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Insuring your garage and its contents

Make sure you have enough garage insurance if you get burgled

A garage stacked with boxes, tools and equipment

Bicycles, tools, golf clubs and even your chest freezer – your garage is a useful place to store the things you don't want in the home. But are these things really secure and are you fully insured if they get stolen or damaged?

How do you use your garage?

Whether your garage is your playroom, home gym or just a bit of a dumping ground for things you don't use that often, the items stored in it can add up to thousands.

A garage can also be a target for thieves as they're usually less well secured than the home, but store high value and easily portable tools and equipment. Plus, the tools in your garage can be used to break in to your home.

Home insurance policies can include cover for garages and other outbuildings, but are you sure you have enough garage insurance?

Insurance for the contents in your garage

When you insure your home contents with LV=, the cover includes the items you store in your garage, shed and outbuildings.

But when you valued the contents of your home, did you think to include the contents of your garage?

Obviously your car or motorbike is not included in this amount as it's covered by your vehicle insurance, but you should add up all the other items in your garage and include them in your total home contents value.

Remember also to calculate the valuation on a new for old basis. If your goods are stolen or damaged and need to be replaced, insurers can offer to replace them with new versions if possible. LV= even provide up to £500 of cover for any freezer food ruined, by your chest freezer breaking down if a fuse blew in your garage.

Check your insurance policy schedule to make sure the total limit of cover is enough for both your home and your garage. This limit will vary depending on the value of the contents in your home.

At LV= we'll cover the items in your garage up to the contents limit you've chosen.

Insurance for the garage building

If your garage caught fire or a tree fell on the roof during a storm, you'll want to make sure that your insurance covers not just the things inside, but the fabric of the building as well.

LV= buildings insurance usually covers not only your house, but also your garage as long as it's on the same plot as your home.

This type of insurance covers you for fire, flood, theft, subsidence and storm damage. So if a fire guts your garage and you need to rebuild it, your buildings insurance will cover the rebuild cost and your contents insurance will cover the cost of replacing the items inside.

You'll want to make sure that your insurance covers not just the things inside, but the fabric of the building as well.

Insurance for garages away from your home

If you store items in a garage that's not part of your house, check with your insurer to see if you're covered. You may need to take out specialist insurance cover.

This is also true for any business related tools or stock that you store in your garage. These won't usually be insured on your home insurance so you need to take out additional insurance for these items.

Keeping your garage secure

Here are our top five tips for keeping your garage secure.

  • Fit an automatic roller or sectional door. These tend to be more secure than traditional up and over doors.
  • Double locks. If you have an up and over door, fit locks top and bottom to stop the door being lifted easily when the main lock is accessed by thieves.
  • Lighting. Motion sensitive lighting will spotlight any thieves trying to gain access and act as a deterrent.
  • Alarm. If you have an alarm system on your house, extend it to the garage.
  • Contents. Should you really keep your top of the range golf clubs in your garage? Try to keep the really valuable items in your home if possible.

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