Nearly one-third of British households have had personal possessions stolen from their garden, with some goods costing several hundreds of pounds.
According to recent findings from MoneySuperMarket, homes in London typically have garden equipment totalling £1,792, while the national average is £1,457.
Despite the hefty expense of these items, more than half of people have not got insurance for their outside goods, which means £32.9 billion worth of accessories are thought to be left off insurance documents.
Kate Devine, head of home insurance at the price comparison site, warned Brits to take better care of their possessions.
“As we look ahead to the potential lift of lockdown in the summer months, we can expect to see Brits heading out of the house to enjoy outdoor activities. Particularly in these months, there’s the temptation to leave items of value outside overnight or keep your shed unlocked. This can, however, leave you open to a risk of burglary and in turn, possibly void your home insurance cover if you need to make a claim,” she stated.
Ms Devine noted that while some standard policies do include some cover for garden equipment, this can vary between providers and may not cover the entire amount.
As people have been unable to go out as much during lockdown, they have been spending more time in their garden. Therefore, households are likely to have invested more money in toys, play equipment, garden tools and leisure accessories for their outdoor space, making their garden even more of a temptation to burglars.
According to MoneySuperMarket, 57 per cent store furniture in their yard, 48 per cent have DIY tools, 38 per cent do not lock away their BBQs, and 36 per cent keep their bikes there.
The findings showed that bikes are the most common item to steal from gardens, with 29 per cent of victims of garden thefts claiming their two-wheeled vehicles have been taken. Not keeping their bike locked up could prove very costly, as only one-fifth of Brits claim they have protected their bike under their home insurance policy. Lawn mowers and garden tools were also popular items to take.
To keep valuables safe over the summer months, the price comparison site advised locking items away in a shed or outbuilding as this could mean they are included in the home insurance policy.
It is also important to fit locks to gates, install security lighting in the garden, lock bikes up or chain them to an immovable object, plant shrubs and bushes along the borders to make it harder for burglars to climb over walls, and become familiar with home insurance policies to understand what is protected.
For new homeowners, it might not be enough to have locks on their outbuildings, as old residents could still have the keys.
They, therefore, might want to hire a locksmith in Cheam to replace the bolts on their garage, as well as their house, to make sure their possessions are fully protected.