Homeowners have been reminded to take extra care of their security during the warmer months, as opportunistic thieves are more likely to steal from gardens over the summer.
According to Lloyds Bank Home Insurance, it received 147 claims between May and July 2019, which is significantly more than the 82 it dealt with between January and March 2020.
Indeed, this 44 per cent increase shows just how more at-risk garden items are when the weather is nice than during the colder season.
Tim Downes, senior claims manager at the insurance provider, said: “Even though most of us are spending more time at home, possessions left outside in plain sight of burglars can still be an easy target.”
While the weather is warm, homeowners typically spend more time in their gardens, and may end up leaving expensive items outside without locking them away in their garage or shed at the end of the day.
What’s more, thanks to lockdown restrictions, many people have invested more in their outdoor spaces to keep themselves busy or to enjoy the fresh air without having to go into a public area.
As a result, they might have items there that are of higher value than they had before, including barbecues, bikes, outdoor play equipment, gardening tools, fire pits, and expensive furniture.
All of these will be tempting to burglars, which is why Mr Downes reminded homeowners of the importance of having the right level of cover for their outdoor goods, especially if they are as pricey as their indoor belongings.
“Taking a few simple steps such as locking away garden furniture at night and making sure that sheds are properly secured, means that homeowners can have extra peace of mind,” the insurance expert went on to say.
Lloyds Bank recommended using internal bolts or padlocks on garden gates to deter burglars from entering the garden; remembering to put tools away or items that could be used to break into homes to protect your indoors as well as your outdoors; locking away furniture and bikes when they are not being used; and tagging items with an ultra-violet pen to help trace them if they are taken.
It also suggested avoiding leaving spare keys to the house or outbuildings in obvious places, as this makes it easier for thieves to gain entry. Furthermore, while you may be getting more enthusiastic about your gardening skills, it is wise not to plant tall trees or shrubs around garden gates, as this can help burglars hide themselves when entering the premises.
Homeowners were also reminded to make sure their home insurance covers belongings in their garden and to update their policy if they have purchased some expensive items over the last couple of months.
Londoners have the priciest garden equipment, with households in the capital typically storing £1,792 worth of outdoor tools, furniture and toys, according to MoneySuperMarket.
In comparison, the national average is £1,457, which means homeowners all over the country will still be at a significant loss if their garden goods are stolen.
Despite this, over half of homeowners do not have adequate insurance for their outdoor equipment, Property Reporter revealed.
After updating their policy, it is essential to hire a locksmith in Cheam to secure outdoor buildings, such as garages and sheds, with good-quality bolts and locks to keep items as safe as possible.