Shed insurance can cover sheds of all shapes and sizes, as well as their often-valuable contents.
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Whether your shed is an arsenal of garden tools or just a place where overflow from the house ends up, you might be surprised at the value of the things you're keeping in it.
Our sheds can be working spaces, storage spaces, gardening spaces, a combination of all three or none of the above. They're part of the home but they're also separate from it. So how do we go about insuring them?
What is shed insurance?
Shed insurance covers your shed and the things you keep in it against damage or loss from a whole range of scenarios, including theft.
The good news is that most home, building and contents insurance policies treat sheds and other permanent outdoor structures – garages, pergolas, granny flats – like they're part of the home. This means that you can get the same levels and types of cover for your shed as you can for your main house.
Some policies will cover the shed itself, some just the things you keep in it, and some will cover the shed plus its contents.
How do I get shed insurance?
The first step is to include your shed and what's in it when you're tallying up your assets and choosing or tweaking your insurance policy. You'll have various home/building and contents insurance policies to pick from, and they'll cover your shed and its contents in various ways.
The policy that's right for you (and your shed) will depend on your situation. A suburban homeowner will have different needs to a renter who's using a landlord's shed for storage.
Choose home insurance to cover your shed
Why is it a good idea to get covered by home insurance?
- When you crunch the numbers, the value of what's in your shed might surprise you. Lots of the things we tend to keep in sheds – vintage furniture, power tools, dusty sports equipment – can qualify as valuables.
- If you're a homeowner, you might have invested heavily in your garden and the shed itself, and storm, tree and other structural damage can be a big expense.
- Being outside and separate from the home can make your shed more vulnerable to break-ins, not to mention the elements.
What does shed insurance cover?
- Home and building policies will cover the structure of the shed.
- Contents policies will cover the things you keep inside the shed.
- Combined home and contents policies can cover the shed as well as the things you keep in it.
Home/building and contents policies offer protection against damage or loss from a long list of insured events such as fires, floods, vandalism, storms and theft.
Contents insurance can cover a whole range of things that people might keep in a shed. You might want to look into extending or tailoring your basic contents coverage if:
- You keep high-value items in your shed.
- There are certain things (e.g. work tools) that you often take with you from the shed (portable contents insurance could help).
- You only want to insure a few items in the shed (if so, consider single item insurance).
For any valuables that you're keeping in your shed, such as a ride-on mower or an expensive bike, check the upper limit that the policy pays out for these items. If the item's actual value exceeds the limit, then you can look into specified contents insurance as a way to increase the limit.
What doesn't it cover?
If you use your shed as part of your business or mainly for business purposes, your home and/or contents policy might not treat it as part of your home. Be sure to check this and ask about alternatives so your business won't affect your coverage.
How can I cover the stuff inside my shed if I'm a renter?
- Your landlord's insurance should cover the structure of the shed itself.
- If you're using the shed for storage or something else, you can still take out contents insurance on what's in there. If you only have a few high-value items that you want to insure, you could consider single item insurance.
Will I be covered for theft if the shed isn't locked?
An unlocked door can compromise your contents coverage if theft happens in your home, and the same goes for your shed. Taking all the sensible precautions, like using padlocks on doors and toolboxes, is the smart move.
What if I store tools/machinery for my business in the shed?
If you're a tradesperson who keeps work tools in your shed, most standard contents policies will cover the equipment up to a specified value. Again, you should look at the total upper limit that the insurer pays to repair or replace tools and look at your options if the value of your collection is much higher than the policy's limit.
There are various ways to insure your tools when they're out with you too, including car insurance and portable equipment cover.
Here's the bottom line
When you're weighing up your assets and home insurance options, don't overlook your shed, where you'll often find more value than you'd think.
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