What is garage insurance and do I need a separate policy?
It depends where it is. If your garage is attached to, or in the grounds of, your home, then it should be covered by your home buildings and contents insurance. That means you won’t need an extra policy – but make sure you read the small print as policies can differ. If you’re still not sure whether your garage is covered, check with your insurance provider.
There could be limits on the amount of cover your home buildings and contents offers for your garage and its belongings. This varies depending on whether the garage is attached to your house or is a separate structure in the grounds of your property. If it’s a separate structure, it might be considered an outbuilding. Check your policy to see what levels of cover you have and if you feel it’s too low, contact your provider to see if you can increase it.
If you have a lock-up garage away from your home, it might not be covered under your home insurance, but you may be able to add it. If that’s not possible, you might need to get a separate insurance policy to cover it. Not all insurance providers offer this type of cover, so you may need to shop around.
Do I need contents insurance for my garage?
Even if your garage feels more like a dumping ground than a treasure chest, what you keep in your garage can be valuable – for example: bicycles, a lawnmower, tool kit and maybe a washing machine. And if you use your garage as a home office, you might keep expensive computer equipment in there. It all adds up…
The good news is that these items should be protected by your contents insurance. That means you should be covered for theft, malicious damage, fire and flood. So, don’t forget to include the contents of your garage when you estimate the value of your home contents.
Note high-value items too. If you keep anything in your garage that’s worth more than the single item amount specified on your policy, like a bicycle, you’ll need to name it on your policy to make sure it’s covered.
And remember that while contents insurance might cover bicycles when they’re inside your garage, you’ll probably need to add personal possessions cover to insure them when you’re out and about.
If you keep a motor vehicle in your garage, like a car or motorbike, these will need to be covered by separate insurance policies.
How much should I insure my garage contents for?
That depends on what you have stored inside - you might already have enough cover included in your home and contents insurance. But if you have a lot of valuable equipment stored in your garage, you may want to arrange additional cover. Costs can quickly add up if you have to replace it all.
It’s a good idea to make a list of all the high-value items stored in your garage, add up their value, then compare that against the cover limit of your home insurance policy. That will help you work out if you need to add extra cover to your existing policy or perhaps buy a separate policy.
What isn’t covered by garage insurance?
Garage insurance doesn’t usually cover:
- Unlocked garages
- Accidental damage - typically not included as standard, you can add it to your policy. If your policy includes it and you have a garage that’s considered an outbuilding, check the level of cover – it might not be the same as it is for your home.
- Wear and tear - gradual deterioration of your garage, because of weathering for example, won’t be covered by your insurance, so keep it well-maintained.
Check your policy if you’re unsure what is and isn’t covered.
Is my car covered by garage insurance when parked inside?
No, garage insurance won’t cover any motor vehicles parked inside. You’ll need to claim on your car insurance or motorbike insurance for any accidental damage caused when your vehicle is stored inside the garage or if it’s stolen from the garage.
This is particularly important to note if you’ve declared your vehicle as off the road – or SORN – so you don’t pay tax and insurance on it. In this case, you won’t be covered for any damage to your vehicle, or theft, even if it’s stored securely in your garage.
How can I reduce the cost of garage insurance?
There are a couple of things you can do to cut the cost of insuring your garage as part of your home insurance.
While it’s important not to underestimate the value of what you keep in your garage, don’t overestimate it either. Try to be as accurate as possible so you don’t end up paying more for contents insurance than you need to.
Improving the security of your garage might also help reduce your premium.
See more on how to save money on your home insurance.
How to keep your garage secure
It’s important to keep your garage securely locked, particularly if it provides an entry to your house via an internal door. According to the Metropolitan Police, burglars will usually break into your garage or shed first, because that’s where they’ll find the tools to help them break into your home.
With a bit of know-how, there’s a number of ways you can secure your garage. Here are some of them:
Get an extra lock
As well as strengthening your doors, garage defenders are a visible deterrent to thieves. Several types are available, from T-bar defenders that bolt to the floor, to key bolts and block locks.
Install an alarm
Wireless sensor alarms will send you an alert when a door or window is opened. You can pick one up online.
Keep your garage well lit
Motion sensor lights will turn on whenever they sense movement. The latest models will also send an alert to your phone, allowing you to check who’s there remotely.
Opt for a gravel drive
Looking to resurface your driveway? Gravel is cheaper than paving slabs and the noise it makes underfoot can act as a deterrent to burglars. You may also want to think about garden security, such as fences and shrubbery planted at the borders of your property.
Cover any windows
Don’t let thieves see inside your garage. If you have windows, it’s fairly easy to conceal them with blinds or frosted window film.
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How much does home insurance cost?
|51% of customers could get home insurance for up to £147 per year**||51% of customers could get contents insurance for up to £63 per year***||51% of customers could get buildings insurance for up to £115 per year****|
**51% of people could achieve a quote of £151.96 per year for their buildings and contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
***51% of people could achieve a quote of £57.06 per year for their contents home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
****51% of people could achieve a quote of £117.95 per year for their buildings home insurance based on Compare the Market data in March, 2022.
What do I need to get a quote?
It’s simple. We’ll ask you a few questions about yourself and your property, including:
- your current home insurance policy details
- the rebuild value of your home
- the level of cover you need.
Once you’ve answered the questions, we’ll find you a list of quotes to choose from, including optional extras you might want to add.Start a quote
Home insurance providers
We compare prices 64 home insurance products from leading providers (correct as of March, 2022).
What our expert says...
“The value of all the things we keep in our garages can really add up, so it’s important to check your policy and make sure you have the cover you need. Remember to tell your insurance provider exactly where your garage is, or you may not be covered.”
- Chris King, Home insurance expert