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Garage insurance – are you covered for everything?

Most of us are well acquainted with the concept of safeguarding our homes against burglaries and the loss of valuables, but it can be easy to forget the security of our outside buildings. It’s not just cars that find their way into the four walls of a garage.

When you consider you might have gym equipment, freezers, power tools and garden furniture stored away you are looking at hundreds if not thousands of pounds worth of items to replace in the event they are stolen or damaged.

You should never assume that the valuables stored in your garage are protected under a home insurance policy. If your home insurance does not extend to outbuildings then you must consider garage insurance to protect your belongings from theft, fire, flood and other criminal damage.

Most home contents insurance policies will have a maximum limit for theft of up to £5,000 for items in outbuildings. If your home insurance payout does not cover the cost of some of the items currently stored in your garage now is definitely the time to talk to an insurer about some additional cover.

In some cases, particularly those in the motor trade, you may find that you house expensive machinery and tools that are worth more than £1,000 each. These will have to be individually listed on any garage insurance policy to ensure they are protected.

Many insurers will have what’s known as a ‘single article limit’ which is the maximum it will compensate to replace one specific item; no matter where it is kept. There is no official figure for this limit but it is thought to be upwards of £3,000.

The repair of your garage or any other outbuilding itself is normally protected under a standard home buildings insurance policy, so it’s the contents inside that you really need to safeguard.

Taking out a garage insurance policy is obviously highly recommended if you store expensive contents in outbuildings, but prevention is better than cure.

There are a number of additional security measures you can take into your own hands to protect items from falling into the wrong hands. In fact, some garage insurance policies insist on certain security measures in order for a claim to be valid. Here are a few hints and tips to help get you started:

  • Tighten your garage door hinges – ensure hinges cannot be easily screwed off otherwise your door lock is rendered pointless!
  • Secure your outbuildings with adequate door locks; don’t rely on a rusty padlock to keep the burglars at bay.
  • Place your valuables inside locked drawers and cupboards within the garage. This will act as an extra deterrent to thieves who will want a quick smash-and-grab.
  • Consider installing security lights around the entrance to your garage. This also acts as a useful deterrent as no burglar wants to be caught in the act!
  • In order to make it as awkward as possible for burglars to find out what’s inside your garage consider fitting obscured glass panes in your garage windows.
April 22, 2014