At last, it’s time to get your hands muddy.
With British Summertime here at last, now is the time to get stuck into all those post winter jobs from hedge trimming and mowing to maintenance and repairs.
And to make sure your garden stays beautiful, don't lose the tools you need to keep it that way. Do make sure your garden shed and garage are locked when you're not using them - thieves often take advantage of the extra daylight.
Looking at claims over the last 10 years*, garden and outbuilding thefts shoot up by 20% when the clocks go forward. And as the evenings get lighter, the number of claims increase – with July and August peaking almost 30% higher than at the start of the year.
With the average haul totalling around £350, tools seem to be the top pick, but thieves will go for anything within easy reach, including children’s toys and bikes to garden tools:
- 42% of claims were for power tools
- 39% were for hand tools like spades, shovels, rakes and forks
- 19% were for electric and petrol lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders**
Jonathan Cracknell, one of our household underwriting experts, says; “We’re all looking forward to a bit more sunshine. But lighter evenings also mean all your expensive power tools, bikes and children’s toys are more visible to passing criminals.
“So after a day in the garden or a bit of DIY, make sure everything’s secured away inside your home, shed or garage. And remember: ladders and wheelie bins can help burglars get into your home, so keep them out of sight and beyond their reach if you can.”
Our contents insurance covers theft up to £2,500 from outbuildings, garages and garden sheds (items like mountain bikes, lawnmowers and golf clubs). Plus, up to £500 worth of contents left in the garden like garden furniture and even washing on the line are covered against a wide range of things from theft and fire to malicious damage or extreme weather (and if you have particularly expensive items, like a fancy garden table, you can get extended cover with us too).
Importantly, bikes aren’t covered if they’re left lying around your garden. But our extra cycle cover, which costs around £9 a year, will protect you anywhere in the world.
Our tips on beating garden burglars
- Don’t make it easy for thieves. Put garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and bikes away at the end of the day.
- Lock sheds and outbuildings, and replace any rusty padlocks.
- Lock gates and repair damaged fences – deterrents are sometimes the best prevention.
- Hide or cover bulky items which can’t be locked away.
- Lock up ladders and keep wheelie bins out of sight - burglars use them to get into your home.
And after all that, remember that there’s still a good chance that Jack Frost might return. So as well as protecting your property, it might be worth putting a light blanket, some sacking or a garden fleece around your most delicate plants.
* Aviva claims 2003 – 2012
** Aviva theft claims January to December 2012