Households typically have £800 worth of goods in their gardens, says insurer Aviva

The following tips are provided by Aviva to help people to protect possessions in their gardens and outdoor areas:

1. Keep your gates locked

If you have a gate to your garden or yard, keep it closed – or better still, locked. 

Just the presence of gates can act as a deterrent and the physical barrier can help to thwart opportunistic thieves.

2. Cover your garden furniture

Most home insurance policies don’t pay out for general wear and tear, so protect your garden furniture with appropriate covers when they’re not in use.

If you can, store your furniture in a safe and dry place during colder months to avoid damaging it. 

3. Secure ornaments and expensive garden equipment

Avoid any breakages due to windy weather by securing any ornaments or valuable garden equipment. This also deters thieves from running off with your belongings. 

4. Lock it up. 

Some insurance policies may specify that certain items – such as bicycles – are only covered items if they’re locked away or secured to a fixed point when not in use. 

Aviva research shows many people leave their garden accessories on show all year round, so check your policy terms – and better still, store your items in a secure place. 

5. Know your buildings from your contents

Buildings insurance will cover structural elements such as your shed, conservatory and any garden fences, gates or walls. 

But for moveable items such as garden furniture and plant pots, you’ll need home contents cover. 

If you have existing home insurance, read your policy documents.

6. Make sure high-value items are covered

If your garden contains high-value items such as a top-of-the-range barbecue or more luxurious garden furniture, you may need to insure them separately as most policies have a single item limit, usually between £1,500 and £2,000. 

Items above these limits can often be added individually, so make sure you speak to your insurer if you need specific cover. 

7.  Keep your receipts and take photos

Hopefully you won’t need to make a claim, but if the worst happens, having receipts for any high-value items can make a future claims process easier.

 Having photos of your possessions can also be useful in the event of a claim.