It seems the value of an English country garden soon adds up as new research from specialist home insurer Hiscox reveals that 21% of homeowners have items in their outdoor space they consider valuable.
As homeowners use the summer months to reinvigorate their gardens, it is important to think about the collective value of their items and ensure they have adequate protection in place.
The poll of high net worth individuals found that in the next six months over half (53%) are planning some landscaping and planting new shrubs and bushes and almost one in ten (8%) are planning on buying new outdoor furniture. Just over one in ten (11%) already display sculptures or garden art, 17% have a fountain and 12% store their sporting equipment in their garden.
Hiscox’s homeowner customers have sometimes experienced unexpected damage to their gardens. Some examples of previous claims include a 19th century garden urn knocked over by a workman, a family member falling onto a garden sculpture when they slipped and in another instance a storm blew a tree onto George II style stone garden bench.
Austyn Tusler, high value household insurance expert at Hiscox, comments: “When thinking about insurance for the home, it’s all too easy to overlook the value of the contents in your garden. But it’s crucial that these items aren’t forgotten when arranging your home insurance policy, as favourite items – a luxury furniture set, exotic plants and sophisticated gardening equipment – can be costly to replace. Homeowners should check what level of cover their insurer offers for outdoor items to ensure it is adequate for their needs.”
Garden items such as furniture, sculptures and statues as well as exotic plants can add up to be a significant amount, in addition to expensive garden equipment, such as ride-on lawnmowers, and tools.
Austyn Tusler continues: “Many people work hard on their gardens, seeing them as additional rooms to their homes particularly in the summer months when entertaining friends or relaxing in the sun – and because of this, they are often full of valuable things. However people may not consider the value of their garden when thinking about insurance. It is important to remember that home and contents is not just the items under the traditional family roof, but all assets on the property.”
The research also reveals the measures homeowners are taking to protect their gardens with the most popular being locking items in a shed (64%), followed by outdoor lighting (55%) and having a high fence (50%).
Hiscox has launched a contents calculator iPhone application which can be used to systematically go through the home and garden to record the approximate value of all possessions. The app is free to download via the App store on the iPhone (search for Hiscox), or using the Quick Response (QR) code at www.hiscox.co.uk/apps.
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