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Is your shed a secret treasure trove?

Is your shed a secret treasure trove?

UK sheds contain possessions worth billions, but many aren’t insured

Britons famously love their garden sheds, and latest figures show we also stuff them full of valuable possessions.

Research by insurer Policy Expert reveals that 95% of the owner-occupiers it surveyed have sheds of various types containing items with an average value of £1,787.

As the latest Government figures show there are 14million owner-occupiers in the UK, it means huge numbers are keeping stuff in their ‘cosy’ garden hideaways worth billions when totalled up.

Many are hugely under-insured

However, many are at serious risk of losing out financially as almost one-in-five (19%) admit they don’t have the sort of home insurance that includes things kept outside.

Another third, just over one-in-three (34%), aren’t sure if they have the right cover or not.

Items worth thousands at risk

And, as Policy Expert’s figures show, the most popular items kept in sheds could be expensive to replace, so shed owners are taking quite a risk.

Top of the list, as you’d expect, are garden tools, with lawnmowers next, followed by DIY equipment, garden furniture, bicycles, BBQs and electricals.

Sports equipment, stored furniture and cars round off the top ten.

It’s an eclectic mix of possessions. But if you take bicycles, for example, many people now spend thousands on getting the latest model.

So if you owned a De Rosa SK Pininfarina Super Record, costing £4,700 at Evans Cycles, for example, you’d be more than a little unhappy if you couldn’t claim for it being stolen.

Garden furniture is another example where householders could face large bills if they don’t have the right cover for burgled or storm-damaged sheds.

John Lewis is currently listing an 8 to 10 seater garden dining set called ‘Westminster Valencia’ for nearly £10,000, for example. It’s at the higher-end of the scale, but there are plenty of sets in the £1,000 to £2,000 range targeted at JL’s more everyday customers.

Interesting ‘alternative’ shed uses

Policy Expert’s research also highlighted some interesting, less common uses for sheds and outbuildings.

The most popular ‘alternative’ is as a workspace, reflecting the increasing numbers of people working from home.

Second to workspace is ‘man-cave; in other words the ‘hobby’ of sitting around drinking beer and ‘thinking’ outside the main home.

Gyms of some sort or other are next, followed by play rooms for kids, offices, games rooms, spaces for collectibles/memorabilia, party rooms and model railway sets.

Getting the right shed cover

Home insurance that includes cover for most items kept in sheds, garages, barns and other outbuildings comes as standard with many policies, but not all by any means.

If a policy doesn’t include it, it can be quickly and easily be arranged over the phone or online for usually just a few pounds a year more.


Policy Expert

If your home is your haven, you’ll want it to have the best protection. Compare quotes from our range of handpicked insurers and tailor a policy to suit you. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit for more ways to reach us.


Published 22 May 2017