For many plant enthusiasts, what grows in their garden is as valuable as their possessions inside the home. Likewise, keen gardeners often add finishing touches such as expensive statues and garden antiques, which can be a target for burglars. In fact, the lengths some professional burglars will go to make off with your beloved plants are astounding – stories of gangs digging up and making off with expensive trees and shrubs are more common than you’d imagine.
What’s your garden worth?
Although your contents insurance will probably cover things like trees and garden ornaments, standard policies often have strict limits on amounts paid out and some don’t cover plants or shrubs. For example, the pot or urn that was stolen may be insured but not the plant inside it.
So, if you do have rare plants, shrubs and trees, check your existing policy and extend your cover, if necessary. It’s also worth finding out if your garden is covered against malicious damage by vandals as well as theft.
Create an inventory of all your high-value items. Statues and garden antiques in particular might need to be covered separately. If you add ‘garden cover’ to your standard Contents Insurance policy, check the cover limits and excess too, as they may differ from the main policy. There are also separate Garden Insurance policies offering higher levels of cover, which may be the best solution for people with thousands of pounds-worth of expensive plants, trees and statues.
Whether you have separate Garden Insurance or an add-on to your existing home Contents Insurance there may be security measures you have to take to validate the policy. As well as protecting your property’s boundaries with security lighting, alarms and decent fencing, there are ways to protect individual items in the garden. Before you plant anything in an expensive pot or urn, add heavy weights at the bottom as this will make it very difficult for thieves to lift.
Think about fitting wireless sensory alarms on antique ornaments or statues and chains around the root balls of expensive trees and shrubs, which will make them nigh on impossible to remove.
Coping with storm damage
If your property is damaged by lightning, wind or rain there are some steps you need to take to ensure that your insurance claim goes through smoothly.
It’s helpful if you take photographs of the damage – such evidence can form an integral part of your claim. If you are keen to carry out emergency repairs straightaway, such as fixing a fallen fence, contact your insurer first to find out if the policy allows this (some companies only use their own approved traders) and keep the receipts to submit as part of your claim.
Finally, if your insurance company leaves it up to you to find a tradesmen to carry out the work, word-of-mouth recommendations are best or you could look online. Make sure you get written quotes (not estimates) from at least three traders and don’t pay for the work in advance. They’re more likely to do a decent job and finish on time if you pay a deposit and the remaining balance on completion.
For all your home and garden insurance needs go to www.directline.com/home-insurance/welcome.htm for an online quote today.
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