Tool theft is a growing problem, with equipment being stolen from construction sites and even the back of vehicles. Thieves often target these items for their high resale value.
And for tradies, having their tools lost or stolen is a huge financial blow. The impact of the crime isn’t limited to the cost of replacing the tool; they might also have to cancel projects until they get the replacement.
Tradies must have the appropriate measures to ensure that their tools are secure, from properly IDing their equipment to considering their protection and tool insurance options.
IMAR shares four ways to prevent tool theft.
1. ID your equipment
Putting your name on your tools won’t ward off thieves, but it would increase your chances of recovering your tools if they get stolen. It’s not enough to print your name on your equipment because this can easily be erased or covered.
The police encourage tradies to have their tools engraved. Engraving with a unique marking makes it easier for the police to prove that the tool is stolen. It also becomes easier to locate the true owner.
The police further recommends having your name, initials or driver’s licence number engraved on your tools. With your licence number, they’ll be able to quickly find you and your address in their system, so they can return your stolen tools faster.
2. Secure your vehicle
Tools can be stolen even if they’re in your vehicle. As much as possible, don’t leave your tools in your vehicle overnight. If that’s not possible, make sure your car has the appropriate security measures, including a working alarm and locks. Routinely check your vehicle to make sure it’s secure.
You also need a lock-up system for your tools inside your car. It can be a toolbox with hard-to-pick locks. Choose one that fits under the backseat so that it’s hidden from view when you leave it in your vehicle for long hours.
3. Use Tool Protect
Use the Tool Protect mobile app. Tool Protect is a virtual toolbox where tradies can register all their equipment, including the serial numbers. The app makes identification and recovery easier in case your tools are stolen.
In just a few clicks, Tool Protect also lets you generate police and insurance reports containing relevant information, such as photos of your tools and their serial numbers. The app helps you process your police report faster, increasing your chances of retrieving your tools.
4. Review your tool insurance options
Tool insurance protects you financially in case of equipment loss or theft. Your coverage will cover the cost of the replacement, as long as you are not at fault for the incident. Deliberate damage, wear and tear from overuse, manufacturing faults and cosmetic damage are also not part of the coverage.
At its most basic, the policy can cover the theft, loss or damage of tools that are held in your vehicle, at construction sites, in locked boxes or at home. Most policies cover the damages for break-ins, since most methods for tool theft involve forced entry, regardless of where the tool was kept.
Look for a tool insurance policy that does not have an item limit. Otherwise, even if you can claim a payout of over $2,000, you won’t be able to recover it if the tool that needs replacing isn’t covered by the policy.
Speak to a reputable insurance broker to make sure your policy provides all your needs.
Protect Your Tools, Protect Your Livelihood
IMAR provides much-needed reliable coverage for builders, tradies and businesses. We offer insurance policies to fully insure your livelihood from potential losses, including tools insurance and income protection.
Contact us today and let’s talk about how we can protect your tools and your livelihood.
To the extent that any material on this page may be considered advice, it does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement and policy wording before taking out an insurance policy.