Average home insurance claim for garden theft is £291

Homeowners urged to increase garden security so they don’t fall victim to garden crime.

  • 26% of items stolen from gardens are worth between £101 and £400.
  • Collectively we will spend £3.6 billion on our gardens in 2008.
  • The biggest spend will be in the South East with households spending an average of around £192.

As summer approaches, Sainsbury’s Home Insurance is urging people to review their garden security and to be on their guard for green-fingered thieves. The bank says that the average amount of money it paid out for a garden theft home insurance claim between January 2007 and January 2008 was £291.30(1).

In terms of the value of items stolen from gardens, research(2) from Sainsbury’s Home Insurance suggests that around 34% are worth under £50 and 23% are worth between £50 and £100. However, a further 26% are worth between £101 and £400 and 11% of the stolen items are valued at between £401 and £1,000. Around 3% of stolen garden items are worth more than this.

Neil Laird, Sainsbury’s Home Insurance Manager said: "Garden theft is on the increase and people need to take care to protect their homes. Homeowners need to review their garden security and ensure they have adequate insurance."

"Homes seen to have ‘rich-pickings’ that are left unsecured, may be targeted again so as well as tightening up security, it’s worth picking a home insurance policy that allows you to benefit from and protect your no claims discount. If you then have to make multiple claims, you are not jeopardising the savings you’ve made on your premium".

Sainsbury’s Home Insurance estimates that we will spend a staggering £3.6 billion on our gardens this year (3) – a rise of around £297 million on 2006(4). Analysis of industry data by Sainsbury’s Home Insurance(3) reveals that the biggest spenders on plants and gardens are households in the South East, where it estimates that the average spend will be around £192.46 per household. The analysis indicates that homes in the North East and Wales will spend the least – around £90.57 per household.

Location Estimated annual household expenditure on gardens(3)* Estimated total expenditure on gardens annually(3)
South East £192.46 £671.685 million
South West £186.80 £414.696 million
Yorkshire & The Humber £164.16 £346.378 million
Scotland £152.84 £319.436 million
East £147.18 £332,,627 million
London £141.52 £417.484 million
North West £130.20 £365.862 million
East Midlands £130.20 £223.944 million
Northern Ireland £124.54 £79,706 million
West Midlands £107.55 £234.459 million
Wales £90.57 £111.4 million
North East £90.57 £99.627 million

* includes horticultural goods, garden equipment and plants

Sainsbury’s Home Insurance cover provides up to £2,000 for items in garages or outbuildings. It also provides cover for up to £500 for the cost of replacing contents kept in the open, be it furniture, equipment, decorative ornaments or plants.

Sainsbury’s Home Insurance is urging homeowners to declare war on garden thieves and take the following steps:

  • Photograph valuable garden ornaments and where possible mark property with your postcode
  • Start up or join a local Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
  • Put a brick or two into the bottom of large pots to weigh them down
  • Keep garden statutes near the house and if possible bolt them to the ground. If this is not possible, weigh them down with heavy objects
  • Spread gravel on driveways. This will help alert you to anyone approaching the house/garden
  • If you have expensive items in your garden, consult with your home insurance provider to see whether you need a specialist policy to cover them
  • Install outside security lighting that turns on automatically
  • If you have a burglar alarm, consider extending it to cover your shed and other outbuildings (Sainsbury’s Home Insurance offers a saving depending on the type of alarm)
  • Make sure the shed is securely locked. Remember that tools taken from your shed could be used against you to break into your home.
  • Consider installing five lever mortice locks and key operated locks (Sainsbury’s Home Insurance offers a saving for doing this within its policy pricing)

About Sainsbury’s Home Insurance:
As well as being competitively priced, the bank also offers an extensive range of cover and benefits.
This includes:

  • Unlimited buildings cover
  • Unlike some home insurers, Sainsbury’s does not apply charges for customers spreading the cost of their premiums by paying monthly by direct debit
  • Maximum no-claims discount of up to 30% as standard
  • No-claims discount protection(5)
  • Cover for accidental damage inc TVs, Videos, Audio and Computer Equipment(6)

(1) Based on analysis of the Sainsbury’s Home Insurance book, 2008.
(2)Based on interviews with 139 people who have had items stolen from their gardens between March 2000 and March 2005. The research was conducted by the research company TNS
(3)Office of National Statistics Family Spending Report 2007
(4)Based on figures in the Office of National Statistics Family Spending report 2007 edition and the rate of inflation (8.9%) between February 2006 and February 2008 as calculated using changes in the RPI.
(5) This is optional and requires an additional premium.
(6) Additional cover can also be purchased at an additional premium.

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