Gnome insurance

Saturday, 01 April 2017

No need to call in Sherlock Gnomes – it was an April Fools!

Unfortunately that does mean that RIAS will not be introducing a ‘Gnome Insurance’ Policy, however, they do still care about the safety and protection of all gnomes, so your garden guardians maybe covered with RIAS’ home insurance under ‘property in the open air’ (limits, conditions and minimum policy excesses would apply). Hurrah!

Gnome InsuranceRIAS is proud to introduce the world’s first Gnome Insurance policy following a vast increase in the number of gnome-related crimes across the UK, including an 85% increase in reported gnome theft over the last 12 months.

Our research shows that garden gnomes are being stolen at an alarming rate, with 75% of gnome-owners having at least one gnome taken in the past three years and 30% experiencing defacing of their gnomes over the same period.

 It’s clear that gnome theft is now at an all-time high, which is resulting in a significant  increase in the number of online searches for the term ‘gnome theft’. That’s why we have  developed the world’s first ever Gnome Insurance policy to be available from 1st April 2017, offering customers the option to protect their beloved gnomes from theft and criminal damage.

Gareth Williams, Head of Gnome Insurance at RIAS says: “We have received an influx of claims for theft of garden gnomes and more specifically requests from customers asking if their gnomes could be insured. With such a high demand and the rise in theft in the UK, we felt it was the right time to introduce Gnome Insurance as gnomes aren’t just for the garden, they’re for life.” 

 Gnome Benefits

Gnome is where the heart is; Betty’s story

67-year-old Betty Harrison from North Wales was devastated when her favourite gnome, Jeff, was stolen from her picture-perfect front garden. Betty, who was out shopping on a run-of-the-mill Saturday in February, returned to see that her precious gnome, which she has had since 1991, had vanished.

Betty, who is a keen gardener, often sat happily with Jeff whilst enjoying a cup of tea and reading a book during the summer months. Sadly, those times are no more now that Jeff has disappeared, and she is understandably as puzzled as she is upset.

She said: “I’d just nipped to the local supermarket for a couple of hours and when I returned I noticed something different about my front betty garden. Then I saw that my favourite gnome Jeff had disappeared.”

“I spend hours watering and caring for my hyacinths and hydrangeas when the weather’s nice, so I’m always going to notice anything different about my garden.”

“Gnomes are a part of garden history. I’ve had mine passed down through the family. I’ve sat with Jeff for hours on end, so I know that he can’t walk, although I sometimes imagine he does and can also talk to me. Silly I know. But at least I know he’s not wandered off so it must be the nasty work of some individuals hell-bent on ruining someone’s day.”

“I’m still so upset thinking about what’s happened. It’s difficult to comprehend that there are people out there who would do such a thing, especially to an old lady like myself.”

 

Gnome your history

Garden gnomes originate from 19th century Germany before their popularity spread further afield to France and Britain. The Disney animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs further boosted their popularity when the now-iconic film hit cinemas in 1937.

Once banned at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show for a claim that they detract attention away from garden designs, in 2017 gnomes are clearly as in vogue as ever (with avid gardeners and thieves as well it seems). The popularity of the red-hatted figures known for enjoying fishing, napping and sleeping has been helped by blockbuster movie releases such as 2011’s Gnomeo and Juliet.

The fact that our bearded garden-dwelling friends are now depicted in popular culture so much may have influenced the rise in crime and the likes of poor Betty having her beloved Jeff snatched away from her.

“I just want him to be returned safe and sound to his home, where he belongs,” Betty said. This story has pulled at our heartstrings, and we’re now directing our attention to covering cases like this at a time when the statistics clearly show that a gnome stealing epidemic has broken out. 

Find out more about Gnome Insurance, home insurance and other types of insurance with RIAS.

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