UK tool theft remains a major cause of concern for tradespeople, impacting small businesses all around the country. On average, according to the National Federation of Master builders (FMB) more than half (51%) of UK builders have had their tools stolen. As well as being costly to replace, stolen tools can result in days or weeks of lost work so itís really important to remain vigilant.
Determined thieves will always look for opportunities, so we hope these tops tips will help you to keep your tools as safe as possible. Weíve also included information on how to speed up a claims process so if the worst does happen, youíll be able to replace your tools quickly and carry on working.
Where are tools usually stolen from?
- Vehicles parked overnight at a home address
- Vehicles parked in a hotel car park overnight when the policyholder is working away from home
- Properties having work carried out with no added security in the property. Itís also common for some properties to be targeted more than once.
What can I do to prevent my tools from being stolen?
- When locking your vehicle always test the door handle to make sure it is locked. Be as security conscious as possible.
- Never leave tools unattended.
- Invest in additional vehicle and home security. Dead locks can be added to van locks and doors to deter thieves.
- Take as many tools as possible out of your vehicle at night. If possible put them in a locked garage overnight as this is less likely to be targeted by thieves.
- Keep an inventory of all the tools you own and clearly mark them in a bright colour or your company details as this will reduce the re-sale possibility and make the tools easier to identify if found.
- Park for prevention. Reverse your vehicle up to the garage or wall blocking the van doors.
- Donít keep tools in your vehicle that are not required for the current job you are working on if possible.
- When properties are left overnight/over the weekend with tools on the premises then lock them away in a locked box in an upstairs room and make sure any alarms are used and window doors are secure.
- Keep all receipts for tools that you purchase, and keep copies if sending them to an accountant.
If I have to claim, how can I speed up the process?
- Take photographs of the break in area as soon as the theft is discovered.
- Keep all receipts for tools purchased. Most tools will have a 2 year warranty so this will also benefit you if the tools stop working.
- Keep all receipts for repaired damage to locks/windows.
- Report the theft to the police and obtain a Crime Reference Number. Then report the claim to your insurer as soon as possible.
- Make sure you have the correct level of cover. We see a lot of under insured tools claims so be sure to check the policy limits on your insurance documents and check you are insured for the correct amount.
We're partnered with Covea offering members exclusive discounts so to find out more can visit www.coveainsuratrade.co.uk to obtain a quote for public liability insurance with the option to add on tools cover too.
All my best,