Lock up your shiny new tools

Many sub-contractors and self-employed tradesmen will have had tools and expensive protective clothing bought for them this year as Christmas presents from their loved ones.

The temptation, once the wrapping is bagged away and the kids have their new toys littered around every acre of spare floor space, is to parcel your new tools away into the back of your van in anticipation of the return to work in the new year.

However, for those who think that contents are automatically included in their van insurance policy, they may be in for a rude awakening when they come to get ready in 2012 to find they’re not covered if they have been visited by thieves in the night.

As the mince pies settle and the early evenings draw in at the end of December, thieves use the shadows of darkness to stalk any potential vehicles, which they will have already pencilled in as targets over the days leading up to the festivities.

The commercial vehicle insurance sector are doing their level best to warn perhaps the less-experienced tradesmen that their commercial vehicles may become targets and as such reminding them that they ought to take out ancillary cover to protect their tools that is available on many van insurance policies.

break-ins more popular than you think

Swinton Commercial conducted a study on their own clients who had taken out van insurance with them.

According to their statistics, a shocking 11% of drivers have reported break-ins to their vehicle. Of those, the most rudimentary devices, such as crowbars to force the doors and locks, are the prefered tool of choice to perpertrate this crime.

Prevention is better than cure

In order to put a stop to this type of crime, here are a few simple guidelines to protect you and your family’s commitment to your livelihood:

1. if you have a garage, use it; thieves will think twice about raising two alarms to get to your prize.

2. steering locks can look ugly, but just the sight of them can often be enough deter the opportunist criminal

3. whether you use your garage or not, it is always advisable to remove your tools overnight. To hammer that message home, put a sticker on your van doors that state as such and make a show to any would-be thieves that your van is empty.

It is imperative to take out extra van cover for your tools, especially if they are critical to your livelihood. However, if losing a day or week’s pay whilst you await replacements from your insurance company (if you don’t have the capital in your business) would prove absolutely fatal, ensure all valuables are removed every time you leave your van unguarded.

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