Garden insurance and what's covered

Simple steps to make sure your home is insured if you're flooded

2 minutes

Garden insurance is often included in your home insurance policy. Just as well, as your shed, garden furniture, tools and plants can add up to thousands.

A garden is an easy target for a thief

Thieves may be more likely to steal your garden furniture than your wallet. In fact, things got so bad a few years ago that Sussex police recommended homeowners cement their gnomes to the ground to stop them from being stolen.

Whilst we may chuckle about the odd stolen gnome, it's no laughing matter to discover your garden has been raided after a day out.

We love our gardens and take pride in making them beautiful. The recent trend to bring the inside out and create a 'garden room' means we're spending more and more on garden furniture, decking, water features, hot tubs, patio heaters and BBQs. And these things don't come cheap.

It all adds up

Take a look around your garden and in your shed. Now tot up all the items you've got stored there. Remember to include all the plants and ornaments, garden tools, mower, children's toys and yes, even your gnomes. It probably totals several thousand pounds.

If thieves got in to your garden and stole your furniture or vandalised your plants, have you got enough garden insurance?
It probably totals several thousand pounds.

Insurance for your garden – what's covered?

Make sure you check your home insurance policy, as very basic home insurance may not provide any garden insurance.

Like your home insurance, insurance for things in your garden is split between buildings and contents insurance. So, to make sure you're fully covered you'll need both types of insurance.

Buildings insurance

LV= buildings insurance will cover you for damage to:

  • Garden walls, gates and fences
  • Drives and footpaths
  • Domestic outbuildings, like your shed, and garages
  • Swimming pools and tennis courts
  • Septic tanks and central heating oil or gas tanks
These are all seen to be part of the structure of your home and therefore covered under your buildings insurance. You'll usually be insured for loss or damage as a result of fire, water or oil leaks, theft, storm or flood (apart from loss or damage to gates or fences caused by storm or flood), subsidence, impact and vandalism. For more information read LV= document of insurance.

LV= also provides cover for the plants in your garden, including your lawn, if they're damaged or stolen, apart from loss or damage caused by storm or flood. This means that if thieves steal valuable plants in pots or even dig up hedges and trees – it does happen – then we'll pay out up to £1,500 in total.

If you want accidental damage for garden structures, you may have to pay a bit extra for this type of cover.

Contents insurance

Check that the contents of your garden are covered by your home contents insurance. You'll want to include the items you keep in your shed or garage as well. Things like:

  • Lawnmower
  • Bicycles
  • Gardening tools, including power tools
  • Children's outdoor toys
  • Garden furniture
  • BBQ and patio heaters
Depending on the type of insurance you have, you might find you only have cover for outdoor items if they are locked away overnight or when you're away from the home. Others will provide cover for pots and furniture that can't be locked away, but may stipulate that bicycles and gardening tools need to be securely stored to be insured.

And what's not covered?

This will vary from policy to policy. Check to see if your home insurance provider excludes high value items because they exceed the limit you can claim for any one item.

So if you have a particularly valuable plant or piece of garden sculpture, it may be worth insuring it separately. The same goes for your ride-on mower or top of the range BBQ.

And if you have any livestock in your garden, such as chickens, or fish in a pond, they are unlikely to be covered by your home insurance.
If you have a particularly valuable plant or piece of garden sculpture, it may be worth insuring it separately.

What to remember when looking at garden insurance

New for old. When you value the items in your garden, remember that your lost or damaged items will be replaced with new items. This means you need enough insurance to cover buying new garden furniture and tools at current prices.

Cover limits. Every insurer imposes a limit on the total amount of cover they will pay out, and on the amounts they pay out for individual items. These limits can vary hugely depending on the type of insurance you have. So, to make sure everything in your garden is fully insured, check your cover limits. They'll be shown on your policy schedule.

Lock it up. Check your policy and lock up valuable and easily portable garden goods.