The longer days are finally here, and the temperatures are inching to a point where we’ll all be able to spend more time outside. Sadly, the new season comes with the potential for increased garden theft.
The arrival of spring ‘could mean garden furniture, children’s toys and garden tools will be brought out of sheds and garages,’ says Sarah Applegate, Head of Risk for Aviva General Insurance. This could ‘allow thieves an opportunity they’ve been waiting for,’ she says.
Most commonly stolen items from the garden
So what are the most frequently stolen items from our outdoor living areas? Currently, our best outdoor furniture, garden ornaments, power tools, lawnmowers, barbecues, and ladders are the top items.
Make sure you’re not making it easy for criminals, as we’re already seeing instances of garden theft in 2021. ‘So far, Aviva has seen claims come in for deer statues, brand new sets of ladders, garden benches, and an array of tools taken from a shed,’ Sarah says.
Aviva ran a study that shows that this time last year ‘thefts in the open’ made up 11% of the total UK home insurance claims. This is a drastic increase compared to the year before when it was only 3%. ‘Thefts in the open’ include claims about items from our garden.
If you’ve bought some new garden furniture or accessories for the summer months, you’re not alone. 21% of us invested in outdoor furniture during the first national lockdown, and on average we spent £300, according to Aviva’s research.
Simple steps to reduce the risk of theft in your garden are ensuring gates and sheds are securely locked, and locking away any portable items like your best barbecue at night. A top tip is to lock up ladders and secure your wheelie bins, as they can give burglars a leg up into the rest of your home.
If you’ve recently splurged on new garden furniture, you might also want to check it’s covered by your insurance. Especially considering they’re one of the most commonly stolen item from the garden.
Last year, the most commonly stolen item from the garden was found to be bikes. This was followed by lawnmowers, making up 32 per cent of thefts, and gardening tools, making up 19 per cent.