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Don’t make this home insurance mistake!

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Written by:
17/06/2020
Sales of outdoor equipment have surged during lockdown, but is your hot tub or pizza oven actually covered by your insurance policy?
Don’t make this home insurance mistake!

There been a huge increase in people looking to buy swimming pools, hot tubs and pizza ovens for their 2020 ‘staycations’, according to GoCompare.

The price comparison site said Google Trends data showed searches for above ground pools have increased 1600% since lockdown began, while hot tub searches are up 460%, fire pit searches surged 1050% and pizza oven searches rose 575%.

Under-covered

However, this luxury outdoor equipment may not be fully covered by home contents insurance.

Of the 400 home contents insurance policies GoCompare experts looked at, 33 (8%) did not provide cover for theft of garden contents left out in the open, 47 (12%) policies provided a maximum of £250-£350 of cover and a further 35 policies (9%) provided cover of up to £500.

There were 44 policies (11%) that provided garden contents cover equal to the policy’s single item limit and the remainder provided cover ranging from £750 to £10,000.

What could go wrong?

A 15ft diameter above ground pool can contain over 5000 gallons of water. If the pool should suddenly collapse, the mini-tidal wave could cause severe damage to surrounding plants, shrubs and maybe even fences and this damage is unlikely to be covered by your home contents insurance. If damage extends to neighbours, you may also be liable and uninsured for damage to their garden and property.

You may also be left deflated if your blow-up hot tub is punctured by an over-enthusiastic pet.

Accidental damage to furniture and equipment left outside is rarely covered by additional accidental damage protection, even if you’ve paid extra to cover your home contents.

Lee Griffin from GoCompare said: “Google Trends data suggests that lots of people are spending hundreds if not thousands of pounds turning their gardens into their own private holiday hideaways with pools, hot tubs, fire pits and pizza ovens being the top buys for those planning lockdown garden-cations.

“However, householders should consider that their new purchases will usually be left outdoors and open to being taken by unwanted visitors. There have been reports of inflatable hot tubs being emptied and stolen from gardens during the night. Whilst most home contents policies do give some protection for items left in your garden, the cover limit may not be enough to replace anything you might lose so it makes sense to check the cover you have when buying your home holiday equipment.”

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