Gardens and home insurance

Keep your garden blooming lovely

We Britons love our gardens, and in 2021 a huge £18.6bn was spent on them, about £670 per adult with a garden.1 But expensive garden items can be very appealing to burglars.

We polled AA members who have a garden to find out if they included garden items in the total cover amount of their contents. Half of them said they didn't.2

Of the rest, 2% included about half of their items, nearly a quarter (23%) just thought of expensive or big stuff, and just a fifth (21%) included everything.

Garden items can cost more than you'd think – 75% of our Members said it would cost up to £5,000 to replace their items.

So if your pride and joy is a super stylish egg chair or a gleaming BBQ, make sure it's protected from thieves.

Gardens and home insurance

Is my garden covered by home insurance?

Some policies may provide unlimited cover for plants, others may not. And some may cover garden livestock such as chickens or koi carp, whereas others would class these as pets, and they'd only be covered under pet insurance. It's always best to check your policy booklet for a full list of conditions and exclusions.

AA home contents insurance covers claims up to £1,500 for loss or damage to hedges, lawns, trees, shrubs and plants within the boundaries of your property.3 However, damage caused by natural ageing, animals, frost, smoke or climatic conditions isn't covered.

Are contents in my garden covered by home insurance?

Most insurers provide some cover for items in a garden.

Garden furniture, ornaments, BBQs, paddling pools and lawnmowers, are normally classed as 'contents in the open'. This means they'll be covered by your policy to a limit, but it's probably best to keep expensive movable items, like a lawnmower, in a locked shed.

Our home contents insurance covers claims up to £5,000 for items in a locked shed.3 This includes loss or damage by theft, fire flood, vandalism and falling trees. Garden furniture and ornaments outside are covered up to £1,000. There are some exclusions though – contents in the open are not covered for storm or flood damage.

Always remember to bring indoors items that aren't covered if left outside, such as mobile phones, laptops and portable smart speakers. Your insurance policy booklet will have a full list of conditions and exclusions.

Which items in my garden are covered by my home insurance?

The following items should be covered by your buildings insurance, as they form part of the property:

  • sheds
  • patios
  • garden walls and fences
  • decking
  • conservatories
  • hedges
  • gates

Remember, items you can move – such as tools, plants in pots, furniture and equipment – are covered by your contents insurance.

Do I need special garden insurance?

It depends on what's in your garden. If you're fond of bonsai trees, have expensive garden tools or a collection of rare garden gnomes, your contents insurance may not cover them. If in doubt, check your policy otherwise you may need specialist garden insurance.

How can I keep my garden safe and deter thieves?

  • Make sure fences, gates and hedges are in good condition – especially after bad weather and high winds.

  • Check that all locks on gates and sheds work, and keep them locked when you're not using the garden.

  • If you can't lock your garden furniture away, cover it with a tarpaulin to deter thieves. According to the Office for National Statistics, garden furniture is consistently the most stolen item in thefts from outside homes.

  • If you can, fix ornaments into the ground to make them harder to steal. You'll also reduce the risk of them being damaged during bad weather.

  • Consider investing in motion-activated floodlights or a home security system.

  • Thorny bushes and high fences will put off thieves hoping for easy access to your garden.

1 Insight DIY, 7 January 2022.

2 AA-Populus online poll of 18,200 AA Members in May 2018. Populus is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

3 The amount of cover depends on the insurance policy, whether standard AA home insurance, or the Silver, Gold or Platinum level.

Author: The AA

Published 13 November 2020. Updated 15 June 2023, 8 April 2024.

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