Are you sure your shed is insured?

Flower potsOnce upon a time the humble shed was a neglected garden outpost, rarely visited and home to a handful of rusting tools. Today’s sheds are a completely different story, they can be things of splendour and they’re often packed with hundreds of pounds’ worth of gardening gizmos.

Recent research by a leading insurer has revealed the extent to which the country underestimates the combined contents of our sheds and the report makes for interesting reading. When quizzed homeowners believe they keep an average of £363 worth of goods in their shed, but claims data puts the average insurance pay-out at four figures. Considering that 65% of homes with gardens have sheds; that’s an awful lot of underinsured contents.

With such rich (and often easy) pickings it’s understandable that sheds make tempting targets for thieves. Thefts from sheds jump by 25% in the summer months so now’s the time to make sure you are covered. Follow our steps to stamp-out garden crime and make sure that your home contents insurance extends to the contents of your shed. If you are in any doubt check your policy small print or give your insurance broker a quick call.

Top Ten Fascinating Facts About Sheds

If you thought sheds were boring: think again. We’ve been digging around and have unearthed 10 unusual facts about sheds:

  1. Literary luminaries from Virginia Wolf to Dylan Thomas are famed for writing in their sheds. Not only are they sources of inspiration; they are also sources of solace. In fact, Roald Dahl penned all his children’s stories in his garden shed precisely to get some peace and quiet away from his children.
  2. They say that an Englishman’s home is his castle, but surely the humble shed comes a close second? With an estimated 12million sheds in the country we’ve got the highest concentration of sheds on the planet.
  3. Not only have we got the most sheds anywhere on earth, but we spend the most time in them. It’s estimated that we whittle away 60million hours a week in our sheds, which adds-up to more than 3billion hours a year.
  4. Engineers like to tinker in their sheds and Dam Busting English inventor Sir Barnes Neville Wallace was said to have developed the prototype of the ‘bouncing bomb’ in his shed and tested it in his pond.
  5. Sheds have long been a place of refuge and the word is first recorded in English back in 1481 as shadde thought to be derived from shade or shadow.
  6. The Men’s Shed movement started life in Australia in the 1990s and has since spread across the globe. The idea was to combat social isolation and depression in older Aussie males by providing a place where they could share skills and chat. It’s been such a success that sheds have opened across the world with ‘Community Sheds’ welcoming women.
  7. A young American scout hit the headlines in 1994 when he was caught attempting to build a nuclear reactor in his mum’s shed. Luckily for David Hahn (also known as The Radioactive Boy Scout) his experiment failed to reach critical mass and he later became an Eagle Scout.
  8. In the run-up to Christmas 2012 the fastest-selling book ever, E L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, was being out-sold by another erotic novel ‘Fifty Sheds of Grey’. The literary parody takes a steamy look at horticultural happenings and a love triangle created between man, wife and shed.
  9. At the start of WWI the Post Office needed a new site to handle all the mail and decamped to a wooden structure built on Regent’s Park which was dubbed ‘the world’s largest shed’. It no longer remains and today the Australian town of Muratoa claims the crown with a whopping wooden shed measuring 265m x 60.5m built in WWII to store wheat.
  10. Proud shed owners might want to think about entering the ‘Shed of the Year’ competition and entrants could bag a primetime spot on Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces programme.


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