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Home Tool Insurance Tips for keeping your tools and equipment safe 24/7

Tips for keeping your tools and equipment safe 24/7

It wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that, when you are a tradesman, your tools are your livelihood. Without them, you simply can’t do your job – and, for that reason, it is essential, not merely a good idea, to make sure they are covered by tools and equipment insurance. However, prevention is better than cure…

In other words, you should endeavour to preserve the safety of your tools and equipment to prevent yourself from needing to dip into your insurance in the first place. Sadly, that’s much easier said than done, given a backdrop of thieves who are becoming cleverer about how they steal trade supplies.

Many figures about tool theft in the UK are undoubtedly sobering. For example, new data from Herts Tools, reveals that tool theft has increased 150% since 2020, costing the industry a staggering £2.8 billion. If you rely on your tools to get the job done, the following tips could help you avoid financial disaster.

The latest data from Herts Tools reveals theft in London has increased over the years, with 34,712 tools stolen in 2021 alone.

Maintain an up-to-date inventory of your tools

Yes, all of them. Without logging all of your tools in an inventory, you can’t expect your insurer to be capable of accurately reimbursing you if you do lose any of those tools. If they are lost to theft, that inventory could even make it easier for you to track them down again.

Whenever you add a new tool to the inventory, you should take a photograph of it and note down the serial number. Meanwhile, for proof of purchase, you could source the original receipt or, if you struggle to find this, a calibration certificate instead

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When you do buy new items to add to your inventory, you will likely need to notify your insurer. And don’t underestimate the power of serial numbers – they could prove useful if the items are resold and you want to track them down.

It’s also especially importantly, keep that inventory away from the tools. It would be tragic if this inventory was stolen, perhaps even accidentally by someone who simply had their eye on your tools.

Keep your vehicle properly locked when leaving it unattended

When taking out a public liability insurance policy from Tradesman Saver, you can add tools and equipment insurance for an extra fee. Take heart that this additional cover will remain valid even if your tools are stolen from an unattended vehicle. The few stipulations here include that the vehicle is locked when the loss occurs, while all of that vehicle’s windows are closed and keys removed.

However, the mantra “prevention is better than cure” is once again emphasised, meaning that you can take particular, security-conscious steps before you leave the vehicle. For example, you could lock your tools away in a toolbox or even a van safe before locking all of these in the van itself.

On the subject of locking the van, properly secure it with extra deadlocks and alarms.

Ideally, though, you shouldn’t leave that van unattended at all. If you are set to park outside a shop or petrol garage, one good idea is to park with the side-loading door facing the entrance, if possible. This would prevent thieves from being able to unload your van without you noticing.

Power hand tools made up the majority of thefts between 2021 and 2022, with 86% of suspects never found.

Where possible, don’t leave tools in your van overnight

Yes, it will take extra time and effort for you to move tools from your van to inside your home, but those items will be much safer there. If you stay overnight in a hotel or travel-lodge, you should still remove tools from the vehicle when this is practically possible.

If you can’t remove all of the pieces of equipment, focus on just the most expensive ones. You can also attach “no tools are stored in this van overnight” stickers to your vehicle to deter thieves.

You can also attach “no tools are stored in this van overnight” stickers to your vehicle to deter thieves.

Be careful where you park your van

We’ve already provided a little advice for how to park a vehicle near a shop or petrol garage – but if, for one reason or another, you feel a need to leave your vehicle out of sight, you can still take a few security measures.

For example, endeavour to park your vehicle in low-crime areas and, when possible, close to a CCTV security system. Also, be wary of parking your van outside hardware stores and builders merchants, given reports of thieves waiting in these areas to pounce on tradesmen’s vans.

Scrutinise the small print of your insurance policy

At Tradesman Saver, we provide tools and equipment cover as part of a broad package including readily issued covers of public liability, financial loss, products liability, legal expenses and accidental death.

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Starting at £54* per year

You can tailor that insurance package further by adding options like employer’s liability, personal accident and short-term income protection. However, whichever choices you settle on, if they include tools and equipment cover, you should check the policy meets the demands of your business.

You should verify, for example, whether that insurance will protect your tools 24/7. And, you should ask the insurer for details of exactly when and where your tools will be covered.

With Tradesman Saver, you can easily tailor your cover to meet your specific requirements. As standard this cover includes:

  • Up to £10,000 tool cover per person
  • Includes cover for theft from unattended vehicles (higher excess may apply)
  • Covered on an All Risks basis anywhere in the UK

And, your public liability policy is bundled with these perks, at no extra cost:

  • Up to £250,000 legal expenses cover
  • £10,000 accidental death cover
  • Up to £1 million public and products lability
  • Work abroad cover for up to 14 days
  • Access to counselling, tax and business support helplines

If you’re looking for robust protection for your trade, click Get a Quote to get started.

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