30th April 2020

Reviewing Your Home Insurance Cover - Part 2: Your garden

By Suzi Rackley, Dip CII
Client Director
Garden

For many of us, our garden is our sanctuary, yet it’s a safe guess that you might not have considered the need for insurance to protect your garden. Gardens have become integral to people’s lifestyles, with many transforming their gardens into outside galleries for art and sculpture, or a blank canvas for innovative hard landscaping and imaginative planting designs.

In this article, we focus on what you have in your garden that should be insured. In a follow-up article we share ways you can protect these items from theft and damage.

Considering outdoor structures and landscaping

Landscaping and external structures such as paving, walls, greenhouses, tennis courts, swimming pools, sheds, pergolas, garages and other outbuildings should be included under the buildings section of your household insurance policy.  So, you should consider the cost of reinstating them should they be damaged or destroyed, and ensure that your overall building sum insured reflects this.  Don’t forget to include ‘accidental damage’ cover if it’s not included as standard.

What should you include under Outdoor Contents?

Most policies give some limited cover for contents that are always kept outdoors, so it’s important to make sure you have added this all up and are insured for the correct amount. Things to include are garden furniture, BBQs, trampolines etc.  Generally, insurance cover will replace items that are damaged by fire or theft, but many insurance policies will exclude storm damage to items permanently left outside so it’s always worth checking your policy to see what cover you do have.

Garden statuary

More specialist items such as statuary, sculptures and other garden antiques should be covered separately, particularly if they are of high value.  They should be treated as fine art and, in most cases, insurers will cover them on an agreed value basis. If you insure on this basis, cover is usually ‘all risks’.

Garden machinery and contents in sheds & garages

Any machinery you use for your garden, for example mowers, trimmers, forks etc. should be included under your General Contents sum insured. It is worth putting together a quick inventory of these items and tallying up the total - it can be surprisingly high. Whilst doing so, also consider what other items you have in your shed and garage. Again, these are classed as General Contents and should be insured under that section of your home insurance policy. It is worth ensuring you have ‘accidental damage’ cover included.

Plants, trees and shrubs

Most insurers automatically provide a small amount of cover for your plants, trees and shrubs within the policy.  A trip to the garden center or a garden wholesaler can be costly, so do consider the overall cost and replacement of your plants and check the levels of cover provided by your policy. There will be a limit per item, so if you’ve splashed out on a Magnolia or Japanese Maple you may need to increase your insurance cover.

Please get in touch with us if you feel your garden may not be adequately covered under your household insurance policy or if you would like to obtain a quote.

For information on how to protect your garden from theft, please read our guide.


Other articles in this series

Part 1: Your wardrobe