Moneysupermarket.com: Protect your Garden Glories

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As the 2009 'barbecue summer' gets into full swing** many Brits will be taking advantage of what their gardens have to offer. moneysupermarket.com urges those sprucing up their gardens and planning 'al fresco' entertaining to ensure their gardens are well protected.

•Ensure your garden is covered against damage, loss and theft.
•Unlimited cover available from M&S Money*.

As the 2009 'barbecue summer' gets into full swing** many Brits will be taking advantage of what their gardens have to offer. moneysupermarket.com urges those sprucing up their gardens and planning 'al fresco' entertaining to ensure their gardens are well protected.

Garden cover is included in most home insurance policies as standard, but the levels of protection can vary greatly. Cover for items kept outdoors has a limit of £250 with some providers such as Churchill, or up to £2,000 with esure, and unlimited cover from M&S Money*. It is also crucial to consider possessions stored in outbuildings and sheds, housing expensive items such as lawnmowers, and bikes for example. These should be as secure as they would be within the home. Again, providers offer varying levels of protection; cover of up to £2,000 is available with HSBC, whereas cover with MoreTh>n has a £75,000 limit.

Julie Owens, head of home insurance at moneysupermarket.com said: "With more Brits choosing to stay at home this summer, we are all falling back in love with our gardens. But regardless of whether your patch is big or small, for Brits forking out for the latest garden furniture, high-tech gas barbecues and patio heaters, the costs can easily run into the thousands***. It's therefore essential homeowners consider the cost implications of theft or damage to garden items.

"When looking at garden insurance, it is important to consider the value of your garden and the levels of cover required. Landscaped gardens and costly furniture items are easy targets for thieves, as are elaborate statues and expensive plants. A thief will seize anything of value, so it's important to take necessary precautions to protect your garden, and read the small print to determine exactly what is covered. It is also vital to consider the expensive items and equipment kept in sheds, out-houses and other storage areas. These can still fall victim to garden crime, so it is essential to keep outbuildings locked and, where possible, not to showcase what you own."

moneysupermarket.com's top ten tips to keep your garden and valuables safe:
1.Insurers are specific about what is and isn't covered as part of contents and outbuildings. Read the small print and ensure your open space is fully insured.
2.Don't let thieves have easy access to your garden. Ensure all gates and fences are in a good state of repair, and kept locked and bolted.
3.Make sure your shed has a good lock.
4.Do not leave expensive tools or valuable items, such as bicycles, lying in your garden. Keep them locked away at night because if they are not properly secured, they might not be covered.
5.Make sure damage to walls, gates and fences are covered under your buildings insurance policy. Not all insurers provide this as standard.
6.Install a security light as a deterrent to any would-be thief.
7.Keep receipts for items purchased for the garden in case of a future claims. It may also be worth declaring any single expensive items, such as a lawnmower, that may come above the single item limit on your cover.
8.If you have lots of expensive items in your garden then a normal policy may not cover you. Instead, you might be better opting for a high net-worth policy.
9.Make sure you tell your insurer if you have a swimming pool as this may not be covered automatically.
10.Make sure you know what is excluded in your cover. Most will not cover you for loss or damage if your home is unoccupied.

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:

*Table available on request.
Sourced by http://www.moneysupermarket.com 24.06.2009

**http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20090430.html
*** Top of the range garden items from JohnLewis.com
     > Table and x5 chairs @ £960: http://www.johnlewis.com/25050/Range.aspx
     > Top of the range gas barbecue @ £970: http://www.johnlewis.com/230418103/Product.aspx
     > Outdoor heater @ £39.00: http://www.johnlewis.com/230504830/Product.aspx
     Total: £1,969

For further information, please contact:

Jeena Nadarajan / Katherine Hobby / Lucy Banks / Jennifer Stevens
Lansons Communications
0207 294 3629 / 0207 566 9704 / 0207 294 3689 / 0207 566 9723

Nicki Parry
PR officer
Tel: 01244 370 318
Mob: 07872 379 549

Julie Owens
Head of home insurance
01244 665 700

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