Press release

Over 50s ace of spades when it comes to garden security

Thursday 22 October 2009

  • 14% of sheds and garages are left unlocked
  • 1 in 4 people do not put away any garden equipment for winter
  • Over 50s show most garden-know-how

British gardens could be at risk during winter, according to Saga Home Insurance. Saga’s research shows a quarter (26%) of the nation do not plan to take inside any of their gardening equipment or plants this winter, while only one in five (22%) will cover up their outside furniture and just one in ten (11%) will cover up their BBQs.

More worrying is that 14% of those who do store their garden possessions in sheds, garages and outbuildings during the winter leave the doors unlocked. Londoners are the least security conscious, with 28% saying they do not secure their garden contents through the winter. The value of contents of a UK garden is £783 and the average claim for items stolen from gardens is £378**.

Sixty eight per cent of the over 50s say they get a great deal of pleasure from their garden – that’s 14.3 million people - while five million retired people say gardening and growing vegetables is their favourite activity in retirement. Older people also invest more money in their gardens, the average value of a garden owned by someone over 50 is £903, that’s over £200 more than a typical garden owned by someone under, which is valued at £665*. This explains why twice the number of under 50s (19%) than over 50s (10%) say they do nothing at all to prepare their garden for winter.

When it comes to taking care of gardens the today’s over 50s are clearly a cut above the rest and much more likely than younger homeowners to take simple steps to protect their gardens and equipment from the worst of the winter weather.

Top 5 garden know-how differences:

Store away equipment 68% (over 50s) 57% (under 50s)

Clean tools 43% (over 50s) 31% (under 50s)

Put away terracotta pots etc. 26% (over 50s) 18% (under 50s)

Protect Plants 20% (over 50s) 9% (under 50s)

Do nothing to secure sheds etc. 13% (over 50s) 15% (under 50s)

Saga knows that people over 50 really value their gardens so offers high levels of cover with its home insurance. Saga covers, as standard, up to £250 garden cover and £3,000 for theft from outbuildings. For an additional premium customers can extend their cover to include an extra £1,500 worth of protection for loss or damage to lawns, plants, ornaments, shrubs and greenhouses. Plus if the garden cover extension is taken, the limit for items left out in the open, such as patio heaters and barbecues increases to £2,000.

Andrew Goodsell, executive chairman, Saga Group, commented: “It may not have been the BBQ summer we were all hoping for, but leaving the BBQ out to rust during winter will mean paying out to replace it next year. As a nation we are passionate about gardens and outdoor spaces, but when Spring knocks on the door many of us could face hefty bills to replace items neglected during the harsher months, or stolen from insecure sheds. By taking a few simple steps to protect their plants and possessions, garden-owners can potentially save themselves hundreds of pounds.”

Saga’s top garden security tips

· Write your postcode, with an ultraviolet waterproof pen, on valuable items such as tools, machinery, BBQ’s

· Check sheds and gates for deterioration over the winter months and make suitable repairs if necessary

· Padlocks, screws and fastenings may have rusted, replace if needed

· Do a garden inventory – you might be surprised at how much your garden items are worth!

· Take photos of valuable items to keep in case they are stolen

· Check your Home Insurance policy to make sure you have adequate cover for your garden items


Notes to Editors-

* The research was carried on behalf of Saga Home Insurance by Opinium Research. A nationally representative sample of 2,021 GB adults were questioned online between 22nd and 28th September 2009. results are weighted to be representative of the GB adult population. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council.

**Saga Internal 10 year claims data

*** RHS gardening planner:

Saga Garden Cover

Garden cover provides up to £1,500 towards replacing your shrubs, trees and hedges and a further £2,000 by extending your cover to your garden contents in the open under your contents policy.

We will also contribute up to £2,500 for professional garden-design fees and expenses incurred to return your garden to its former condition if damaged.



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