Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Are You Fully Aware Of The Cover Your Policy Provides?

The average contents insurance policy covers your possessions against loss or damage from a number of different perils; including storm damage, fire, flood, theft, and water and oil leaks to name but a few. Many also include accidental damage cover as standard, but there is further cover offered that many people are simply unaware is standard as part of their policy.
Here are a few examples of such cover that many insurers offer as standard with contents policies:
Theft of money and credit cards. Most content policies will cover loss of credit cards and cash, even if the loss occurs outside the home. Most policyholders are aware of the cover upon the premises, but fewer are aware that cover is continued outside the home.
Theft from your garden shed. Thefts from garden sheds are sadly quite common. A recent survey suggested that 30 per cent of those questioned were either victims of this type of crime or knew someone who had been. Cover for this type of loss varies according to the insurer, and of course only applies to sheds that are locked.
Cover for alternative accommodation Should there be an insured incident at your home that makes your home uninhabitable and therefore requires you to temporarily move out, this cover provides a sum to pay for alternative accommodation. Some policies have a fixed upper limit for the cover, but other insurers calculate their maximum amount as a percentage of the policyholder’s total contents sum insured.
Freezer - loss of power Many content insurance policies offer to refund the cost of food - kept in a freezer - ruined as a result of a power cut.
Some of the other lesser-known features offered as standard with quality content insurance policies include:
Loss or damage to garden furniture - this also includes garden contents, hedges, trees, lawns and shrubs
Damage or loss to office equipment while in the home - although, as with any insurance policy, check the upper limits of cover if you regularly bring work home.
Loss or damage to downloaded information - this can be very handy to restore valuable downloaded items that may be lost through theft or damage.

(Reproduced from Article/.net 29 April)

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Appeal after garden raid

POLICE in Peterborough are appealing for information following a theft from a garden.
The raiders struck in Ayres Drive between 11.15pm on Tuesday and 6.45am the following day.A Carrera Cracken black mountain bike, Honda CR80 motor cross bike, an Apollo mountain bike and a lawn mower were stolen during the incident.n Anyone with information should contact Det Sgt Dave Taylor at Thorpe Wood police on 0845 456 4564.

(Reproduced from Peterborough Eveningn Telegraph 29 April)

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Appeal following theft of garden ornaments

Police are appealing for witnesses following the theft of two garden ornaments from a house on Main Street, Normanton near Bottesford, Leicestershire.
The incident happened between 5pm on Monday April 20 and 11am on Tuesday April 21, when two stone ornaments were taken from the top of two pillars situated at the entrance to the driveway.
The ornaments were described as stone Pineapples, around three to four feet in height.
PC Pete Starbuck, the officer investigating the incident, said: "It could be likely that the ornaments were moved from the property with the use of a vehicle and so we are appealing to people who may have seen a suspicious looking vehicle in the area at the time of the incident.
"We would like anyone with any information on the theft or anyone who has been approached by someone trying to sell an ornament like the ones described to contact us."
Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 842 Pete Starbuck on Leicester (0116) 222 2222, follow the instructions to leave a message for a police officer and when prompted key in the officer's identification number 0842. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers, which is free and anonymous on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from In Loughborough 29th April)

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Green-fingered thieves targeting rural gardens

BRAZEN thieves with an apparently keen horticultural eye are being hunted by police after a spree of 32 shrub, seven tree and two bush thefts from eight different properties in three Suffolk communities.
All the thefts took place between Monday, April 13, and Sunday, April 19, at domestic or business properties in Clare, Hundon and Wixoe. In each case, the thieves took plants from the front of the property, seemingly under cover of darkness. In one incident 30 leylandii shrubs were taken and in another, two distinctive Japanese willow (salix hakuro-nishiki), also known as flamingo trees, were stolen. A police spokeswoman said: "Officers want to hear from anyone who may have been offered such plants for sale in unusual circumstances or at a fĂȘte or car boot sale. Police would urge the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious persons or vehicles". The first recorded theft occurred between 10pm on Monday, April 13 and 6.15pm Tuesday at Hill Terrace in Clare, where two trees and a shrub were taken. Between Monday and Sunday, April 13 to 19, a currant bush was stolen from a garden in Wixoe, while another property in the village had two apple trees taken between 9pm on Thursday, April 16, and 5.25pm the next day. Five properties were targeted by the green-fingered thieves between Friday evening, April 17, and the next day. Four in Hundon and one in Clare. In Lower Road, Hundon, two properties were hit by the thieves; a shrub was stolen and an attempt made to steal another plant from one house, and a magnolia bush taken from another. Thirty leylandii shrubs were removed from a garden in Farmerie Road and the two flamingo trees taken from a propery in Galley Road.In the final theft being investigated by police a cherry tree was removed from a large pot outside Lloyds TSB, in Market Hill, Clare. Anyone with information about the thefts should contact police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

(Reproduced from the Haverhill Echo 27 April)

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Mystery surrounds spate of statue thefts

Thursday, April 23, 2009,
TWO BRONZE statues were stolen from a garden – just days after thieves drove off with a £200,000 horse sculpture in a neighbouring village.
And a third incident this week, where a bronze horse was taken from a garden in Lingfield Common Road, has led police to believe the series of unusual thefts are linked.
Kay Holder believes thieves drove across fields and scrambled through a hedge and ditch to reach the model deer in the garden of her Dormansland home.
"They are worth about £1,000," Mrs Holder told the Courier and Observer.
"They are not of great value, unlike the horse stolen from Lingfield, but it would appear that bronze statues are being targeted."
The theft of Mrs Holder's statues is believed to have taken place on Thursday night last week. (April 16).
She said: "There has been someone here 24-hours-a-day all the week.
"The deer were underneath an old apple tree in the middle of our paddock and the day before I had driven round them on the tractor while I was cutting the grass."
That night, Mrs Holder's daughter and her boyfriend were upstairs watching television when they saw someone shining a torch and two men out in the field beyond the garden of the house in Moor Lane.
In daylight, they saw vehicle tracks leading to the bottom of the garden and marks showing a U-turn before the return journey.
"I can't understand how anyone knew the statues were there," Mrs Holder said. "The only people we see in the field are occasional dog walkers." The family has been in the house for nine years and the deer sculptures were bought from an antique shop in Westerham about three years ago.
Mrs Holder added: "The police told us there has been a lot of thefts of this kind.
"I wonder if they were stolen because they were thought to be valuable or whether the thieves were just after the bronze and the sculptures will be melted down." Last week the Courier and Observer reported how a bronze horse statue, worth around £200,000, was taken from a private garden in Crowhurst Road, Lingfield.
A Range Rover was seen on the grounds around the time of the theft, which happened overnight on April 8.

(Reproduced from the East Grinstead Courier & Observer)

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Security initiative set to combat theft

Thousands of packs containing crime prevention advice, shed alarms and door chains are being handed out by police at the launch of a new campaign to combat burglaries.
The 4,000 Safe and Secure packs will provide advice on home and garden security and several hundred garden shed alarms will also be given out in areas which have suffered thefts of tools and garden equipment.
Operation Protect is part of a wider campaign by West Mercia police to help householders to increase security while reducing fear of crime.
“Although Shropshire is one of the safest parts of the country in which to live and work, that’s no consolation to the small number of people who fall victim to burglars,” said Detective Inspector Gavin Kinrade.
“We will be working with partner agencies on a variety of security issues designed to protect homes and to make people feel safer.
More advice is available at
Security tips to help protect a home include:
Ensure doors and windows are locked at all times.
Fit sturdy deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all external doors.
Take care of keys. Keep door and car keys in a safe place, out of sight.
Use timer switches or sensors to turn lights on in the evenings when out of the house.
Invest in external lighting.
Mark belongings with postcode and house number.
If you have an alarm, set it when you go out.
Ensure newspapers, post, milk etc are not left on display.
Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.
Effective garden security includes defensive planting (prickly shrubs and trees) and well-kept gates and fences to help to keep your home secure.
Ensure ladders and tools are put away so they can’t be used to break into your home

(Reproduced from the Shropshire Star, April 23rd)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

West Berks ‘safe’ despite crime increase

Worrying news for homeowners in West Berkshire was that burglaries were up by 8.8 per cent to 681 incidents, meaning there were 55 more break-ins between April 2008 and March 2009.
Local Area Police (LPA) Commander Superintendent Robin Rickard said over the past few weeks his officers had been running targeted operations around the problem and identified Pangbourne and Thatcham as two hot spots.
He said: “I think in terms of West Berkshire being a safe place, it is still a very safe place to live, to work and enjoy.
“If you were to compare similar areas in the Thames Valley that’s what it indicates.
“For the people who have been victims of burglary it must be absolutely horrifying for somebody to break into their home, but the vast majority of people will not experience a burglary.
“It’s fortunately a small number of victims and it’s a low crime rate, but it’s an increase and it is a priority.”
The top cop estimated that 14 per cent of burglaries were where people had broken into houses specifically to steal car keys and cars, and a large number were via the letterbox.
There was also an increase of 22 per cent of non-dwelling burglaries from garden sheds and garages where tools and bikes were the main target.

(Reproduced from the Reading Evening Post, 22nd April 2009)

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Malvern hit by spate of shed thefts

Tuesday 21st April 2009

POLICE are urging Malvern residents to keep their sheds secure after a spate of thefts in the area.
The first theft happened between 6pm last Thursday (April 16) and 9.30am on Sunday at Merick Road. A £50 Bosch jigsaw, concrete breaker worth £60 and a £60 Makita grinder were taken from a shed.
At Lansdowne Road, between 3pm last Friday and 2.30pm the next day, a red Sovereign petrol strimmer worth £150 and a yellow McCulloch hedge trimmer worth £60 were taken.
And a third shed was broken into between 4pm last Friday and 3pm on Sunday at Moorlands Road. A petrol brush cutter worth £150, a black and yellow McCulloch chainsaw worth £150 and a £150 leaf blower/shredder were taken.
Community Support Officer Karen Watso, said: “As the weather brightens up many people are grabbing the opportunity to get out into their gardens and allotments.
“But spring time can see an increase in thefts from garden and allotment sheds. While many people take steps to protect their homes and the property inside them, they often leave valuable equipment such as power tools, mowers and bikes in sheds. Often the sheds are unsecured or not strong or secure enough to defend against thieves - an invitation to opportunist criminals.
“We would ask residents take the advice on offer regards garden security and ensure we ‘weed out’ garden crime in Malvern.”
The advice on garden security is part of the Constabulary’s Safe & Secure campaign and the message encouraging residents to ‘Nip Garden Crime In The Bud’ began this month in time for spring.

(Reproduced from the Malvern Gazette)

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Police hunt tree and shrub thieves

POLICE are hunting tree and plant thieves who have struck eight times over the past week in west Suffolk. Amongst the items stolen were 30 Leilandii shrubs, a cherry tree, a magnolia bush, two apple trees and various other plants. Officers believe two thefts in Clare, four in Hundon and two in Wixoe, are linked to the thieves who may be attempting to make a profit from their illegal enterprise. There are concerns that the offenders could try to sell the plants through car boot sales or other means. Anyone who has been offered shrubs, trees, bushes or plants in unusual circumstances is being advised to report it to police. The cherry tree was taken from a large pot outside a bank in Market Hill, Clare between 5.30pm last Friday and 9am on Saturday. Earlier in the week two trees and a shrub were stolen from a garden in Hill Terrace, Clare between 10pm on April 13 and 6.15pm on April 14. Meanwhile, in Hundon 30 Leilandii shrubs were taken from outside a house in Farmerie Road, between Friday and Saturday. Over the same two days a shrub was taken from a front garden in Lower Road, Hundon. An attempt was also made to steal a second plant. The next theft was in the village's Lower Road, between 8pm on Friday and 7am on Saturday when a magnolia bush was stolen from a front garden. Thieves struck for a fourth time the same night in Galley Road when two Salix Hakyro-Nishki trees were from a front garden. Wixoe was also targeted between 9pm last Thursday and 5.25pm on Friday when two apple trees were stolen from another front garden in the village. A currant bush was also taken from another property's garden sometime between Monday last week and Sunday. If you have information about any of these thefts or have been offered plants, trees or shrubs in unusual circumstances or from someone at a boot sale telephone Suffolk police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from EADT24 21st April 2009)

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Soccer fan Callum heartbroken by theft

A LITTLE boy has been left heartbroken after thieves stole his goal — including posts, bar and net.
Keen footballer Callum May also lost four cherished footballs to the thieves.
The nine-year-old who plays for Exwick Youth Under 10s, has now just one football left — a birthday present. The thieves struck at Callum’s home in Coventry Road, Exwick, and are thought to have spent several days “casing” the scene before the theft.
They somehow managed to manhandle the 12ft by 6ft goal, complete with net, over a five foot garden fence and through brambles into a back lane.
Residents are being urged to watch out in case a goal suddenly appears in their garden.
The thieves’ audacity has shocked Callum’s mother, Kerrie, whose back garden was home to the goal, which the youngster used for football practice every day.
Mrs May said the goal — white, plastic-coated metal posts stuck in the ground with special supports — had been in their back garden for a significant time.
“It is a full size goal, 12 foot wide and six foot high, with nets. It has been in the garden for months,” she said.
“We disturbed some lads looking over the fence from the back lane. Then our neighbours actually caught them in our garden and they were scared off.
“But on Monday night, sometime between 10pm and 10.30pm, they must have come back and taken the goals, leaving the stakes behind.
“I don’t know how they managed to get it over our fence and all the brambles in the path.
“ I suspect one must have jumped in the garden and manhandled it over to someone else.
“Whatever happened, someone must have seen them walking about with a full-size goal.
“I would think somebody must be suspicious if a goal has suddenly arrived in their garden — and they should ask questions.”
Mrs May said that Exeter police had been informed and were investigating the theft.

(Reproduced from the Exeter Express & Echo)

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Protect your garden from pests this summer

April 16 2009
With summer just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to dusting off our patio furniture and spending some quality time with the garden gnomes.
Each year, the British public shell out thousands of pounds for new gardening equipment to spruce up their lawns and flowerbeds and make their gardens look gorgeous.
According to recent research by Marks & Spencer, the average garden contains a whopping £721 worth of greenery, while a typical shed is home to £888 worth of property.
However, the study also indicates that two people in three do not check to see if their precious garden is covered by their home insurance policy

(Reproduced from

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fishing tackle worth £800 stolen in Kidderminster

Two carp rods were among the haul from a shed in Somerleyton Avenue, Kidderminster, which was broken into between 10pm on Sunday and 7.30am on Monday April 13th.
Also stolen were two large tackle boxes, one of which was black and the other royal blue with the manufacturer’s name, Shakespeare, printed on to it.
Both boxes were full of fishing tackle and would have been too heavy to carry very far.
Police are urging anyone who saw any unusual vehicles or people acting suspiciously there overnight on Sunday to contact them on 0300 333 3000 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously and free on 0800 555 111.

(Reproduced from the The Shuttle, April 16th)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Scarred by Pot Theft

Published Date: 14 April 2009
A pensioner says she no longer feels safe in her own neighbourhood after a thief snatched an ornament from her front garden.
Retired Ruby Garrard (66) was watching television at her home in Carrington Road, Spalding, when the thief sneaked into her garden and took a soil-filled grey plastic flowerpot.She said: "My confidence is completely gone. I like my garden and now I'm retired and don't really have much else to do I spend a lot of time there."But now I feel like I dare not leaving anything out there at all in case whoever took my pot comes back for more."It did not even cost that much, so I don't even know how people who have really expensive items stolen must feel."She has not reported it to the police, but wants people on Carrington Road to be aware of the incident.She said: "I didn't report it because I think it would be like finding a needle in a haystack. I will be keeping my pots inside my front porch now until I have the confidence to put them out again."

(Reproduced from Spalding Today)

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Finger protection against Sticky Fingers!

Not even our gardens are safe from thieves. According to the article “Two thirds of households forget garden insurance” garden theft is a very big issue especially because people tend to overlook the necessity of insurance for the garden.
As a nation, we love our gardens! On average we spend in excess of seven hundred pounds on our garden yet over sixty per cent of us have no insurance in place for it. Why are we not insuring our gardens?
The reason we are failing to insure our gardens is not because we are unaware of garden crime. Over seventeen per cent of people in an M&S poll stated they knew of someone who had plants, trees and shrubs stolen. The problem is a bigger one in the north where almost a quarter of the poll knew someone who had been a victim of garden crime. Garden crime is not just about stolen plants and the like but can also include criminal damage by intruders so it is all the more surprising that people are missing the point of garden insurance. Gardeners love nothing better than to enjoy hours of every day nurturing their gardens to the extent that their patch of greenery of certain dimensions becomes a prized possession.
We lock away our precious jewellery and our cars but what of our gardens? Many gardens lack security of any kind and prove enticing to the passing thief and vandals.
When looking into garden insurance, do bear in mind that garden furniture should be covered by home contents insurance, while patios and conservatories can be covered by your buildings insurance. It is essential to shop around for the best insurance to suit you and your needs because some companies will not cover you for plant replacement while others will.

(Reproduced from The UK Insurance Blog)

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Police probe garden centre theft

Police investigating a burglary at the Acres Supply Garden Centre near Warminster have issued CCTV images of a van they are keen to trace.
Police believe the gates of the centre in Bay Tree Farm, Corsley, were broken open at about 12.30am on Sunday, March 3, before the alleged offenders returned about 4am in a white van.
Two bronze statues, one a 1.2 metre antelope and the other an 80cm foal, were stolen.
Detective Constable Jannette Challes said: "We are keen to speak to anyone who recognises the van, it is quite distinctive with a blue line around the middle and has roof rack.
"We are working hard to tackle this type of crime each and every day and information, crime prevention advice and tips for home and business security is always available through one of our crime prevention officers or by contacting their local neighbourhood policing team."
Anyone with any information surrounding this incident is asked to contact PC Robbins at Warminster Police Station on 0845 408 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.
Neighbourhood policing teams and crime prevention officers can be contacted through the force website or by calling 0845 408 7000.

(Reproduced from the Wiltshire Times 10th April)

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Residents urged to weed out garden crime

GREEN-FINGERED residents from Bromsgrove are being encouraged to nip garden crime in the bud.
West Mercia Constabulary is urging residents to help them tackle garden crime by reviewing and improving shed security.
Spring often sees an increase in thefts from garden and allotment sheds, and the constabulary report that around 1,000 shed burglaries happen each year across the force area.
Garden security is part of the force’s ‘Safe & Secure’ campaign, which provides people with advice on how they can make their homes, gardens and cars more secure.
PC Ian White, the force’s crime risk manager, said: “While many people take steps to protect their homes and the property inside them, they often leave valuable equipment such as power tools, mowers, garden tools and bikes in sheds in their gardens.
“We are advising people to look at how to secure their gardens and allotments are and if necessary make some adjustments.”
Advice offered by the force includes keeping gates, fences and walls in good condition, growing defensive planting such as prickly plants near vulnerable areas like windows, fences, and drainpipes, and secure domestic sheds by using a closed shackle padlock.

(Reproduced from the Bromsgrove Advertiser 9th April)

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sneak-in gem theft

9th April 2009
Sly criminals stole expensive loot – including gems, phones and cash – during a trio of sneak-in burglaries in a Peak District town.
Thieves entered a house on Yeld Road in Bakewell through an unlocked door while the owner was in the garden, between 1pm and 2pm on Tuesday March 24. They took credit cards, a cheque book, a mobile phone and cash. On Monday March 23, a thief sneaked in to a house on Coombs Road at 2pm while the resident was in another room and stole cash, cards and a mobile phone. And a box of valuable jewellery was stolen from a house on Park Road on Friday March 20 at 2pm while the homeowner was in the garden. Crime reduction officer Pc John Riley said: "This type of burglary is a concern because in around 30 per cent of burglaries reported to us, thieves have got in through insecure windows and doors. People should always make sure that external doors are locked, even if they are in the garden or simply another part of the house," he added.

(Reproduced from Bakewell Today)

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Lock up garden valuables, warns esure home insurance

esure has warned householders to stay vigilant with garden security as the weather warms up.
The home insurance provider said that with summer on its way, many Brits will spend more time in the garden using expensive gardening equipment.
Failing to lock this equipment away after use presents an ideal opportunity for passing thieves, esure said.
Garden tools, ladders, and toys should all be locked away to discourage opportunistic thieves from snatching them, the company advised.
The warning was issued after a study by ICM Research found that 93% of householders regularly leave expensive items out in the garden overnight.
esure is also urging consumers to check the terms and limitations of their home insurance, as many policies do not cover items left in outhouses and gardens.
Mike Pickard, esure home insurance head of risk and underwriting, said: “Brits may spend a great deal of time, money and effort on making their gardens attractive but they also need to think about security too.
“Taking a few simple steps can reduce the chances of becoming a victim of garden crime - such as the use of security lighting or prickly hedging as deterrents.”

(Reproduced from Finance Markets)

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Monday, April 6, 2009

South Yorkshire Police aim to reduce garden crime

Now's the time to get out into your garden. Crooks have the same intention too. So South Yorkshire Police have issued a leaflet helping gardeners protect against crime.
Historically, around this time of the year many police forces state that garden crime increases, some blaming the car boot sales for the increase of shed burglary or theft of gardening equipment. However crime statistics from the last three years in South Yorkshire show that January is the month during which most garden-related crime is committed.
So South Yorkshire Police have created a new colourful leaflet, Rich Pickings, that offers practical advice on making gardens, garages and sheds more secure. It also offers guidance on the types of prickly plants that can be planted to protect property, along with information on the types of approved security products available and where to purchase them.
The aim of the leaflet is to reassure people that because the warmer weather is drawing nearer it does not mean that garden crime increases. It offers some simple advice on how gardeners can increase security around our home without necessarily breaking the bank

(Reproduced from Crime Reduction Partnership News)

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Beware this insurance loophole!

British Summer Time is upon us, and all over the UK people are sprucing up their herbaceous borders and shelling out for new gardening equipment.
Unfortunately, this green-fingered activity triggers a flowering of criminal activity, too. According to research by Halifax Home Insurance, garden theft increases by 63% during the summer months.
And we're not talking about a couple of plastic plant pots, here; a study by Saga found that the average cost of replacing items stolen from gardens is £378 - almost as much as the average damage costs from floods (£391).
In total, the average contents of the average garden are worth an enormous £1,237.* Despite this, more than half of us have never checked whether our home insurance actually covers the contents of our garden.

(Reproduced from

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Check insurance deals cover garden items

2nd April 2009
As many as two in three householders are unaware whether their gardens are insured, despite a growing awareness of theft and vandalism. That is according to a new study carried out by M&S Money, which found that 67% of those green-fingered Britons polled have not checked to make sure if their insurance deals cover damage to or theft of plants, bushes, shrubs or even trees. This is in spite of the fact that 17% know at least one person who has been a victim of garden theft, while one in four people living in the north of England are likely to have seen their gardens vandalised. Judith Roberts, M&S insurance manager, said: "Householders often spend thousands of pounds securing their home to protect their family and property. "However, despite the huge amount of time and money invested in many gardens, security levels are often very poor, making them an attractive target for thieves and vandals."

(Reproduced from

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Statues stolen from garden

02 April 2009

FOUR statues and a concrete water feature have been stolen from a front garden.
Police say the items were stolen from The Barracks, Gorefield, near Wisbech, on Wednesday, March 25, between 6.30pm and 7pm.
A concrete lion, two concrete cherubs, a small concrete lion and a concrete water feature were taken and it is thought the theft may be linked to three males in hooded tops seen with a dark-coloured Ford Mondeo. Anyone with any information is asked to call March police station on 0845 456 4564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

(Reproduced from Peterborough Today)

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Don't let thieves and vandals ruin your garden

1st April 2009
Two-thirds of householders have failed to check if their plants, bushes, trees and shrubs are covered by insurance, despite the fact that the average garden contains £721 worth of greenery. As householders head into the garden this spring, the survey from home insurance provider M&S Money reveals that many people have been targeted by green-fingered criminals. The survey found that 17% of people with a garden know someone who has had plants, bushes, trees or shrubs stolen from their garden. The problem is particularly serious in northern England, where almost a quarter (24%) of adults with a garden know someone who has had greenery stolen. Plants are also a favourite target of vandals - 10% of people have had plants, bushes, trees or shrubs in their garden maliciously damaged. Gardens in Wales are most likely to be targeted by vandals, with 17% of Welsh respondents reporting they have had plants damaged. Despite the apparent extent of the problem, 67% of people have not checked whether their plants are covered by home insurance. The M&S home insurance policy covers for loss or damage to plants, bushes, shrubs and trees in the garden. Judith Roberts, M&S Insurance Manager, said: "Householders often spend thousands of pounds securing their home to protect their family and property. However, despite the huge amount of time and money invested in many gardens, security levels are often very poor, making them an attractive target for thieves and vandals. "Householders can take simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a garden crime victim. It is also wise to check whether your home insurance policy provides cover for property in the garden. "M&S Money offers the following advice to reduce the risk of being targeted by green-fingered thieves: Install automatic security lighting in the garden; A prickly hedge around the garden will help to deter intruders; Garden gates should be kept locked with a good quality bolt; Keep shrubs and trees cut back to reduce hiding places; Gravel on paths will make it more difficult for an intruder to keep quiet

(Reproduced from Finance)

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Green fingered burglars

Homeowners have been advised to ensure their garden equipment is covered under their home insurance policy as the season approaches for green fingered garden thieves.
Halifax Home Insurance found that garden theft had increased by 63 per cent last year.
With more Brits in debt because of the recession, figures are expected to increase.
Senior claims manager, Martyn Foulds, of Halifax Home Insurance warned that: "The collective cost of patio furniture, barbecues and children's play equipment can soon add up.”
He advised that Brits “check that their home insurance policy protects against theft from the garden and we'd also recommend making life as difficult as possible for the opportunist garden thief."

(Reproduced from 31st March 2009)

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Insurance broker urges extra vigilance against summer theft

Following the start of British Summer Time at the weekend, insurance broker Towergate Risk Solutions has warned consumers and businesses to be extra vigilant.
The company said that the number of burglaries committed on UK properties and business premises could potentially increase dramatically during British Summer Time (BST).
As the evenings become lighter, summertime thieves will also target garden equipment including furniture, tools, barbeques and expensive plants.
Joe Thelwell Managing Director of Towergate Risk Solutions Poole said: "When the clocks go forward consumers and businesses should exercise extra vigilance when protecting their property especially during lighter and warmer evenings.
"Theft is about opportunity and history has shown that it can increase substantially during a recession. So homeowners and business owners should pay as much attention as possible to protecting their goods both inside and outside."
Towergate Risk Solutions gives homeowners a number of top tips to protect against theft:
* Look out for warranties in your particular insurance policy – these are conditions insurers need you to comply with to ensure cover is provided;* Check with your insurance broker to ensure your home insurance policy includes the contents of sheds, garages and other outbuildings;* Many burglaries happen while people are on summer holiday. Try to arrange for a neighbour, friend or family member to visit your house every couple of days to check everything is OK and show signs of life that could deter opportunists;* Ensure windows are closed whenever you are in not in the house;* Window locks are a proven and low cost deterrent to thieves so make sure they are fitted;* Don’t leave any items of value outside unnecessarily. Check around your property to check that any valuable goods are hidden and out of sight of opportunist thieves.

(Reproduced from Propertytalk Live)

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Protect your garden with insurance - 25/03/09

A leading home insurance provider has warned homeowners to take care of their sheds and garden equipment from the risk of burglary.
Halifax Home Insurance urged gardening enthusiasts to make sure that their policies will protect them from theft or damage to their garden. With spring on the way many people will be investing large sums of money on garden equipment and a theft could well set you back a considerable sum of money.
Saga Home insurance noted that the average cost of claims related to gardening equipment was nearly £400.
"The collective cost of patio furniture, barbecues and children's play equipment can soon add up. We'd advise people to check that their home insurance policy protects against theft from the garden and we'd also recommend making life as difficult as possible for the opportunist garden thief," said Marytn Foulds from the Halifax.

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