Gardening

£26bn spent by UK householders on outdoor garden rooms during pandemic

New research reveals that since the pandemic began, UK households have spent £25.9 billion kitting out and improving their outdoor spaces.

Gardens have been a sanctuary for many people during the pandemic as they followed Government guidance to stay at home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, 47% of households have invested in their gardens in the last 14 months.

A quarter of households surveyed said they have spent more time in their garden than they did before Covid, with 28% saying their garden has been a ‘life saver’ in the last 14 months.  As a consequence of the pandemic, a fifth of respondents experienced new-found appreciation of their garden.  Many (35%) said their outdoor space has played an essential part in their wellbeing.     

The research, commissioned by GoCompare Home Insurance, found that on average, UK adults spent £1,976 on items for or updates to their gardens.  The top garden items people spent money on during the pandemic were:

Item % UK households making pandemic purchase
Outdoor lighting15%
New garden furniture13%
A new BBQ8%
A garden shed8%
New decking or patio area6%
A firepit6%
A garden canopy5%
Creating a dedicated BBQ area5%
A garden shelter or roof5%
Installed mains or solar power4%
An outdoor pizza oven4%
A hot tub, garden tub or jacuzzi4%

The research also revealed that only a third (34%) of people who has spent £1,000 or more had informed their insurer of their garden improvements. Typically, sheds and other outbuildings, and landscaping are usually covered under buildings insurance.   

Moveable items such as patio furniture, BBQs, garden planters and ornaments are covered by home contents under ‘contents in the open’. This provides cover for loss or damage to contents left outside but within the boundaries of your home.

Ryan Fulthorpe, from GoCompare Home Insurance commented: “Many more people are now seeing their gardens as an extension of their living space, investing a lot of time and money in their ‘outdoor rooms’.  During the pandemic, gardens have taken on an increased significance, helping people’s wellbeing and, as lockdown rules allowed, providing meeting places for friends and family who were unable to meet indoors.

“But many of us don’t think about the value and security of our garden contents in the same way as we do about our homes. When you start adding up the cost of garden structures, furniture, BBQs, lighting, and ornaments – even the average garden can house several thousands of pounds worth of items.    

“While many home buildings and contents insurance policies include a degree of cover for gardens, the amount and level of cover varies hugely between policies.  So, people need to think carefully about the value of their outdoor possessions and make sure that they have the insurance cover they need.  If the contents of your garden are particularly valuable you may find that you need to top-up your insurance or buy additional garden cover.” 

For more information on garden and shed insurance visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/shed-and-garden-insurance/

Five tips from GoCompare Home Insurance to help secure your garden and its contents from unwanted visitors:

  1. Keep boundary hedges and fences in good order to keep them secure – this will help deter opportunistic thieves. Consider defensive planting of prickly shrubs or hedges.
  2. Where practical, keep outdoor possessions in a locked shed or garage
  3. Consider installing security lighting or CCTV.
  4. Secure expensive plants with wire pegs dug into the ground around the root ball.
  5. Use a security pen to mark valuable items that are left in the open with your postcode (e.g. garden furniture, ornaments and trampolines). 

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