Your garage might not look too glamorous but it’s likely full of expensive items. So, making sure your garage is insured should be of utmost importance. The good news is, it shouldn’t be a lengthy process and both the garage building and its contents can easily be insured.
In This Guide:
- Do I need separate garage insurance?
- Building insurance
- Contents insurance
- What’s excluded from my policy?
- Securing your garage
- Making a claim
Do I need separate garage insurance?
If you have building and contents insurance, your garage (if it’s within the boundaries of your property) will most likely be covered in your standard home insurance policy. 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 items in your garage that won’t be covered by your contents insurance unless they are marked as “high value.” 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 any items over £1000 will need to be listed individually on your contents insurance policy.
General wear and tear of your garage will not be covered in your building insurance. It’s also worth double-checking your policy for any events that your insurer will not cover you for.
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).
High-value items like a bike might have a single item limit, make sure your bike is locked up within your garage. 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.
Making a claim
Call your insurer and explain the loss or damage. Make sure you have your policy number or crime reference to hand before calling. If your garage has been damaged in a storm etc and you need repair work done, don’t instruct any builders or attempt to do the work yourself until your insurer has assessed the damage.
Supply your insurer with evidence, this could be pictures of any damage or forced entry if you were a victim of a burglary. If you are making a large and expensive claim your insurer may want to send someone to inspect the damage. You should also supply more than one quote to repair any damage to show how much the work is expected to cost.
Always consider, is it worth making a claim? Claiming on your insurance will affect your no claims bonus so you need to assess whether it’s worth making the claim at all. If the damage is minor it may be cheaper to pay for the work yourself.