New research has suggested that home insurance policyholders could be making a costly mistake by assuming that items stored outside of their home are covered by their policy.
Price comparison website Money Supermarket’s recent survey has discovered that 67% of people have not insured items stored within their garden or shed previously, which could put their possessions at risk due to a rise in targeted burglaries.
Garden thefts see sharp increase
Thefts of items kept outside of people’s homes saw a sharp increase of 23% from 2017 to 2018, according to the latest Crime Survey from England and Wales, with last year’s total sitting at 595,000.
The cause for this increase is partly put down to the rise in the sophistication of garden tools, which are easy for thieves to resell. Barbeques, bikes and garden furniture are also commonly stored in locations such as garages, sheds, gardens or greenhouses, which are again being targeted.
Data also suggests that the combined value of items stored outside of a home can be well in excess of £1,000, with the average value of items in the West Midlands found to top the list at £1,525. Only two regions sit below the £1,000 mark; the North West and North East at £853 and £770 respectively.
Does your home insurance cover items stored outside?
It’s important to note that not every home insurance policy will cover items stored outside of your home as a standard element; plenty of insurance providers will provide coverage but as an extra bolt-on to your existing policy, meaning it’s your responsibility to check the finder details to confirm if protection exists for your possessions.
Not only that, but you need to be aware of any specific protection that applies to items such as bikes. For instance, failing to lock up a bike could leave you in breach of your policy and invalidate any claim made in the event that it is stolen.