Brits have gone BBQ mad, spending £26 billion during the pandemic on their outdoor space, with new garden items and improvements, such as barbecues, pizza ovens, firepits, furniture, lighting and decking.
According to GoCompare Home Insurance, the average household has spent nearly £2000 over the last 14 months in the garden, including outdoor cooking areas, with nearly half of households having invested in their garden space.
A quarter of households surveyed said they have spent more time in their garden than they did before Covid, with 28% saying their garden has been a ‘life saver.’ As a consequence of the pandemic, a fifth of respondents experienced a new-found appreciation of their garden. Many (35%) said their outdoor space has played an essential part in their wellbeing.
Sheds, other outbuildings and landscaping are usually covered under buildings insurance. Moveable items such as patio furniture, BBQs, garden planters and ornaments are covered by home contents under ‘contents in the open’. This provides cover for loss or damage to contents left outside but within the boundaries of your home.
Ryan Fulthorpe from GoCompare Home Insurance said: “Many more people are now seeing their gardens as an extension of their living space, investing a lot of time and money in their outdoor ‘rooms’. During the pandemic, gardens have taken on an increased significance, helping people’s wellbeing and, as lockdown rules allowed, providing meeting places for friends and family who were unable to meet indoors.
“But many of us don’t think about the value and security of our garden contents in the same way as we do about our homes. When you start adding up the cost of garden structures, furniture, BBQs, lighting and ornaments - even the average garden can house several thousands of pounds worth of items.
“While many home buildings and contents insurance policies include a degree of cover for gardens, the amount and level of cover varies hugely between policies. So, people need to think carefully about the value of their outdoor possessions and make sure that they have the insurance cover they need. If the contents of your garden are particularly valuable you may find that you need to top-up your insurance or buy additional garden cover.”
Rupert Bates, editor of BBQ magazine, the only UK title dedicated to fire, food and outdoor living, said: “These are staggering numbers, but really don’t surprise me. The pandemic has been brutal for some many people, but those lucky enough to have outdoor space and money to spend have really begun to appreciate that good fortune and re-imagine and re-purpose their gardens, be it for outdoor cooking, relaxing or relaxing. It is the best ‘room’ in the house for health and well-being, as well as for entertaining family and friends.”
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