A good tradesman never blames his tools – but he might be forgiven for doing so if they are lost, damaged or stolen.
UK tradesmen are currently facing what many call an “epidemic” of thefts of tools from vans, according to a report by the BBC on the 28th of April 2017, which revealed that the incidence of such thefts has surged by almost 66% in the past two years. It seems that a tradesmen’s van is being broken into and tools stolen every 23 minutes.
Each incident may cost the typical tradesman hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
Tradesman insurance – tools
The surest defence against this type of heavy financial loss is to include tools insurance in your general tradesman insurance plan.
Although protects your tools against damage, loss and theft, here at Specialist4Business, we also warn our clients that most policies of this type specifically exclude the theft of tools which have been left in the van overnight.
Even with the appropriate insurance, therefore, you still need to mitigate the risk of theft by taking your tools somewhere more secure when you have finished work for the day.
Tradesman insurance – additional risks
Important as your tools insurance might be, tradesman insurance typically meets a host of additional different insurance requirements, such as:
- it is not just the tools inside, but the van itself that is at risk of theft or attempted theft;
- any tradesman is likely to be at a complete loss if it were not for the van used for getting from one job to another, transporting personnel, supplies and materials;
- van insurance is also necessary, of course, for meeting your legal requirement for a minimum level of third party cover at all times – and for avoiding the stiff penalties you might otherwise face for driving an uninsured motor vehicle;
Employers’ liability insurance
- whether you are employing just a single assistant or apprentice or a whole band of tradesmen, the law requires that you have a minimum of £5 million of employers’ liability insurance;
- the reasoning behind this legislation is that you must be able to meet any claims from current or former employees who have been injured or contracted a longer-term illness through the work they have done for you;
Public liability insurance
- you have a quite separate, but similar, duty of care to take all reasonable precautions against injury or property damage suffered by your customers, neighbours or even members of the general public;
- although there is no legal requirement for you to have public liability insurance as a defence against such claims, it is worth remembering that you may be ordered to pay very substantial compensation – especially if someone is injured – and that is why this element of tradesman insurance typically provides a minimum of £1 million indemnity.
Tradesmen depend on their tools and that is why they are worth taking especial care of, especially when choosing somewhere to keep them overnight. Whilst tool insurance may play an important role in your general need for tradesman insurance, however, it is by no means the only – or even the most important – requirement.