Safeguard your garden from thieves this spring

10 Apr, 2017

M&S Bank research reveals that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of those with a garden shed admit to leaving it unlocked, with nearly one in five (17 per cent) saying they never secure it, despite the contents of a typical shed being valued at £567. Nearly a fifth (19 per cent) of respondents revealed that their shed contained more than £1,000 worth of gardening goods and equipment.

More than a quarter (28 per cent) of shed owners say either they and/or someone they know has fallen victim to theft or damage to items stored in their shed; rising to 35 per cent for those in the Midlands. Nearly half (47 per cent) of shed owners with home insurance said items stored in their shed either weren’t covered by their home insurance, or they didn’t know/hadn’t checked their current policy to see if they were covered.

It isn’t just sheds that are targeted by thieves or vandals; more than one in ten respondents with a garden (14 per cent) say either they and/or someone they know, has had their garden greenery damaged or stolen.

Despite the average garden containing £424 worth of plants, bushes, trees and shrubs, it’s perhaps surprising that two thirds (66 per cent) of garden owners didn’t know or haven’t checked whether their garden is insured. Only eleven per cent were confident that their plants, bushes, shrubs and trees were covered under their home insurance.

In addition, nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of those with a garden estimate that they typically spend between two and four hours per week on its up-keep during the spring and summer months (March to August). Just over one in ten (11 per cent) spend more than ten hours per week maintaining their garden during this period.

Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank, said: “People often invest significant time and money into their garden, and the value of items, whether in the shed or in the garden itself, can quickly mount up.

“That’s why it’s surprising that a significant proportion of homeowners still don’t know whether they have adequate cover for theft or damage to both the shed and garden, should the worst happen. As we head into spring, we would urge households to review what measures they may need to secure their garden, as well as what is included within their policy, to ensure they are covered.”

M&S Home Insurance Premier cover provides unlimited cover for theft of property from a shed or garden, as well as cover for loss or damage to plants, bushes, shrubs and trees in the garden. In addition, customers purchasing a new M&S Building and Contents Insurance policy will receive a £40 M&S gift card.