Shed & outbuilding Insurance

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Garden shed and outhouse insurance 

The value of the personal items stashed in sheds and outbuildings can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. But are you covered in case they’re damaged or stolen?

Is my shed or garage covered by my home insurance?

Home insurance is made up of buildings insurance – which covers the structure and fixed fittings of the property – and contents insurance, which covers items including furniture, jewellery and clothes inside. Home insurance usually also covers the structure of any sheds and outbuildings on your property, and their contents, although you should check the policy details to see exactly what is and isn’t included.

Why do I need shed and outbuilding insurance?

From barbeques to bicycles, lawnmowers to garden furniture, the value of the things we store outside our homes can soon add up. But it’s easy to underestimate how much they’re worth and to forget to add them to your home insurance policy.

If a storm damaged your shed or outbuildings, or the items inside were stolen, would you be able to afford to repair them or replace all those items? Shed and outbuilding insurance means you can be covered, whatever happens.

How can I calculate the value of my garden shed contents?

It’s important that you add up how much your shed and outbuilding contents are worth as accurately as possible, to make sure you’re covered for the full value. If you’re under-insured, your insurance pay-out won’t cover the total replacement or repair costs.

To calculate the value, make a list of any possessions you store in your shed, garage or outbuilding. Then estimate how much each possession is worth. This is the amount it would cost to replace the item today, which might not be the same as the price you paid for it originally.

Make a note of any items worth more than £1,500 as you may need to add extra cover to your insurance policy for these.

Find out more about estimating the value of your home contents.

What security steps can I follow to keep items safe?

It’s worth remembering that most policies have restrictions in terms of cover for theft from outbuildings. Policies may specify how much security your shed or outbuilding needs for it to be covered. For example, it might say your shed needs to have a padlock. And to make a successful insurance claim for theft, you may need to prove a burglary has happened, with evidence of forced entry or violence.

Here are some easy ways to keep your shed and outbuilding contents safe:

  • Invest in a lock. A decent, hefty padlock could make your shed a less attractive target for potential thieves.
  • Don’t put expensive items on show. Hide them under dust sheets and lock larger items away in cupboards.
  • Check your shed windows. Keep windows closed and locked, if possible, and add non-transparent security sheets so thieves can’t see in.
  • Plant natural deterrents. A thief is less likely to want to negotiate their way around thorny bushes.
  • Install automatic security lights around sheds and in vulnerable areas of your property.

See more tips on keeping your home secure

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How much does home insurance cost?

Home insurance (buildings & contents) could cost less than
per year[1]

Contents home insurance could less than
per year[2]

Buildings home insurance could cost less than
per year[3]

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[1] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £144.02 for their buildings and contents home insurance in September, 2022.

[2] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £63.16 for their contents home insurance in September, 2022.

[3] 51% of our customers were quoted less than £115.62 for their buildings home insurance in September, 2022.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the maximum level of contents cover for sheds?

There’s usually a limit for contents stored in outbuildings. Limits vary, but can be as low as £500, which could easily be exceeded with a few power tools and a lawnmower. That’s why it’s best to check what the limit is. 
Cover for money or valuables stored in outbuildings can also be limited, and sometimes they’re not covered at all. Make sure you check your policy to ensure you have the right cover in place. 

Should I make special provision for expensive items?

If you have any particularly expensive items, it’s worth making sure you’re covered for them. Most contents policies have a maximum single item limit, usually around £1,500. If you have any possessions worth more than that, you’ll probably need to list them separately on your policy.

If you intend to take the item out and about with you, make sure you’ve said you want cover outside your home.

Will my summerhouse be covered under my home insurance?

Summerhouses are a type of outbuilding, so they may be covered under a standard home insurance policy. But if you have expensive chairs, art or a bar in your summerhouse, you may need additional contents insurance. Check the policy details to see what’s covered.

What if I want to use my shed as an office/bedroom/yoga studio?

Your home insurance policy may cover you for working from home, but you’ll need to check. You may be able to extend your existing policy to cover having business guests at your home.

However, depending on your set up – if you employ anyone, for example – you may need business insurance.

If you’re using a shed or outbuilding recreationally as a bedroom or yoga studio, you’ll probably need to check building regulations. If your outside space will permanently function as an additional home living space, you may need planning permission.

Start a quote with us today to see if you can save on your buildings and home contents insurance.

What do I need to get a quote? 

To get a quote, have your current home insurance policy and details of the rebuild value of your home handy, if possible.  
We’ll ask you some details about your property and contents, including its structure, security and valuable items, then show you a list of quotes so you can choose the one that’s right for you.  

Author image Helen Phipps

What our expert says...

“All those garden tools and furniture you acquire over the years, or musical equipment you might keep in the garage or summerhouse, would be extremely expensive to replace.

“Be sure to check the fine print of your home insurance policy to see what’s covered, and add on extra contents insurance if necessary, to make sure you’re covered for the full value of your belongings.”

- Helen Phipps, Insurance expert

Why use Comparethemarket?

Save up to £164 by switching[4]

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[4] Based on online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during August, 2022, 51% of customers could achieve this saving on their Buildings and Contents insurance through Comparethemarket.

[5] As of October 2022, Comparethemarket had an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 22,236 people who left a review on Trustpilot. The score 4.8 corresponds to the Star Label ‘Excellent’.

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