When you’re a tradesman trying to run a small business the most important aspect of your daily routine are your tools. Whether your day-to-day role means you’re required to operate larger automated machinery, or you use a set of tools which you keep in the back of your van, your tools are expensive and extremely valuable to your trade.
With this expense and value attached to your tools, it can make them an easy target for theft. If you’ve ever been the victim of tool theft or you know someone who has, you’ll understand the frustration and financial stresses that can be caused when they are taken. It’s often the case that small business owners don’t possess the adequate insurance cover to ensure their tools are covered and are afforded with the bill of replacing their tools at an almighty cost.
This guide will give you all the information you require to help safeguard your possessions against criminals, as well as the steps to take in the unfortunate event of them being stolen. From making the most of your van’s storage and parking facilities to purchasing adequate public liability insurance to contacting the authorities as soon as the incident occurs, you’ll be well equipped to deal with any issues that you come up against.
What is tool theft?
Tool theft is, unfortunately, a common occurrence within trading circles, and it’s often the small businesses that are hit the hardest. The tools we use to help us ply our trades are valuable items, making them hot property for criminals looking to make a quick buck. Whether it’s theft of goods and materials from a construction site or someone breaking into a van overnight, tool theft is a serious threat to tradesman across the UK. In fact, the country has encountered a 30% increase in tool theft since 2017, as well as an average of 62 tool thefts reported each day across the UK. So what can we do to help prevent and deal with this growing concern?
How do I protect my tools from theft?
There are a number of different methods of proactively protecting your tools from theft, as well as dealing with the consequences once your tools are stolen. Take a look below to find out all the ways that your small or large construction business can make the most of these protections, to help their business stay secure. Possessing comprehensive Tools Insurance is one of the best ways to protect yourself against the threat of tool theft, and is available at Tradesman Saver now. Whatever industry you’re in, if you’re a tradesman these top tips will help you get the most out of your tools and insurance cover.
Locks and Safety
The first method of ensuring that your tools are as safe as they can be is by making the most of any vehicular locks across your vehicle. Often the case with trade vehicles is that the locks do not deter the criminals, who are often willing to break windows to get the goods they want. With this in mind, it’s often a good idea to remove any tools from your van overnight and place a no tools sign in the back of your vehicle. Although you are accepting the attention from potential criminals, they’re hopefully savvy enough not to smash your window in an attempt to take tools that aren’t there.
Secondly, look into where you store your vehicle overnight. When you contact an insurance provider about a policy for your tools, there are many factors considered that will impact your quote – and where your vehicle is stored overnight is a crucial factor. Often, certain areas are deemed more dangerous than others and, depending on where your vehicle is, could result in higher insurance premiums. It’s a good idea to look into storing your van in a garage overnight or an adequate storage facility, to not only reduce your insurance premiums but also the chances of a break in.
Possessing adequate insurance cover should always be the first step you take when looking to set up your business against any potential negative events. This can be an injury to your employers covered by employer’s liability insurance, or cover for your tools, as well as injury or damage inflicted to the general public. This cover can prove invaluable in helping finance your business across tough periods, especially when the number of vans thefts is on the rise.
Furthermore, it should be noted that public liability insurance is an extremely wise choice to make, whatever line of business you’re in. Public Liability Insurance will cover you against any incident related to a third party or claim against your business. Some likely scenarios are if a member of the public gets injured in relation to your work, or a property you’re working on is damaged. Liability Insurance will also cover you against potential suing claims made against your business.
In addition to Public Liability Insurance, it’s also mandatory to purchase employer’s liability insurance to offer you cover in the event of one of your employees making a claim against you or being injured on the job. Employer’s liability insurance cover is a legal requirement in the UK, as opposed to the optional purchase of public liability insurance.
Contact the authorities
Once you’ve done all of the above, another positive step to take would be to contact the authorities to record that there’s been a theft. Although your tools are covered by your insurance company, it would still make your life – plus the lives of your fellow, local tradespeople – much easier, were the perpetrator of these crimes taken off the streets and no longer able to steal tools. The police will offer a crime number and keep a lookout for anyone looking to sell tools similar to yours, in an attempt to reclaim them. This should be done as soon as you realise that your tools have been stolen.
By now, we hope you’ve gained a solid understanding of some of the ways you can combat your small business against the potential and after effects of tool theft. Whether it’s purchasing some adequate tradesman insurance in the form of public liability insurance, or simply finding a safer place to store your vehicle, take our advice and follow the steps above to ensure your business isn’t at a financial loss. Tradesman Saver offers tradesmen a range of quality and affordable tailored insurance packages.