Green-fingered home owners are being warned to secure their sheds and garages as the lighter evenings mean a spike in garden theft.
Analysis of ten years of claims data from Aviva has shown that thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by over a quarter when the clocks go forward at the end of March – with the average haul totalling around £850.
Figures show that thefts from outside the home start to increase as evenings get lighter at the beginning of March with a 10pc increase compared to the dark nights of January.
Claims then steadily increase as the days get longer and lighter until they reach their peak in July and August when they are almost 40pc higher than at the beginning of the year.
Peter Ketteringham, household underwriting manager at Aviva, said: "Extra hours of sunlight are obviously very welcome after months of darkness, but it also means that your expensive power tools, bikes and golf clubs are more visible than ever to a passing thief, as is your home security – or lack of it."
Mr Ketteringham said householders should ensure sheds and summerhouses are properly secured and gardens are cleared each evening reducing temptation for criminals.
"Bear in mind that loose items like ladders and wheelie bins are perfect for burglars to use to get into your home, so shut them away, out of sight if you can," he said.
Most home insurance policies already have garden cover included, but households must consider the level of cover provided to make sure they are not underinsured.
When considering how much protection is required, bear in mind costly appliances such as patio heaters, barbecues and lawnmowers which may be stored in the shed. Those who keep items such as bikes or gym equipment in their outdoor sheds will also require cover, so it's important to keep these as secure as possible to ensure your insurance remains valid.
(Reproduced from telegraph.co.uk 13th March - the full article can be viewed at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/insurance/contents/9138790/Garden-thefts-rise-by-25pc-as-evenings-get-lighter.html )
Gardien Comment: See the article on Shed Security at http://www.garden-security.co.uk/shed-security-print.htm