For van drivers who are sole-traders or sub-contract employees in the construction trade, they may be looking at this article wondering why tool cover is not part and parcel of all commercial van insurance policies.
It is so essential to have your livelihood covered by this ancillary if your career path means heavy investment in your own tools, that it just doesn’t make sense to risk doing without, especially with van theft seeing increase after increase in the press since we rode tentatively into 2012 on the back of the worst recession since the Tories were last in power.
However, given the nature of tool cover and how expensive an aspect it can be, depending upon the amount you wish to insure against loss or theft*, it has to be kept as a separate issue. Even two traders who perform similar tasks may view the import placed on their tools differently and opt for greater or lesser cover than the other. That is without even taking into consideration van drivers who do just that for a living – drive vans – who, for them, tool cover would mean an expense they’re never going to justify if it formed part of the base policy document.
Tool cover (also referred to as ‘Goods in Transit’ by some commercial vehicle insurance firms) insures against theft tools that you transport with you as a necessary component to perform your job. And it does have its own policy – if your van were to be taken from site along with your tools, you would claim for the van on its insurance policy and the tools separately on theirs.
Strict conditions for tool cover insurance apply
Due to the nature of the beast, i.e. thieves seeing tools like magpies see shiny things, you may have to meet certain security criteria before you qualify for tool cover. Replacing tools is not cheap; it’s difficult to prove exactly what was and wasn’t taken unless the thieves are caught red-handed. But, if you take your business and livelihood seriously, you should have all manner of security features fitted to your van, if for no other reason than to help you obtain cheap van insurance in the first place, irrespective of whether you’re taking out separate tool cover, or not.
*One last point about tool cover. If you have a specialist career and the tools you carry with you are, in their own rite, extremely expensive to replace, check the details of the policy carefully. Some van insurance tool cover bolt-ons set a maximum value for any one single item. You may have to pay a little more overall, but it’s better than paying for insurance that will hardly touch the cost of what it’s supposed to cover in the result that the tools are stolen.