09 May 2016

Home insurance for gardeners

What would you do if someone reversed through your prize-winning roses or made off with your hanging baskets in the night? Would you have to replace them yourself, or might your home insurance cover you?

If you love your garden, you probably can’t wait to get out into the spring sunshine to sow seeds, plant bulbs and give it a bit of a tidy.

But as you invest your time and money crafting a display to rival those at the Chelsea Flower Show, make sure that the fruits of your labour are covered for loss or damage.

As well as plants, other garden contents such as ornaments, gnomes and garden furniture may also be included in your home insurance.

Turf wars

Stealing trees, shrubs, plants and lawns may well sound like a ridiculous crime, but you could find yourself facing a very expensive trip to the garden centre to replace your stolen greenery.

Check what the current prices would be to replace each item like-for-like, where possible, but expect to pay around*:

Turf: £1,000
If a thief thinks your grass is greener, you may find yourself having to returf your lawn. The turf alone could cost over £1,000 for an area the size of Centre Court at Wimbledon (260.76m2).

Trees: £30-70
If you have an ornamental cherry tree or a silver birch in your back yard, replacing either with a tree of less than two metres could set you back around £65-70. A small Japanese maple or monkey puzzle will cost a little less at about £30.

Common garden plants: up to £40
Has someone pinched your pansies or run over your roses? That could cost you £40 for certain pansies, or £20-25 for just one pot of roses. Your borders are probably made up of perennials like asters, switch grass and peonies, which provide year-round interest and mostly cost less than £20. But this will quickly add up if they’re all damaged or stolen.

Shrubs: £12-70
Rhododendrons might be an invasive species, but their beautiful flowers still make them a popular choice. A 3 litre pot of rhododendrons or 1.5-2 litre pot of hydrangeas will cost you £12-30. Mind out for your magnolias, too – these can cost up to £70.

*All figures sourced from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) April 2016, unless otherwise stated.

Five steps to spring clean your garden insurance

The good news is that your home insurance policy might provide a level of cover for loss or damage to garden plants.

  1. Calculate the cost of replacing your trees, shrubs, plants and lawns as they are now
  2. Then, check both the total amount that your insurer will pay out for any claim and whether there is a limit to what they will play for any one plant, shrub or tree and any excess
  3. Read the small print: your insurer may not cover you if the loss or damage was caused by an overenthusiastic pet who mistook your bamboo for a chew toy
  4. Take steps to improve your garden security: the RHS recommends securing boundaries, growing thorny climbers on fences, installing security lighting and CCTV and marking any portable property with your postcode
  5. Enjoy your garden, safe in the knowledge that you can replace your beautiful garden, should green-fingered thieves strike.

Get the cover you need

Nationwide home insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

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