Garden sheds have come a long way in recent years, and with people feeling the need to make more of their outdoor space during the pandemic, the market for garden rooms and cabins has grown tremendously so there's now something to suit every size and budget. But what about when it comes to home insurance, are they covered?
Garages and outbuildings
Many home insurance policies will include cover for 'garages and outbuildings', both under Buildings and Contents, which means you'll likely have some cover for major risks as standard. Don't assume that everything you keep in your new garden room is covered just the same as if it was in your actual home, as there will often be separate limits that apply. If you need higher limits, extensions or upgrades may be available from your existing insurer.
Information your quote is based on
When you bought your home insurance, you will have answered some questions about your property, such as what the walls and roof are mainly made of, and how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has. If you add a garden room or log cabin to your garden, you need to consider whether any of the answers you gave your home insurer could now be considered to be different.
If all you have done is converted a standard shed into a games room, you likely won't have much to worry about. If you've gone a bit further (and you can go a lot further!!) and built something you could move your granny or the kids into, then you may find you have another bedroom and bathroom to disclose to your home insurer.
Each insurer will treat these changes slightly differently. Some will expect you to discuss your plans with them before you do any work, others will ask for you to let them know as soon as the work is finished, and others will only want to know when you get to the next renewal. Check your policy documents to see which scenario applies to your policy, and if you're unsure, contact your home insurer.
Be careful what you use it for
If you've invested a lot in your swanky new garden room, you may be tempted to try and recoup some of your investment by letting it out - and many people do - especially if their garden can be accessed without having to go through the home. If you do this, be sure to check with your home insurer before the first guest gets anywhere near, as you may need to arrange separate cover, and you'll want to ensure you're covered for any mishaps or losses that might occur.