Understanding your home insurance policy is hugely important, as it allows you to know exactly what is a covered should you ever need to make a claim. From time to time it’s worth looking over your home insurance policy so that you can refresh your memory and possibly evaluate whether you need to increase or perhaps even reduce the level of cover that you have. This is certainly all the more important if you are due to take out a completely new policy because you need to know exactly what you have paid for.

Good news for the green fingered If you have invested a time and money in your garden, you’ll want to make sure it is covered in case of any damage or theft. However, this is by no means a standardised part of home insurance. Sometimes garden cover can be added to your policy by paying a little more or it may be incorporated as standard. The best thing to do is review your policy and see what it says, carefully reading the terms and conditions. If you find that you have a list of other questions to ask then you can always get on the phone to your insurance provider or email the customer service department for further information.

Determining if you have garden cover is the first step, but it’s important to remember that not all home insurance policies will include this as standard; so please don’t assume you are covered as this might not be the case.

Next, you need to clarify what elements of your garden are covered in your policy. This will vary depending on the price that you have paid for your insurance and the provider too; although common types of cover include damage to fences, patios, lawns, hedges, trees and flora that are located within the boundary of your home. Again, if it’s not clear what is covered then do ask your insurer.

Never assume, always act

Assuming you’re covered only to find out that you’re not could prove to be very disappointing (and expensive). There are plenty of insurance companies offering garden cover, so if you don’t have it in place then it doesn’t mean that you are not entitled to it. Use the Internet as a resource to find suitable companies that are able to provide adequate cover for your requirements. Some may offer special benefits if you take out home insurance with them so look around and never settle on the first insurance quote you receive. Once your cover is in place you can relax because you know that should anything happen, you have the correct cover in place to protect you.

You will also need to review your policy to work out if you need to pay an excess when you are making a claim. On most types of insurance, unless it has been agreed with your provider that you are exempt, there is normally an excess fee. The excess for garden cover could be £40 for example, so if a fence panel is knocked down and it costs £80 to replace then you would be required to pay the first £40.

In some instances this won’t be worth paying because the value of the damaged items is much lower. Therefore, see if you can strike a balance so that if something valuable is covered under the insurance policy you only have to pay out the lowest amount possible. It’s also worth bearing in mind that for some insurance policies there will be a maximum claim limit, depending on your insurer. For example, the maximum amount could be £600 meaning that you would not be able to claim on an item that was £700, or would have to pay the extra money yourself.

As you can see, you need to find a policy that works for you and your garden. But the first step is to find out from your present insurer whether your policy includes garden cover and then check the terms and conditions or speak to them to clarify exactly what is included.

*Note: Insure4Retirement has issued this guide for information purposes only regarding what could be available on a home insurance product. No advice is being offered as to the suitability of any policy to a person’s own personal circumstances.