Protecting your garage and its contents
Although tradition would say that garages are used for cars, these days this is far less common and our vehicles are being left outside on the road or driveway.
Garages are a valuable piece of property and can be transformed into a playroom, office or spare bedroom.
Some people have even turned their garage into a gym, while others use it as a storage space and fill it with old TVs, pet cages, supplies of food and various other things that we just can't throw away.
Surprisingly, our garages can store several hundreds or even thousands of pounds worth of items, yet many of us do not properly insure the outbuildings on our land and they are not always covered by home insurance policies.
Garden-based crime can increase by as much as 25% during the summer months as people are more likely to leave things in the garden, whilst the extra hours of light make items more visible to thieves.
Tips for protecting your garage and its contents include:
- Never leave your garage unlocked or open
- Invest in a strong padlock for your garage door and make sure the hinges can't be taken off easily
- If your garage is attached to the house, make sure that internal doors are securely locked
- Make sure any drawers or cupboards inside the garage are locked
- Keep bicycles in the garage secure with bike locks, ideally attached to an immoveable object
- If your garage has windows, consider hanging blinds or curtains so people can't see in
- Install security lighting outside your garage
- Don't keep your garage's remote in your car, in case your car is broken into.
If your garage is chock full of tools, equipment and bicycles it's important that it's covered by a comprehensive insurance policy.
Look out for buildings and contents insurance policies that also cover outbuildings (such as sheds and garages) and their contents (provided, of course, that they are secure and on your land).
You'll sometimes find garden cover offered as an optional extra, which gives you cover for garden equipment and furniture up to a specified value.
Photo credit: Mattox