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Tools Insurance - Why it’s More Important than Ever

Troy Stevens 25 June 2021

Here at Rhino Trade Insurance, we’ve been providing insurance to hardworking tradespeople for years. 

As a result, we know a thing or two about what goes on in the world of trade insurance. In fact, call us the experts.

But this time, we’ve got bad news. Since we started offering tools insurance, we’ve seen more and more claims coming through for tool theft. It’s on the rise – and the hardworking tradesmen and women of the UK are paying the price.

Tool theft – a growing problem

Our research tells us that tool theft is the number one concern for self-employed professionals working in almost every trade. After all, you need them to earn your living. They don’t call them the tools of the trade for nothing.

Tool theft is nothing new. In Victorian times, stealing tools would see offenders shipped off to Australia as punishment. These days they’re more likely to get a suspended sentence. We won’t weigh in on whether we think either of those punishments are fair, but if you see us down the pub, we’ll be happy to elaborate.

Anyway, tool theft is steadily increasing in the UK. But there’s more bad news – with the looming cost-of-living crisis, tool theft is set to get even worse.

Tool theft could cost you a fortune

When tool theft happens to you, it can be frustrating, stressful and extremely inconvenient. 

As well as the mental toll it takes, tool theft is financially devastating. If your work vehicle is raided and thieves make off with your equipment, we doubt we’re talking about a couple of rusty spanners here. Power tools and specialist trade equipment are seriously valuable commodities (hence why thieves target them in the first place) and your stash is likely to be worth several grand.

Do you have thousands hanging around in loose change? Even if you do have it to hand, you’ve already shelled out once for your prized tools. We doubt you’ll want to replace your kit like-for-like out of your own pocket.

Also – you won’t be able to work until you’ve got them replaced. If your cash flow won’t allow you to do that straightaway, you could be looking at a week or more of lost income on top of the cost of replacing everything that was stolen.

In some cases, thieves will make off with your work vehicle itself, with everything inside. Now we are talking about a seriously costly theft that will bring your working week to a screeching halt.

What can I do about tool theft?

Ultimately, you can’t stop tool theft happening to you. Ask around – we bet it’s happened to several tradespeople you know. 

There are some things you can do to minimise the risk of tool theft, of course. Deadlock your vehicle, slap on a bumper sticker that says, ‘No tools are kept in this vehicle overnight’ and point a camera (even a dummy one) at your vehicle, making sure the camera is in plain sight to deter opportunist thieves.

Unfortunately, thieves are getting smarter, bolder, and frankly more desperate, so deadbolts and a CCTV system aren’t always enough stop them.

So, there is no guaranteed way stop your tools being taken in the first place. Having said that, you CAN protect yourself from the financial blow tool theft brings. 

Enter tools insurance from Rhino, the trade insurance experts.

Tools insurance – no tradesperson should be without it

At Rhino, we specialise in insurance for self-employed contractors and tradespeople. Our industry-leading Tools in Transit Insurance is one of our most requested types of cover.

But what is Tools in Transit Insurance exactly?

Basically, for a few quid a month you can insure the tools you use and rely on every day. That means that if they’re stolen, you can claim back up to £7,500 in damages to cover the cost of replacing them.

It doesn’t matter what those tools are. They could be drills, spanners, chisels, groovers, trowels, sanders, angle grinders, saws or ladders. It could include flexible extending drain snakes, for all the plumbers out there. If your trade is beauty therapy or hairdressing, we’re talking about your scissors, aesthetic treatment machines and hot stones.

Basically, if you own them, you need them to carry out your job and you ferry them around in your work vehicle – Rhino should be able to insure them.

Unlike most tools insurance policies out there, Rhino Trade Insurance’s Tools in Transit cover allows you to keep your tools in your van – including overnight – so long as certain conditions are met.

It also covers damage while loading or unloading your tools, or damage that happens while they’re on the move.

But I thought tools insurance didn’t let you keep your tools in your van overnight?

Forget what you heard. Rhino is different.

At Rhino, we offer insurance that reflects real life. We sell Tools in Transit insurance because that’s what tradespeople really need.

Take it from us, our tools insurance wouldn’t be so popular if tradespeople up and down the country were transferring their kit each night to a high-security compound surrounded by razor wire and attack dogs.

For most tradespeople, the work vehicle is where tools get stored at the end of a hard day. That’s just the way it is. You start and finish the working day in your work vehicle. Tools are kept in vans overnight up and down the UK because that’s where they’re needed at the crack of dawn the next morning. 

Do I need tools insurance?

It’s not a legal requirement. That’s probably because the only person who really suffers if your tools are nicked is you.

This is exactly why we think you need tools cover. You might get a sympathetic pat on the back if your tools are stolen, but no-one else is going to replace them for you. You – and your business – will take the hit.

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who can afford to stroll into the tool depot with a blank cheque, replacing a full kit is a hard pill to swallow. Also, we don’t mean to scare you, but we have seen several cases where people get their tools targeted more than once. 

Just imagine the sting of having to declare the cost of several lots of replacement kit on your end of year tax return.

How much does tools insurance cost?

We can’t speak for other insurers, but we think you’ll like our prices. 

We mentioned that this cover costs a few quid each month. We really do mean a few quid here – less than the price of a pint. Cover starts at just £3.75 per month, or £45 per year.

Remember, every tradesperson is different, so your quote will reflect that. Things like the value of your tool collection, the make and model of your work vehicle, exactly where it’s parked, and your postcode will all affect the premium. 

How do I insure my tools?

Talk to us! It’s so easy. 

Just call 0116 243 7904 and speak to one of our friendly advisors here at Rhino HQ. You can also use our webchat function that pops up on our website, or email us at 

Or if you’re not ready to talk just yet, head over to Rhino’s quote engine to get yourself a personalised quote for Tools in Transit insurance today. 

What else do I need to know?

This might sound obvious, but to take out a tools insurance policy, you’ll have to prove you actually own the tools. This means receipts, invoices or proof of online orders. If you’re the organised type, you’ll already have these filed neatly away for tax purposes so getting your hands on them should be straightforward.

You should also be aware that to qualify for a claim under Tools in Transit cover, certain conditions need to be met. For example, we won’t accept claims for tools that have been left in plain sight in your cab – they need to be in a locked internal compartment hidden from view. You also need to securely lock your work vehicle – if you’ve left the back door hanging open giving thieves a nice view of your van’s contents, you wouldn’t be covered.

This will be explained to you when you take out your policy. When taking out any insurance cover, you should always read the wording of your policy document carefully to make sure you fully understand the conditions and exclusions.

Are you protected?

The bottom line is, the hardworking tradesmen and women of the UK need protection against the increasing threat of tool theft.

You probably can’t stop tool theft happening to you. But you can protect yourself.

With Rhino, you can claim the cost of your tools up to £7,500 and get back to work as soon as possible.

Tool cover may be an optional insurance, but we think it’s an absolute must-have for any self-employed tradesperson who uses their own tools and keeps them in their van overnight.

Fancy insuring something else while you’re here?

Here at Rhino, we specialise in insurance for self-employed tradespeople here in the UK. We offer Public Liability InsuranceProfessional Indemnity, Gadget Insurance, Van Insurance, Accident & Legal Cover and much more. 

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