Is your garden covered?

Can you hear them, the quintessential sounds of Summer? Tinkling ice cream vans, thrumming mowers and strimmers, barbecues being expectantly trundled over patios - and the ever-present grumbling rumble of threatened thunderstorms.

It is music to the ears of thieves.

Summer presents easy pickings for light-fingered wrong-doers.

Because what do we do in the sunshine between the showers? We drag our patio sets from the clutter of the shed, treat the kids to new play equipment, lavish small fortunes on plants, trees and shrubs, probably forget to put the lawn-mower away or lock the shed when it starts to drizzle, and undoubtedly leave the barbecue out smouldering until morning.

That’s a lot of expensive stuff guarded by little more than a privet hedge or garden wall.

So what can you do?

STEP 1 is to protect your valuables from those opportunist thieves. Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire police have obligingly provided The Nottingham with a list of top crime-prevention tips to let us help you with that. 

STEP 2 is to ensure you are properly covered on your insurance policy. That is vital, says Craig Monks, a senior loss adjuster for insurance provider Royal Sun Alliance.
“When it comes to insurance you need to think beyond the four walls of your home,” says Craig. “Think about what you have in the garage or garden shed. If you have an expensive bicycle or tools or garden equipment, you need to make sure they are properly secured. You also need to make sure they are insured to their full value. It is easy to forget just how many valuables we have out there. Make sure you know how much your high-value electrical items, furniture and bikes will cost to replace and make sure you are properly covered.”

Why not let The Nottingham look after all those valuables in your sheds, garages and gardens? Our “Take Your Pick” home insurance not only lets you opt for various levels of Core Cover it also allows you to hand-pick Extra Cover options on things such as: bicycles, camping gear, garden tools, lawnmowers, children’s play equipment, patio heaters, water features, patio furniture, lights, trees, shrubs, plants and even lawns.

Ten tips to beat the thieves

  1. Make sure fences and walls are secure and in good condition. Prickly bushes and shrubs also make great deterrents.
  2. Invest in a security light with a movement sensor.
  3. Consider laying down loose gravel. Not only does it add an attractive feature, it is also very noisy when stepped on. Perfect for stopping intruders in their tracks.
  4. If your shed has windows, consider fitting blinds or curtains. If thieves can’t see in, they may not bother forcing entry.
  5. Make sure you lock all tools and gardening equipment away when not in use.
  6. Plants with a high value should be potted where possible and cemented in place. Statues and other ornamental items can also be cemented down.
  7. Postcode or property mark anything in your shed or garage that is of value.
  8. Take photographs of expensive items - they may be useful to help the police to identify the goods and return them to you.
  9. Don’t leave ladders outside. Thieves may use them to get into an upstairs window of your home.
  10. Make sure the locks on your sheds and garages are not easy to break.
Safe haven

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