Protect against growing number of garden thieves with contents insurance

31 March 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
In addition to floods and common garden pests, homeowners are also having a hard time with the growing number of garden thieves.

The increasing popularity of garden makeover shows and the lighter evenings as the clocks go forward mean that people are spending £4 billion a year on making their gardens gorgeous with plants, pots, furniture, tools and other garden items, but this can put them at risk from opportunist thieves, warns insurance specialist RIAS.

Despite the rising number of people who invest money in their gardens, RIAS found that many do little to protect themselves against garden theft, with the police reporting more than one million garden thefts per year, including unscrupulous landscapers who steal from one garden and sell to the next, and instances of ‘garden stripping’, where unsuspecting gardeners return home to find that their garden is now devoid of all plants, shrubs, water features, tools, pots and furniture.

"Sadly we are all now sitting targets for garden theft," says RIAS Managing Director Janet Connor, "yet people are not taking anywhere near enough precautions. Most home insurance policy holders don’t realise that the garden and its contents may not be routinely protected by their existing cover in the event of theft, loss or damage, and it’s costing victims as much as £400million per year to replace stolen property.

"We strongly advise people to check their home insurance policy today, and make sure additional provision for garden cover is added if it is not there already."

In order to prevent becoming a victim of green-fingered criminals, RIAS recommends always securely locking away tools and garden equipment in a shed, installing sensory lighting, enclosing gardens with fences and growing hedges of thorny shrubs to deter thieves, using gravel in the driveway, and, to protect against extreme weather conditions, putting any moveable items out of harms way.

RIAS urges proud gardeners to consider a home contents insurance policy that includes cover for the garden, offering protection for walls, gates, hedges, trees, patios, trellis, shrubs, and plants against theft, malicious damage, fire, accidental damage, storms and floods.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd