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Making an insurance claim with Rhino - Billy Boardman spills the beans

Rhino Trade Insurance 21 March 2024

Earlier this month, Rhino sat down with Billy Boardman, a Leicester-based plumbing and heating engineer originally from Cheshire, to discuss his unusual route into the industry, life as a plumber, and the reality of experiencing tool theft first-hand.

Billy runs WarmFix Limited, and went from fixing pipes in some of the most dangerous places in the world, to the cosy suburbs of Leicestershire.

"I'd been trained up in the army and served for eleven years. Then once I left, I had the qualifications to go on Civvy Street. That was it."

Civvy Street is the turn of phrase for ex-servicemen and women who return to civilian life, and the transition from the structured environment of the army to the autonomy of civilian work wasn't without its challenges. "That's one of the hardest things because when you're in the army, you get told what to do, where to be, at what time, what to wear, shave, haircut. And then when you leave, it's like, shall I shave today? Shall I go to the gym? It's that thing that's the main difference!" 

Billy's military background equipped him with invaluable skills that seamlessly translated into his new profession in the trades. "I think the principles you learn in the army are easily transferable. Your attitude, timings, presentation. I just adapt, overcoming situations and problems, because in plumbing, you can turn up to a job and you think it's plain sailing. But then when it goes wrong, you need to think outside the box."

So, how did Billy go from fitting radiators that morning to sipping a cup of tea on the Rhino couch in the afternoon? In the nicest way possible, as a Rhino Trade Insurance customer, we hope we never have to hear from you throughout the year. Yes, we like interacting with our customers via social media, and we've been known to send the odd van sticker or two, but usually, when we hear from our customers mid-term, it's because they're making a claim. Unfortunately for Billy, he had to do just that when, a few weeks back, his morning took an unexpected turn.



Tool theft is a stain on the trades industry and is something that has shown no sign of slowing down in recent years. Back in 2022 we surveyed over 500 Rhino customers who informed us that the number one fear for people working in the trades is to wake up one morning and find that your van has been broken into, and your all important tools have been stolen.

This happened to Billy when he walked out of his door and saw that his van had been ransacked and his tools had been stolen. It was a moment of mixed emotions but also one that underscored the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. "I just woke up on a Monday morning and had tools and equipment all scattered in the road," he told us.

"At first, I was like, 'Oh, it is what it is.' But then, when you think about it, I've got no tools now, and I've got loads of work on. I got a bit emotional; I was wounded, to be honest."

Understandably, this emotion would soon switch when he began to wonder how he would manage his workload for the upcoming week without any tools for the job. "Well, I had an install that day as well, and the customer has been chasing me for ages to get the job done. It was a week's worth of work too!" - a situation no tradesman wants to find themselves in. "Honestly, I'd have happily swapped the press gun for my service bag because the stuff in there was irreplaceable. That bag was a gift and some of the tools in there that I've spent years collecting and making myself." Fortunately for Billy, amongst the immediate feeling of chaos and desperation, there was a silver lining - his tool insurance was with Rhino Trade Insurance.

Having tool insurance in place is no replacement for equipment that may hold sentimental value. Tool insurance is a lifeline that should your tools get stolen, you will not be negatively impacted financially.

Billy talked about his experience navigating the claims process with Rhino:

"From start to finish, it was seamless," he reflects. "I jumped on your website, logged into my account, and within days, I had my settlement."

Tool insurance has historically had a bad rep throughout the trades community. Horror stories of insurers not paying out claims or adopting near-impossible parameters are enough to put off many tradespeople. Here at Rhino, we like to keep things simple. So long as policyholders have valid receipts, invoices or online purchase records of their tools, and so long as they can adhere to the stipulations clearly outlined in the policy description, policyholders can feel safe in the knowledge that the value of their tools is covered, day and night. "It's a no-brainer, look at me, you pay for what you get, and it's that peace of mind." 

When we asked him why he initially chose to insure his trade business with Rhino, in classic Billy style, he didn't hold back with his answer: "It's like a start-up, and you've built a brand. I think that works for what you have going on." The rest, as they say, is history.

Still on the fence about the value of tools cover? Still concerned that claims may not be legitimately paid out? Who better to put your mind at ease than a genuine Rhino customer. "I think, personally, about the way Rhino handled the claim and the payout and how easy it was," he concludes, "I'm more than happy, and I'll keep pushing it to everyone I know, even my missus is on it now."

Find out more about tool insurance by calling our team today - 0116 243 7904

About The Author Phil McCormick

Experienced in brand marketing and content. Most of that lovely communication you see online will be from Phil. social media, emails, videos, how to make a bacon sarny? You get the gist!

Trade most identified with: Electrician - It’s our Phil’s job to map out all our communications and make sure the signal works! Also, he’s one of the cockiest blighters in the team so electrician fits perfectly!

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