Tool insurance

If you transport tools in your van for work, it might be worth looking into a tool insurance policy.

Tradespeople stood outside van with tools

What is tool insurance?

Tool insurance could help get you back to work quickly if something happens to the tools you need to do your job.

Whether you’ve been hit by theft, accident, fire or flood, it could help you replace or repair all sorts of work tools.

And because insurers appreciate that lost tools likely equal lost money, interim payouts under these polices tend to be quick.


What does van tool insurance cover?

Van tool insurance covers the tools you take out with you to do your job, whether you’re a plumber, electrician or landscape gardener.

You can insure a wide range of tools such as hand tools, power tools and plant equipment. Some policies might also cover things such as work laptops and cameras.

Alongside insuring your own tools in your van, you could get cover for hire tools and equipment that you buy on hire purchase as well.

As you might think, most tool thefts tend to happen at night. But an awful lot of work tools go missing or get damaged while out on jobs during the day.

You won’t be keeping an eye on your van all the time at work, so insuring your tools gives you peace of mind.


What are the benefits of insuring my tools?

If someone steals your tools you’re unlikely to see them again.

In 2019, the Metropolitan Police recorded 6,800 cases of work tools being stolen from vehicles.

People got their tools back in just 26 cases and not all the tools were in a useable state.

It can be hard to establish who tools belong to. Marking your tools in an obvious way should give you a better chance of proving they’re yours should they be recovered.

You can back this up by adding your details with a pen whose ink only shows up under UV light.

You could also register details such as serial numbers and photos of your tools with a tool database.


How to get tool insurance

Chances are if you’re looking for van tool insurance, you’re likely to have a van.

So you can insure the tools in your van at the same time as getting your van insurance.

And if you use your van to move goods around as well, you can add tool insurance to your goods in transit insurance.

Visit our specialist goods in transit insurance provider, Quote me today for a quote

Get a quote

Or call 01227 285540 to speak to a member of their team


Things to consider when getting tool insurance

Not all insurance for work tools will be the same, so check what’s covered before you insure your tools. Look at the small print.

Is the maximum pay out enough? If you lost all your tools at once, would you be able to replace them all under the policy?

Do you want the original amount you paid for the tools back? If so, new-for-old insurance could be what you are looking for.

To get this, you might need proof of what you paid for your tools, so keep your receipts.

If you don’t go for new-for-old insurance, the insurance company might pay out less according to how old the tools in your toolbox are.

Does the policy cover you for tools left in the van overnight? You might need this option if you work away or can’t empty the van of tools all the time.

And if you have this option, can you fulfil the terms set out in the policy? You might have to have off-street parking or be required to park the van where you can keep an eye on it.

Does the policy insure your tools when they’re in your house? Are they already covered by your home insurance?

How much is the excess on the policy? Is the amount you’re expected to pay yourself too high to make the policy worthwhile?


How to keep your tools safe in your van

While the sign on the side of your van is good advertising for you, it also gives potential thieves an idea of what they might find if they break in.

Tools are attractive to thieves, with more than half of roofers, electricians, plumbers and carpenters surveyed saying that they'd had work tools stolen.

Keeping your tools safe in your van has two aspects:

  • Preventing would-be thieves from breaking into your van in the first place

  • Making it harder to find something of value should they manage it.

The noisier and more difficult it is for someone to get into your van, the less appealing trying to steal your tools becomes.

Vans from different manufacturers will have different weak spots. Find out how thieves tend to target your vehicle and take steps to improve the security of your van.

If your van has factory fitted deadlocks, be sure to use them. It might be worth considering adding extra van locks as well.

Steering wheel locks could be an effective deterrent as could big locks on the outside of the van.

If your van has keyless entry, keep fobs in a metal tin or protective wallet, also called a Faraday pouch.

This thwarts relay theft where thieves drive off after tricking the vehicle into thinking you and the key fob are nearby.

Make sure any alarm covers the cargo area of the van and use a tool safe in the van for any particularly valuable items.

Try to park in a well-lit area, with CCTV, close to your home or where you’re working.

Make side the load door and rear door hard to access by parking up against a wall or in a garage.

Consider fitting a tracker. Thieves may take the van full to unload it elsewhere. You might not be able to reclaim your tools, but you could at least get your van back.