Your garage can hold some of the most valuable possessions you own which is why it's important to have garage insurance. But what is garage insurance and how does it work? Fortunately we are here to answer all your questions and more.
What is garage insurance?
Garage insurance is a specific type of cover that is sometimes included in your standard home insurance policy, but also comes as a separate add-on depending on the type, contents and location of your garage.
Having garage insurance means you are protected against theft, malicious and accidental damage to the building and the things inside, just like with standard home insurance.
Is my garage covered by my home insurance?
This depends almost entirely on the location of your garage. If it is attached to your house, accessible via interior and/or exterior doors, then it’s likely that it’s already insured on your home insurance policy, provided you have one.
If your garage is detached but still within the property boundary, then it will probably be classed as an outbuilding, which typically is not included in a standard home insurance policy. Most providers allow you to add it on, but this will cost extra.
Any garage that is located separately to your home, for example those living in major cities, then it almost definitely won’t be included in your main policy. You can sometimes add it on, but not always. In this case it’s best to shop around and compare prices from different insurers to make sure you get the best deal.
What’s covered by garage insurance?
Garage insurance works just like any other home insurance policy in that it covers both the building and contents. By definition, garages will often be home to very expensive equipment, such as lawnmowers, cars, bicycles, and tools. Cars, of course, are not covered under garage insurance policies, and need to be sorted separately.
Though each provider offers a slightly different service, a good policy will protect you in the event of:
- Malicious damage
- Fire damage
- Water damage, such as storms and floods
It’s important to shop around before you choose a policy. When comparing different garage insurance deals, it’s important to take note of the single item limit specified on the policy. You should include the contents of your garage when estimating the value, and so you may be obligated to declare any item that comes over this limit.
Given that garages often store equipment intended for outside use such as bicycles, you won’t necessarily be covered when using it away from home. For that you’ll need something called personal belongings cover.
What’s not covered by garage insurance?
Again, each policy will differ. But, just like home cover, you will mostly find that standard garage insurance policies are invalidated if you leave them unlocked or otherwise unsecured.
Furthermore, you are not usually protected in the event of accidental damage. This can typically be included as an add-on, but it’s worth making sure with your potential provider that it’s an available option.
Be sure to compare as many different garage insurance policies before you settle on one, to make sure you’re getting the right sort of coverage. You can check whether garage insurance is included with buildings insurance policies with our comparison tool.
How to keep your garage safe
It’s incredibly important to make sure that your garage is safe and secure at all times, especially if it’s detached from your home or in a separate location. Failure to do so can result in your policy becoming invalid, and in the event of theft or damage, you’ll be responsible for replacing and repairing everything.
Here’s a few tips on how you can make sure your possessions are safe and sound while you’re not around:
- Double lock - Installing an extra lock or buying a garage defender will strengthen the door and make it harder for thieves to break in. Insurers may reward you with lower premiums for increased security
- Install an alarm - Especially if your garage isn’t attached to your home, having an alarm is an excellent way to deter thieves. Make sure to also advertise that the alarm system is in place
- Hide your valuables - Use sheets and boxes to hide the high-value items in your garage, making it less immediately attractive to break into, especially if your garage has windows
- Lights - Installing security lights in the driveway or on the outside of the door is a quick and easy way to increase the level of protection