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Protect your garden from thieves and vandals this summer

5th August 2014 Print

Nearly a quarter (23%) of those with garden sheds admit to leaving it unlocked, with more than one in ten saying they never secure it, despite the contents of a typical shed being valued at £597, according to research by M&S Bank. One in five revealed that their shed contained more than £1,000 worth of gardening goods and equipment.

Nearly a third (30%) of shed owners say either they and/or someone they know, had fallen victim to theft or damage to items stored in their shed, with this figure rising to 43 per cent for those in Yorkshire and Humberside. When asked if they had installed any security features in their garden to deter thieves, nearly a third (30%) of shed owners hadn’t taken any prudent measures.
The M&S Bank research also revealed that it isn’t just sheds that are targeted by thieves; nearly one in five (17%) say either they and/or someone they know, has had their garden greenery damaged or stolen.
Despite the average garden containing £383 worth of plants, bushes, trees and shrubs, it is perhaps surprising that more than half (57%) of garden owners have not checked whether the plants, bushes, shrubs and trees in their garden are covered under their home insurance.
In addition, over a quarter of those with a garden estimate that they typically spend between two and four hours (28%) per week on the up-keep of their garden during the summer months; one in ten (11%) spend upwards of ten hours per week maintaining their greenery during this period.
Neil Rogers, Head of General Insurance at M&S Bank, said: "The value of items in the garden, whether this is in the shed or the garden itself, can mount up.
“We would urge householders to check whether their home insurance provides adequate cover for theft from both the shed and garden, and take the time to review what security measures they may need to secure the garden and ensure that they’re covered should the worst happen."
M&S Home Insurance Premier cover provides unlimited cover for theft of property from a shed or garden, as well as cover for loss or damage to plants, bushes, shrubs and trees in the garden.
Follow Neil’s tips on securing your garden this summer:

Fix a good quality lock or padlock on the door of the shed, as well as any garden gates
Fit locks to windows and ensure they are kept shut
When not in use, ensure the shed is locked, especially at night
Lock belongings in the shed overnight after use (i.e. barbecues, bicycles etc), items left in the garden may not be covered for theft
Don't leave expensive items in direct view, where they can be seen by thieves. If possible, fit a blind over windows so that contents cannot be seen
Install automatic security lighting in the garden
A prickly hedge around the garden can help to deter intruders
M&S Home Insurance is underwritten by AXA Insurance UK plc.