If you’re a keen gardener, your plants will be your pride and joy, especially if you’ve spent time nurturing them from cuttings into full sized shrubs.
Keeping a well maintained garden takes quite an investment of time and money, so you’ll want to make sure the result of your hard work is protected.
Am I at high risk of being burgled?
As many as one in seven households a year experience a theft from the garden, but, depending on where you live, your chances of being a victim may be higher or lower than this.
In the UK, more than £4 billion is spent on garden equipment, plants and landscaping each year. Considering that the average shed contains £1,000 worth of items with one in ten having contents worth more than £5,000, you should seriously think about how much you would have to lose from a theft or an incident of malicious damage.
Some thieves steal to order, so, if you have amazing hanging baskets, rare plants, or expensive plants in pots on your front garden or drive, you may be targeted. To check whether your current home insurance policy covers you for plant theft, review your policy documents now, rather than waiting until you might need to claim. Even if you are covered for theft, you often won’t be covered for flood or accidental damage.
If you are covered on your home insurance policy, you’ll usually also be covered for damage caused by falling objects, fire, or an out of control car. The claim limits for garden cover can vary between insurers, typically ranging from around £500 to £2,000. If your policy states that you’re covered for ‘contents in the open’, it’s worth noting that this usually only covers pots, sculptures, garden ornaments and urns, but not plants, trees or shrubs.
If you want to be fully protected, you may need to pay for an optional extra or get a separate policy from a garden insurance specialist. In order to ensure that your cover is adequate, you should take a walk around your gardens, adding up the value of your plants.
Most insurers will have a single item limit, so, if you have a rare plant that’s worth more than the limit, you’ll need to let your insurer know.
Top tips for boosting your garden’s security and keeping your plants safe
Installing security lights at the front and back of your home and making sure your gates and fences are secure can go a long way in helping you keep your garden and plants safe.
Your gates and shed should be padlocked at all times, and you should also consider chaining up your wheelie bins, so they can’t be moved by thieves wanting to use them to climb over your gate or fence.
Hanging baskets can be chained up to their brackets, so they can’t be removed easily, and garden ornaments can also be chained up with a ground anchor.
Why not spend a few minutes marking your garden benches, ornaments and post with a security pen, or painting your postcode on them? You can even microchip expensive items, whether it’s a plant or a koi carp. This can help deter thieves and - if anything is stolen - increase your chances of getting it back.