Tradesman Insurance: Insuring your work tools and equipment
We know you can't run your business without your tools, and keeping them secure should be a top priority. We've put together some tips to help you keep them safe and secure.
Damage, loss, destruction and theft. These are not the words you want to hear when talking about your work tools or equipment. Whether you're a carpenter, builder, painter and decorator or gardener, tools are your livelihood and keeping them secure should be a top priority.
Our research shows that £83 million worth of tools were stolen across England and Wales between 2017 and 2019, with 28 per cent of these tools being stolen from vehicles. There are many ways to keep your tools and equipment safe and secure; see below for some top tips for keeping your trade tools and equipment protected.
Top tips for keeping tools and equipment inside your vehicle safe:
- When you're done for the day, remove any tools and equipment from your vehicle overnight.
- Choose your parking spot carefully. Use busy, well-lit and secure parking areas.
- Make sure your vehicle is locked whenever you are not inside it.
- Fit a good alarm or immobiliser onto your vehicle. It may also be good to have a warning sticker to deter any possible thieves.
- Do not leave any valuable items on display.
Tools don't only get stolen from vehicles, our research shows that 20 per cent of tools are stolen from private residences and 10 per cent from worksites or places of business. It's important you keep tools and equipment safe and secure when not in your vehicle also. Below are some other useful tips on how:
Top tips if you keep your tools in a storage unit:
- Fit and maintain security systems to storage buildings, such as lights, alarms, locks, entry systems and CCTV.
- Be discrete, don't keep your tools and equipment in a unit with windows or gaps that can easily show what you have stored inside - this only encourages thieves to want to get inside.
- Rather than storing your tools in a unit at the end of your garden or in your garage why not look at self-storage units? Self-storage companies will have more security around the building e.g. CCTV, patrols and better locks, and only you will have access to your unit.
Other top tips for keeping your tools and equipment safe:
- Protectively mark your equipment so its easily recognisable if they do go missing.
- Keep an inventory of your tools and other equipment.
- Shred sensitive information belonging to you or your customers when you no longer need it.
- If you're doing admin (e.g. invoices, quotes, etc.) from home on a computer, make sure that all your documents are backed up and your IT equipment is protected from viruses.
Tools and equipment insurance:
For tradespeople, having the right tools is crucial to running a successful business. If your tools are stolen, you risk having to cancel jobs and disappoint your clients. You might have to purchase new tools, which is something that you might not have budgeted for. That's why it's important to have adequate tradesman insurance for your work tools and equipment in case something does go wrong.
What should you consider when deciding what policy to buy:
- What is included in the policy and what's expected from you? For example, if tools are left on site, what are the minimum-security requirements you need in place to be covered? Will equipment stolen from a parked vehicle or a vehicle in transit be covered?
- What extras can you add on to your policy to ensure you are fully covered for your individual business? For example, we now provide overnight tools cover, which can be added to your policy for an additional premium.
- What's the value of your work tools and equipment? It's important that you don't underestimate this as it may leave you out of pocket when you need to replace items.
When you're not covered:
Buying the right insurance is vital for keeping your tools and equipment safe should something go wrong, but it can sometimes be quite a daunting task. You should do plenty of research into what insurance you need and what you're covered for.
Make sure to read carefully what you will and won't be covered for to ensure that if you do have to make a claim there aren't any issues.
Examples of when you might not be covered:
- Having the 'No tools left overnight' sticker but still leaving your tools in your van. Even though this does sometimes deter thieves, how many people actually empty their vans? Don't take the risk, empty your van and save yourself the hassle.
- If your tools break due to wear and tear. If a piece of your equipment or one of your tools breaks or is no longer useable due to general wear and tear, you will not be covered by your insurance. Keep your tools and equipment in good condition and keep them safe to avoid unnecessary pay-outs to replace them yourself.
Now you have the tips, how can we help?
We understand that your work tools and equipment are your business. Without them you wouldn't be able to do your job so taking steps to minimise risks is key. Having adequate tradesmen insurance in place will also help to reduce business disruption should something go wrong. From public liability to tools cover, we've got you covered. Read more about tradesman insurance here.