A recent survey by Honcho insurance reveals that tool theft from vans is costing businesses an average of £5,584 with 89% saying that their van insurance didn’t cover the full cost of replacement.
And tool thefts are on the increase. A tradesperson’s van is broken into on average every 20 minutes in the UK and the financial impact is not just on the cost of replacing tools but being unable to work is costing installers an additional £5,892 in missed work. Not only that, but installers can also face negative reviews from customers and suffer reputational damage as a result of not being able to carry out work booked in.
If you live in London, Birmingham or Sheffield, you are most at risk according to another survey by Simply Business, which revealed the main hotspots for van break-ins.
Tools can be a substantial investment so what can you do to protect your van, tools and work?
Fit additional security to your van, whether improved locks, upgrading your alarm, dash cams that can record both in and outside your van, using grills and/or tints, or even investing in a separate safe for inside your van. Also, make sure you take your tools or ladders in with you at the end of the day, even if you have overnight cover.
Ensure you have the right level of tool insurance that covers the full replacement cost. Tool insurance can be bought separately or usually, you can add it to your business insurance. Remember, not all insurance covers tools left overnight. Make sure you also check the excess.
If you own your van, make sure you notify your insurance provider of additional security features. If you are leasing a van, make sure you check with the leasing company before adding any additional security measures.
Make sure you park in a safe location that is well lit and visible to others, preferably in an area with CCTV. Also, park smart to prevent thieves from accessing rear and side doors and make sure you take your tools in with you at the end of the day, even if you have overnight cover.
Keep records and mark your property
Marking your tools and business equipment is a must so that if the police do find your van or tools, you can instantly prove they are yours. It is also recommended to keep a note of serial numbers and take regular pictures of the inside of your van, so you have proof for any claims.