Tools insurance claims: what you need to know

For the likes of builders, landscape gardeners and many other trades, tool insurance is often an essential part of their insurance policy.

Running a business is tricky enough and should tools be lost, stolen or damaged, many would be left unable to work. However, tailored tools cover gives business owners the peace of mind to focus on the important things.

And when it comes to purchasing insurance, the most important thing is the comfort that you’re covered correctly. So here we’ll explain some of the finer points that you should know…

Insuring your tools

When setting up your policy, it’s essential that you cover the full value of your tools. If you under-insure then this could significantly reduce the settlement you’re offered in the event of a claim, due to the insurance principle of average.

It’s also worth noting that not all policies offer new for old cover. Certain policies will include a condition that states age, condition and how often a tool is used will all be considered when paying out on a claim.

Also keep in mind that if you don’t have a ‘new for old’ policy, then the amount of money you will be offered for your tools upon claiming will not necessarily be what you paid for them when they were new.

Security conditions

The majority of tools cover policies will include security endorsements, specifying the required conditions for the safety of your tools.

These conditions will include details such as the construction of the building you’re keeping the tools in, vehicle alarm specifications and the need for the vehicle to be kept in a locked compound overnight.

These conditions can vary based on the amount of tools cover you need, so be sure to keep your insurer up to date with any changes.

If the worst should happen and you need to make a claim on your tools insurance, be mindful of the fact that you’ll be asked to provide proof of the type of alarm your vehicle has installed.

Tips for preventing a claim

In an ideal world, you’ll want to avoid claiming for your tools altogether.

With specialist tools costing into the thousands, they can be inevitably attractive to would-be thieves. Avoid leaving your tools unattended whilst on site, and consider painting their tips to deter the light-fingered. Alternatively, use an invisible marker to make them easier to trace should they be stolen.

If the alarm on your vehicle doesn’t match the security conditions of your policy, keep your tools with you whilst on the job, and remove them from the vehicle whilst at home.

How to help your claim

So you’ve fully insured your tools, read your policy documents for security conditions, and taken the necessary precautions - yet accidents can happen and sometimes claims are unavoidable. Follow this advice, however, and you ought to help streamline your claims experience and get back to business as soon as possible.

If you’re VAT registered you’ll already need to keep receipts of new tools, but getting in the habit of keeping receipts will also be helpful in the event of a claim. Along with keeping receipts, photographs will also assist in identifying your tools should they be stolen.

In the unfortunate event that your tools are stolen, you should report it to the police immediately and it will help if you’ve kept a record of serial numbers. The police will provide you with a Crime Reference Number (CRN), which you’ll later provide to the claims handler.

However, before even lodging a claim, make sure that you are aware of your tools excess. With excesses ranging from £100 to £500 – or even a percentage of the value you’ve insured – knowing this figure beforehand will save you time, should the amount be within the excess.

Got a question about tools insurance? Ask us in the comments below. Or for Simply Business customers with specific claims queries, you can call our claims team on 0333 207 0560.

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