The value of items in most garden sheds will run into £100’s and most probably £1000’s but many people assume that the household insurance will cover these items if they are stolen or destroyed. Unfortunately, this is not very often the case. The garden shed contents are normally excluded from most household policies. The garden shed is normally classed as a building and it would be covered if it was damaged – in a fire as an instance, or through storm damage. However, this not applies to all insurance companies so you do need to check whether your shed is covered and for what risks and for how much.
With many garden buildings the value can run into £1000’s and if you find your insurance cover is only for £1000, with a possible excess, you could find yourself seriously out of pocket. You can also check with your insurance company about the contents in your garden sheds at the same time. You may find there is cover, or reduced cover, for your possessions in there but normally to be covered you are likely to have to put into place many security procedures. These would include the shed having an approved locking system with a very strong Chubb type lock. Besides it being in place it would need to be used when unattended at all times otherwise insurance cover would be invalidated.
You will find that under no circumstances would the cheap overlapping sheds be covered. This is because even with a very strong lock on the door the walls of the shed can be prised away very easily – even using just a screwdriver. Even without insurance, these type of cheap sheds is heaven to the casual burglar. Just like a ‘help yourself shop’ to them so be very aware of these risks. You will find that the 1st Choice garden shed range is made from all T&G (tongue and grooved) timber making it harder to break into. You should also be aware that if you have any valuables listed on your insurance policy such as bikes, golf clubs, telescopes, even home cinemas, etc. again check that the insurance company are happy with them being in your garden shed. You may think because you have insured them when not in the home, that they will be covered but you still have to take sensible precautions to reduce the risk of theft or damage.
Another thing to cover is when you use your shed as an office that your office equipment is covered as well as software and the day to day paperwork. This can be an incredible problem to have if you have to re-create your files and paperwork. So be sure and check before it’s too late even if you can’t get insurance on the items in your garden shed you do need to ensure that you make it as hard as possible for thieves to get at your valuables. This involves putting a strong lock on your shed door and using it. Besides that, I would recommend a ‘fold over’ hasp and staple so that when you put your padlock on the screws in the hasp and staple are covered. This will make it very hard to remove. Replace some of the screws with bolts and this will help as well.
Don’t forget the hinges on the shed door. Again change some of the screws for security screws or, even better, nuts and bolts. This will stop thieves just unscrewing the door and gaining access. Try to put bars across the windows and they will stop this means of entry, or cover with a cloth or put blinds up. This will help to put temptation out of view. Add a security light and maybe a gravel path as this will help to deter these intruders as well. By doing these simple things and avoiding the cheap sheds with thin overlapping boards you will make it difficult for these thieves. Ultimately all they want is an easy target so do let it be yours. It’s all very well worrying about your neighbours shed but forget about theirs and look after yours.