Security is Paramount
It seems to be that this July is shaping up to be full of surprises. The world cup is in full swing and has been dubbed “the best one yet”, Le Tour de France is debuting in Yorkshire and London, and the weather so far seems to be perfect for cycling and gardening! However the warm and lazy summer evenings are a busy time for thieves, they really don’t stop. So make sure your garden isn't a crime hotspot this summer and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Unfortunately Garden theft soars through July and August, and is recorded to be 50% higher during these two months compared to the start of the year, says Aviva. If you leave your shed unlocked or have garden valuables lying around your garden, then you are increasing the temptation of opportunistic thieves. More so if you’re on holiday and won’t be around to stop them.
Reportedly, 9 out of 10 homeowners regularly leave expensive items like jet washers and garden tools in the garden overnight, according to research from insurer Esure. By not securely storing your belongings at night you are turning your garden into a treasure trove for passing criminals, says Nikki Sellers, head of Esure home insurance.
There are many easy and simple steps that you can follow to deter thieves from targeting your garden. As obvious as it may sound, experts suggest locking ladders away, installing security lighting, laying crunchy gravel or planting prickly hedges, Sellers says. If it’s going to take a lot of effort to steal something, then chances are that they won’t even try it. Fitting your shed doors with a resilient and secure padlock that's solid enough not to be kicked in easily can make a major difference. By locking up your garden tools, you are preventing thieves from using them to break into other outdoor buildings and even your home.
We also strongly advise that you take time to read the small print on your home insurance policy, and to check what cover you have, especially for valuables locked away in outbuildings.
Spend a few minutes totting up the value of items in your shed, such as power tools, your lawnmower and garden furniture - it may be worth thousands of pounds, says Shane Leivers, head of home insurance at Barclays. Many households don't realise that replacing the contents of their shed could cost as much as replacing electrical items in home, such as computers, iPhones and televisions. Yet many are unwilling to invest in safe and secure storage for their tools and furniture, which is should be seen as an investment and not an unnecessary expense.
One thing you should know, is that insurance policies have varying cover limits. Esure, for example, offers up to £2,000 for contents left in the garden, and up to £2,500 for items in outbuildings. Barclays covers garden furniture left outside up to £500 per claim, and the contents of secured outbuildings up to a maximum £3,000. It also covers bicycles for loss or damage, either at home or in the shed, up to £2,500.
So there we have it, the simple things to do are to check what cover your policy offers, invest in a secure storage solution and keep things secured away instead of scattered across your garden.