Garden sheds and garages are a great way to get some extra storage, particularly for those living in urban areas, but the value of the items stored in these locations is often taken for granted. Whether it’s toys, gardening tools, bicycles or lawn mowers, the value of these items can quickly add up – so it’s important to make sure they’re protected.
A survey conducted by police forces in England and Wales revealed that there was an average of 22,500 shed burglaries a year between 2014 and 2018, equating to just over 60 a day. A separate report by shed firm Tiger Sheds found that 17% of adults made no effort to secure or lock their shed – and just 15% said they removed valuables overnight.
Advisers have a crucial role to play in helping clients understand the need to protect their belongings both inside and outside the home. That not only means making them aware of what is and what isn’t covered by their household insurance policy, but also informing them of the preventative measures they can put in place, such as installing security lights and high-quality locks to deter opportunistic thieves.
It is part of an adviser’s duty of care when offering an holistic service to ensure that their clients are fully protected for any eventuality, and this means prompting clients to consider all of their insurance needs very carefully. Asking simple questions such as what they store in their garage or shed, the estimated value of these contents, and whether they have any single high-value items, can go a long way towards ensuring they are adequately protected.
It’s also important for advisers to communicate regularly with clients, particularly around the time of their policy renewal date, to see whether their circumstances have changed. For example, clients may not realise that adding more items to these storage spaces could mean that their insurance policy doesn’t cover the cost of replacing them in the event of damage or theft.
Customers often underestimate the value and peace of mind that insurance can bring. Advisers are in a unique position to combat this and ensure that their clients are properly protected at all times. Just by having open conversations with their clients, advisers can find best insurance solutions based on their individual needs, both now and in the future.
Simon Hird is director, broker & intermediary, at Legal & General General Insurance