount of cover for garden items, but homeowners should double check their documents to make sure.
He said: “It’s not just obvious items like garden machinery such as lawn mowers or strimmers that are being taken – thieves are even digging up entire plants, shrubs and trees, or making off with hanging baskets. They’ve also resorted to taking turf from people’s lawns, as well as garden furniture and pots, chimeneas and Koi Carp from garden ponds.”
Mr Williams said it was vital that homeowners didn’t put their garden items at risk.
“Make sure they’re locked away or taken inside when you’re not in the garden, and if you purchase costly new items such as play equipment or furniture, it’s best to update your insurer," he said.
“July and August are always the most popular months for garden thefts, so protect yourself and your garden now to ensure you’re not an easy target.”
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