Sheds and other outbuildings such as garages are very handy additions to our homes. Many of us use them as extra storage space for things like garden tools, outdoor furniture, children’s toys or general household paraphernalia. Others use them as a leisure space to enjoy their treasured hobbies and collections.

Whatever their use, the contents of sheds and outhouses tend to be quite precious and valuable. While they are reasonably safe and secure, they aren’t invincible. They are constantly exposed to the possibility of sustaining weather damage, and thieves often target them as they know they are used to house valuable items.

Because of this, it is essential that your shed is insured to ensure that you are covered for any losses you may incur in the worst case scenario. While sheds are often covered by home insurance, policies can greatly vary, so you shouldn’t assume that your policy covers your shed. If you haven’t already, you need to do a home insurance check to make sure that your shed, and all of its contents, are fully covered. If they aren’t, you need to contact your insurer to find out how you can add them to your policy.

To make sure your shed is fully insured, you will likely need both building and contents insurance policies. The shed itself is usually covered by buildings insurance policies, and so will be covered for any structural damage caused by things such as fire and vandalism. However, as well as checking that your shed is covered by your buildings insurance, you will also need to make sure that the full contents of your shed is covered by your contents insurance policy.

Your contents insurance policy will likely have a limit on the amount it will cover you for (i.e. you will be limited to the amount you can claim for in one claim), so you need to check that the contents of your shed doesn’t exceed this amount. It’s for this reason that you need to include the items in your shed when calculating the value of your home contents.

Many policies also have a limit on the total amount they will pay out for on a single item. Find out what this is on your policy and check that there is nothing in your shed which exceeds this amount. If there is an item in your shed that is worth more than the maximum single item limit, you should notify your insurer so that this item can be added to your policy, separately.

We at understand how valuable the items in your shed are to you. Insuring your shed in case of damage or loss is important, but it is also important to take preventative action to avoid your shed getting damaged. To help you protect your shed, we’ve compiled our top tips on keeping your shed safe:

  • Lock the door using a heavy-duty padlock that will make it difficult for thieves to break in
  • If possible, fit an alarm
  • Obscure and secure windows, to make it difficult for thieves to break in or see what’s inside
  • Make sure your shed is kept in good condition to protect it from weather damage, and to make it harder for thieves to break in
  • Keep valuables hidden and secured – toolboxes, bikes and lawnmowers should be bolted to something secure to make them harder to steal.

Keep checking the blog for more helpful insurance tips, and make sure to check our home insurance page to compare building insurance and contents insurance policies from some of the UK’s leading providers.

This should not be construed as advice and is for guidance only.