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9th June 2008

FATHERS IN SHED LOAD OF RISK

Pottering among the paint pots and tired old tools in the ramshackle shed has long been dad’s escape route, but with many fathers now seeing the shed as a second living room the value of its contents have mushroomed.

The Great British garden shed is just as likely to house a laptop and iPod as a ladder or weed killer and Swinton is advising fathers not to lead insurers up the garden path when it comes to the value of expensive items kept in the shed.

Bikes, sprinkler systems, electric hedge clippers, cordless drills, strimmers, jet hoses, summer lights, gas BBQ’s, digital radios and even laptops, iPods and TVs have become everyday items housed in the shed.
A poll by the leading high street insurance retailer, Swinton, has revealed that the value of the average garden shed has trebled in the last ten years as a direct result of wireless internet and the growing trend for smart push bikes as more dads dabble with the carless commute to work.

From the 2,000 males surveyed*, 30% of them estimated the like-for-like cost of replacing the contents of their garden shed to be over £700, 37% at over £500, 22% at over £1,000 and 6% over £1,500. Only 5% valued the contents at less than £500.

Chris Collings Insurer Development Director at Swinton said: “Sheds full of top notch gear are a goldmine for thieves so it’s important to keep them secure and locked up. Car boot sales are full of stolen bikes and fly mowers. If you leave your shed unlocked then you might not be covered by your home contents policy so it pays to keep your items under lock and key. It’s also worth keeping receipts as proof of purchase.”

Swinton’s top tips to keeping your garden safe:

• Lock away all tools and equipment and ensure your shed is securely locked when not in use – cover windows with wire mesh on the inside.
• Use plant protection such as thorny shrubs on border fencing
• Use trellis fencing as a noisy and irksome deterrent to climbing and consider anti-climb paint for drains pipes and wall tops
• Install security lighting which comes on automatically
• Extend your burglar alarm to cover outbuildings and sheds
• Mark expensive items such as lawnmowers and bikes with your postcode
• Check home contents insurance smallprint to see if it covers the contents of your garden and garden shed or summer house
• Join your Neighbourhood watch scheme
• Consider bringing the most expensive items into the house when you go on holiday.

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* A survey of 2,000 male Swinton policy holders
Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Adele Mandy, Daniel Kennedy or Sarah Challinor at Spinoza Kennedy Vesey PR on Tel: 0161 838 7770 or email: adele.mandy@skvpr.co.uk

About Swinton

• With 470 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK’s largest high street insurance retailer.
• Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and being part of the community.
• Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
• With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of SKV Communications Ltd in the following categories: Home & Garden, Personal Finance, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.