Unfortunately, van tool theft is an all too common occurrence in the UK, with tools being stolen from a van every 23 minutes. Which is why making sure that you’re covered by tool insurance is vital.
Tool theft is not only an inconvenience, it prevents tradespeople from working and earning a living. Being covered by tool insurance will help you replace stolen or damaged tools and get back to work much sooner.
This guide will explain what tool insurance is, what it covers and which insurance companies you might want to consider taking out a policy with.
What is tool insurance?
Tool insurance is a way of protecting your tools, power tools and other equipment that you need to be able to work against theft, damage or loss. As tools are an essential part of any heating engineers day-to-day life, it’s fair to see that being covered by tool insurance is pretty much essential.
It’s possible that if you have some form of business insurance, and you should have public liability insurance by law, it might also cover tool insurance or can be added as an optional extra – so it’s well worth checking if your tools are already covered by an existing policy.
What is tools in transit insurance?
Tools in transit insurance will see that you’re covered should your tools be stolen from a vehicle or end up damaged as a result of being moved into or out of a vehicle.
What happens if tools are stolen?
Should you find out that your tools have been stolen, or damaged, and you’re covered by some form of stolen tools insurance, the first thing you’ll need to do is make your insurer aware. If you’re covered, they will aim to either replace the missing tools or refund the value of the tools as quickly as possible. Helping you to get back to work sooner rather than later.
The amount you’ll be covered for will depend on the insurance policy, but it is possible to take out coverage in excess of £10,000. For any claims to be valid, the insurer will expect you to have a certain level of security:
- Have a van alarm
- Lock all doors and windows
- Don’t leave the keys in the van
Is tool insurance worth it?
If you wouldn’t be able to work without your tools then having tool insurance is essential. There is the option of self-insuring (putting money aside as a back-up) in case tools go missing, but having comprehensive cover will give you much better protection.
It’s always worth reading the small print of any insurance policy to find out the circumstances you’ll be covered in. For example, some policies won’t pay out if the tools are left in your van overnight. So, if you’re unable to empty your van and night and reload it in the morning, ensure your tool insurance policy covers overnight tool theft and damage.
Some van insurance policies will also cover your tools, but you’ll need to check your policy as it could be an optional extra.
What is van insurance?
Having van insurance can often mean that your tools are covered too. You’ll need to check the policy as tools are only covered in some instances and could be an optional extra.
Van insurance with tool cover will see that you’re covered should your van be broken into and the tools stolen. However, with your tools being such an important part of any tradesperson’s life, it’s worth taking out a separate policy. After all, you wouldn’t be able to work without them.
More ways to insure your tools
It’s worth checking any existing insurance policies to see if tool insurance can be added as an extra or is already covered:
- Public liability insurance: as well as covering your company for damage caused to a property as a result of the work carried out by you or an employee, in some cases, public liability insurance will cover your tools in the event that they end up stolen or damaged.
Best tool and van insurance companies
If you’re already covered by some form of insurance, remember public liability insurance is a legal requirement, you might be able to add tool and van insurance onto your existing policy. Better yet, you might already be covered.
So, check with your current insurer, but if you do need tool or van insurance, it’s worth looking up the following insurance companies:
- Adrian Flux
- Budget Insurance
- Direct Line (your tools could be covered under their public liability insurance)
- Tools Insurance Online
- Trade Direct Insurance
- Tradesman Saver
Before going ahead with an insurance policy, it can really help to ask the insurer as many questions as possible so that you’re well aware of when you may or may not be covered.