Outbuildings Insurance

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When insuring your home you should remember to insure your outbuildings. Sounds obvious, but people often overlook the following when it comes to their outbuildings:

  • Disclosing them at all
  • The total buildings sum insured not being enough to cover the outbuildings as well as the main home
  • The construction of the outbuildings, often non-standard (not brick or stone with tiled roof)
  • The contents in the outbuildings – this can really add up, especially for garden machinery, a home office or home gym
  • The outbuildings’ security, which is important, especially if the value of the things kept in them is high. It’s rarely the same security that applies to the building of main home
  • Walls, gates, fences, patios and driveways

Does my home insurance cover my outbuildings?

Your home insurance policy may or may not cover all a property’s outbuildings. It depends on the policy and nature of the outbuildings themselves. Some standard home insurance policies will automatically cover the following, if within the curtilage of the main home and not used for any other business purposes:

  • A garage of standard construction
  • Timber sheds
  • Greenhouses
  • Summerhouses
  • Hot tubs
  • Walls, gates, fences etc.

But if your outbuildings fall into one of the following categories, it might not be covered:

  • Garage with flat roof
  • Any outbuildings other than sheds or small greenhouses that are of non-standard construction
  • Any outbuilding not used for domestic purposes
  • Any outbuilding with more than £500 of contents inside (Many policies restrict the value of contents kept in outbuildings and the limit can be as low as £500. Check your cover, it can vary considerably.)
  • Any outbuilding used as habitable accommodation
  • Polytunnels, swimming pools and tennis courts
  • The building is over your insurer’s maximum limit for outbuildings sum insured – check your wording
  • It’s not in a good state of repair

In these instances, you need to check your home insurance policy wording for the definition of ‘buildings’ and ‘outbuildings’. This is usually at the beginning of a policy document. It’s also advisable to check that the security on your outbuildings meets your insurer’s standard. Requirements vary and can be difficult to comply with due to the type of doors and windows fitted.

If all this leaves you wondering if you’re outbuildings are properly covered by your home insurance and you want a broker who can give you that peace of mind, then contact us.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I insure my garden office?

We’re seeing an increasing number of enquiries about how to insure a garden office, which are often prefabricated or of non-standard construction. When setting the sums insured remember to include the fitting out of any electrics, heating and water. You should also consider the additional cost of office furniture and equipment.

For more information on what to think about when insuring your garden office, click here.

Is my home gym insured under my home insurance policy?

If your gym is in an outbuilding, ensure that your locks comply with your insurer’s requirements. If your gym equipment is of high value, insurers may ask that the gym buildings have an intruder alarm.

For more information on what to think about when insuring your home gym, click here.

Do I need to insure my shed or greenhouse as an outbuilding?

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.

Do I need to insure my log cabin as an outbuilding?

You’ll need cover for the buildings of the log cabin itself, and the contents. If you have a log cabin which you rent out, then speak to us about holiday let insurance.

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