Your garage might not look too glamorous but it's likely full of expensive items. Making sure both the garage itself and its contents are covered should be a priority when you're shopping for home insurance.
Most policies will cover your garage, but you might find a limit on the size of that cover. And if your garage isn't properly secured, it will present a security risk that will make your cover more expensive. In this guide, we'll explain how to get the right cover at a decent price, and help you work out if you need a separate policy altogether for your garage.
In This Guide:
- Do I need separate garage insurance?
- Building insurance
- Contents insurance
- What’s excluded from my policy?
- Securing your garage
Do I need separate garage insurance?
If you have buildings and contents insurance, your garage (if it's within the boundaries of your property) will most likely be covered. If your garage is not on your property it will not be covered under your policy, although you should contact your insurer to find out if you can add it on to your policy for an additional cost. If you keep your car in your garage this will be protected by your car insurance, not your home insurance.
Building insurance will ensure the physical structure of your garage is included in the policy. The policy should cover theft, fire and natural disasters such as earthquakes.
Contents insurance will make sure the contents within your garage are covered under similar circumstances as building insurance (fire, theft and natural disasters). It’s important that everything within your garage is carefully and securely stored to ensure you do not invalidate your policy - a nasty surprise you don’t want to find out when trying to make a claim.
What’s excluded from my policy?
There may be things in your garage that won't be covered by your contents insurance unless they are specifically listed as “high value items”. This could be something like a bike or drill. Make sure you have read through your policy to check if there are any items that your insurer won't cover and what their payout limit for single items is.
If you have an item that you keep in your garage that is particularly expensive, you may have to add it to your policy at an extra cost. Typically this applies to any items over £1,000.
All policies are different and there are several different rules and regulations so make sure you understand your policy and know when you may or may not need to take additional cover.
Securing your garage
Securing your garage will, of course, help protect your important belongings from theft and damage, but it will also ensure you are in the best position to make a claim in the event anything is lost or stolen. If an insurer believes you were careless with the contents of your garage, they may reject your claim (for example if there are no signs of forced entry or if you failed to lock the garage).
Install a burglar alarm or security light to deter thieves, this could potentially lower your premiums too. Make sure you have a secure bolt on the garage door (easily purchased at a DIY store).
If you are keeping high value items in your garage, make sure they're safely locked away . You should also consider doing the same for items like a lawnmower. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the expensive items that you store in your garage, which will help speed up the process of making a claim.
Mark your items with your postcode, thieves may be deterred from taking items if they are easily identifiable. Don’t hide spare keys in the garage, it’s an obvious place for thieves to check, leaving both your garage and house vulnerable to burglary.
Use gravel on your drive, not only is this a cheaper alternative, if your garage is attached to your house the sound may alert you to suspicious activity around the garage and deter thieves.