As the clocks go forward this weekend and many Brits look forward to getting back out into the garden, gardeners have been warned to stay safe from thieves.
According to a survey by M&S Home Insurance, 17% of people with a garden know someone who has had plants, bushes, trees or shrubs stolen from their garden.
Plants are also a favourite target of vandals - 10% of people have had plants, bushes, trees or shrubs in their garden maliciously damaged.
The survey found that the average shed contains £888 worth of property, making them a prime target for thieves. However, almost a quarter of shed owners fail to secure their shed, such as using a lock on the door.
However, it is possible to protect your garden from green-fingered thieves with a garden insurance policy.
1. Start by checking your home insurance policy as most do include some form of cover for gardens. However, there are often strict limits on amounts paid out and some don’t cover plants or shrubs.
2. Before you extend your cover, create an inventory of all your valuable garden items, keep all your receipts and take photographs or mark your items. This will help to prove the value of your losses should you need to claim.
3. Adequate security is key because if you do get burgled your insurer is unlikely to pay up if they think you’ve been negligent. All expensive tools, furniture and equipment should be safely put away and out of sight, and all outbuildings and garden gates must be securely locked when not in use.
4. You can also secure garden furniture with ground anchors.
5. Fitting motion-sensitive security lights to areas where items of value are located will not only help you feel safer, but it will act as a deterrent to any potential burglars and also help your case should you have to claim.