Home insurance needed to protect garden items from green-fingered thieves

19 June 2008 / by Joy Tibbs
While most households are aware that their homes could be vulnerable to thieves, many do not take adequate steps to protect items in their gardens, according to Sainsbury's Home Insurance and Confused.com.

New research from Sainsbury's Home Insurance shows that the average home insurance claim for garden theft between January 2007 and January 2008 is £291.30. And, with summer approaching, the company is urging people to make sure the items in their gardens are kept secure and suitably insured.

Around 34 per cent of stolen garden goods are worth under £50, while 23 per cent are worth between £50 and £100. However, 26 per cent are worth between £101 and £400 and 11 per cent of the stolen items are valued at between £401 and £1,000. Approximately three per cent are worth more than £1,000.

Sainsbury's Home Insurance manager, Neil Laird, said: "Garden theft is on the increase and people need to take care to protect their homes. Homeowners need to review their garden security and ensure they have adequate insurance.

"Homes seen to have 'rich-pickings' that are left unsecured, may be targeted again so as well as tightening up security, it's worth picking a home insurance policy that allows you to benefit from and protect your no-claims discount. If you then have to make multiple claims, you are not jeopardising the savings you've made on your premium."

Furthermore, Confused.com is warning customers that garden sheds are also at risk from thieves. It claims domestic robberies have risen three per cent since 2006, and that July sees the greatest number of outbuilding burglaries.

Alarmingly, its research revealed that many people have lax security measures and some do not bother locking their sheds at all, despite the fact that the average household owns garden equipment in the region of £800. And, while many home insurance policies will protect against shed break-ins, many will not cover loss of more than £1,000.

Product director, Confused.com Simon Lamble, said: "During the summer months, shed burglaries increase significantly, due to homeowners spending more time in their garden and not securing their sheds properly. It is imperative that, when taking out home insurance policies, homeowners consider the contents of their sheds, garages and any other outbuildings, and insure them accordingly."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd