Tool Insurance Comparison Guide

Tool theft is now at an all time high in the UK, with stolen tools costing tradespeople a staggering £94,521,600 in 2016 and a total of 23,859 incidents of tool theft from a van in 2017/18.

There are various things you can do to your van to ensure it is more secure, such as dead locks, OBD (on board diagnostic) locks, alarms and van vaults for tools, but you should also go the extra mile and insure your tools. We have compared some of the most popular options for standalone tool cover and also tool cover as an optional add on to existing business insurance.

By insuring your tools, in either a standalone cover or with your public liability insurance, it means that your tools are protected, and you therefore have a greater chance of getting back on your feet and trading as soon as possible.

From our research, we have found that there are some companies who will offer standalone cover just for your tools, and some will offer tool coverage as an add on to existing public liability business insurance. If you already have public liability insurance in place, try calling your insurer up to verify if your cover includes tools, if not, enquire about the cost of adding it on to your existing insurance.

The value of the tool covered can start from as little as £500 and go up to £30,000 with some providers, and you need to choose a cover that accurately reflects the cost to replace your entire existing tool kit, should the worst case arise and you lose everything.

Advice for choosing your tool insurance

You should always remember to check the insurance policy wording to see what is covered. One of the most common varying factors we found was when tools are kept overnight in the van, as some providers will have certain stiputlations in place for this or will not cover you for overnight van storage. Varying factors included no insurance between certain times for tools kept in the van and cover only being valid when parked on a drive, in a garage or secured car park.

In the event of any claim, you will be required to provide proof of ownership to your insurer, so make sure you have copies of all of your receipts, serial numbers and also take regular photos of your tools.

It is also important that you always remember to do your research before signing on with any insurance company. Check company reviews from people who have claimed with that company, in order to get a better idea of the claims process.

Remember to choose a level of tool cover that accurately reflects the total cost of your tools. You will only be allowed to claim up to however much your cover allows.

A tip from the professionals

Although it can be annoying, if you can, it is best to remove your tools from the van overnight and over the weekend if you are not working.

Aside from theft reasons, it doesn’t do your tools any favours to be left in the van overnight during winter, as a van can get damp and cold and you will risk damaging your tools, such as testing equipment and hand tools. For hand tools, the plating can wear off after a while and damp, cold conditions will mean they could go rusty quickly. We would always advise to take your tools out of your van overnight and keep them safe in your house or garage.

Standalone Tool Cover

If you already have business insurance and are looking to just insure your tools, then take a look at the chart below, which compares some of the biggest insurance providers who offer standalone tool cover.

We would always recommend contacting the insurance provider directly to discuss tool cover further, as every policy is unique.

 

Insurance ProviderUnderwritten byTool cover optionsCover for tools kept in the van overnight?Single item limit?Excess?Cost? (per year)
AutonetAvivaStandalone tool cover available from £500 to £10,000Autonet will not cover your tools in the van if the vehicle is left on the road or a drive overnight. The vehicle must be kept in a locked and secure garage or secure compound or private car park for your tools to be covered.No single item limit.Depends on who your policy is with, as different levels of cover have different excesses.Premiums start from £40.95.
A PlanN/A – varies as A Plan source from a number of insurersStandalone tool cover available up to £15,000Yes, A Plan will cover you tools kept in the van overnight, but only on their £15,000 cover options and there are signs of forceable entry.Depends on who your policy is with.£100 minimum.Premiums start from £49.
Adrian FluxAgeasTwo types of standalone tool cover, up to £5,000 or up to £20,000 – also available to add on to vehicle insuranceAdrian Flux require the equipment not to be left in the van for more than 48 hours without being checked. To be covered between 10pm and 6am, the vehicle must be kept in either a securely locked garage or parked in a secure, gated compound, or parked on the insurers driveway off-road, adjacent to the private house for the theft cover to be remain in force. There is no theft cover for tools if the van is parked on the street overnight.£1,500£100.For £5,000 cover, the premium is £89 and for £20,000 cover, the premium is £159.
Trade Direct InsuranceZurich Insurance GroupStandalone tool cover from available from £1,000 to £15,000Yes, Trade Direct Insurance includes overnight cover, no matter where the vehicle is parked, as long as the windows are up and the doors are locked.No single item limit.Can vary depending on level of cover:
• Cover between £1k to £4k has an excess of £100 for each claim.
• Cover between £5k and £9k has an excess of £250 for each claim.
• Cover between £9k and £15k has an excess of £500 for each claim.
• Claims for work tablets and laptops has a minimum excess of £250 per claim.
Premiums start at £54.80 for £1,000 cover – you can also pay monthly or annually.
Quoteline DirectWilson InsuranceStandalone tool cover available from £500Yes, Quoteline Direct offer 24 hours theft cover for all of your tools, including equipment and materials.No single item limit.£100 – £250.For goods in transit policy, with a minimum £10,000 cover, it is £132

Tool Cover with Business Insurance

Many business insurance providers will now offer tool cover as an optional add on. If you already have business insurance, check with your provider to see if you can add it on to your existing policy.

We’ve compared just a few of the most popular choices for business insurance with tool cover available to add on. Costs for adding on tool cover to business insurance can vary depending on many factors, including location, trading history and your trade, which is why for many insurance providers, you will have to request a quote to find out the best price. If you have any questions about cover, then we would always recommend giving the insurance company a call to discuss.

 

Insurance ProviderUnderwritten byTool cover optionsCover for tools kept in the van overnight?Single item limit?Excess?Cost to add onto existing business insurance? (per year)
AxaAxa Insurance PlcCover available includes: £2,500, £7,500, £12,500, £15,000, and can go up to £20,000Yes, Axa insurance includes overnight cover, no matter where the vehicle is parked, as long as the windows are up and the doors are locked.No single item limit.The excess is 10% of the claim and subject to a minimum of £100 and a maximum of £500. For example, if you claimed for £500, you would still be required to pay the minimum of £100.Starting from £40 to add on to public liability or employers liability.
AvivaAvivaCover available up to £30,000Yes, Aviva insurance includes overnight cover, no matter where the vehicle is parked, as long as the windows are up and the doors are locked.No single item limit.Depends on the cover type, but maximum excess is £350.Depends on cover type, but must add on to public liability or employers liability.
Directline for BusinessUK Insurance LtdCover available on their tradesman policies include: £500, £1,000, £2,500, £5,000 and £10,000No, Directline do not cover tools in the van overnight between 9pm and 6am, unless the vehicle is in a securely locked building or guarded security park. They will cover tools stored in your house overnight.No single item limit.£100.No fixed priced – calculated on the trade and individual details, such as trading history and location.
Tradesman SaverCovea InsuranceCover available up to £5,000 when buying online and £10,000 when buying over the phoneYes, Tradesman Saver insurance includes overnight cover.No single item limit.If stolen from site/home it is £100 and if stolen from an unattended van it is £250.Depends on the area (if high theft area), trading history and no claims discounts, but prices can start from £30.

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