Do you know what’s stashed in your shed? New research reveals that the average garden shed has contents worth £1,000. And one in 10 is home to more than £5,000 worth of kit. Yet almost half (48%) of out-house owners admit they don’t know whether they are insured or not, according to figures from Policy Expert. This means thousands of pounds worth of goods could be laying vulnerable in outbuildings across the UK.
An Aladdin's cave
A shed can hide an Aladdin’s cave of valuables and the research finds that the uses for British sheds are as varied as the items we keep within them. The survey of over 2,400 people found that a third (32 per cent) use their shed as a workshop, one in ten (11 per cent) use it as a ‘Man Cave’, and nine per cent have turned it into a makeshift gym or workout space.
From children's toys to boys' toys!
The most common items stored with sheds and outbuildings include garden tools, lawn mowers and DIY equipment (71%) but the survey also revealed some truly weird and wonderful items. Some sheds include nothing less than a £60,000 steam engine, an original e-type Jaguar and a “50 inch plasma TV for the hubby”. Parents may also want to take note that more than a fifth (22 per cent) of the nation’s garages and sheds are home to precious toys for the kids.
Secure your shed
Encouragingly, 91 per cent of those surveyed have locks in place to protect their outbuilding belongings, but many aren’t taking advantage of extra security measures such as external lighting or an alarm (12 per cent) - as well as giving peace of mind, these measures could help lower your premium, too.
Top tips to keep your shed safe
- Make sure your home insurance policy includes outbuilding protection and check exactly what this includes
- Make sure you use security measures e.g. outdoor lighting or a good lock. Any tools stored in your outbuilding could potentially be used to break into your house, so by protecting your outbuilding, you are protecting your house too
- Make sure valuable items are shielded from view. Consider blacking out your outbuilding windows
- Make sure your outbuilding is protected from severe weather conditions.
- Tips to keep your home secure here. Plus how to check you have the right amount of home contents cover here.