Smart Business Protecting Your Tools… From The Human Tools
Tool theft has become a common problem for tradies all around Australia, with thieves looking to make a quick buck or two. From the backs of utes, trailers and even construction sites, work tools are a prime target. They’re usually quick to get a hold of, can be easily sold and have good re-sale value, especially when it comes to expensive power tools.
Recent thefts have also proven CCTV isn’t even a solid deterrent. Just last Christmas, a Melbourne tradie had more than $400,000 worth of tools and supplies stolen when his trailer was taken from a secured work site, despite having camera surveillance. The most unfortunate part was his specialised power tools weren’t insured as they were new items that he hadn’t gotten around to getting covered.
One thing that’s for sure, without your tools you probably wouldn’t be able to work. Replacing them can cost thousands of dollars, and the time taken to source new ones can be equally as painful. The end result: your bottom line takes a hit.
While you’ll never be able to prevent thieves from attempting to steal your tools, there’s a few simple things you can do to protect them, and your business, from becoming the next victim.
KEEP THEM SECURE
It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to get complacent and leave equipment lying around. Tools that aren’t being used should
be put away securely and out of sight from would-be thieves. If you have a ute, invest in a bolted down toolbox with solid hinges and a heavy-duty lock. At the end of the day take them home and only leave them in your vehicle if it’s kept in a locked garage. Otherwise, remove them from the vehicle and secure them.
If you really do need to leave some bigger items onsite overnight, secure them well and don’t forget to check with your insurer whether your policy covers items left onsite unsupervised.
MARK YOUR TOOLS
Often tools aren’t appropriately labelled or recorded, making it harder for police and insurers to investigate thefts. Marking them by either engraving or micro-dotting them with a code, such as your driver’s licence number, near the manufacturer’s serial number will as act as a deterrent to would-be thieves. It’s much harder to sell tools if they can be identified, and the ID will also help you to keep track of them on a worksite. In addition, it makes it easier to recover them if they’re stolen, as it can assist the police with tracking you down as the rightful owner.
Most of us don’t have the cash on hand to replace our tools immediately if they’re lost, stolen or even damaged, so the best way to ensure you’re not left high and dry is to adequately insure your tools.
Portable Equipment or General Property cover, aka ‘Tool cover’, is essential for tradies who own and use their own tools.
From as little as $1043 per year*, you can obtain a combined insurance policy with $10 million Public Liability and $10K Portable Equipment cover to protect your tools and equipment if they are lost, stolen or damaged anywhere in Australia, as well as protecting your business in the event you’re held liable by a third party for injury or property damage.
MAINTAIN AN INVENTORY
When it comes to making a claim, most tradies don’t realize the true cost of replacement until it’s too late, so make sure you have the right level of cover and can make a claim quickly by keeping an inventory of all of your tools, including serial numbers, photographs and receipts in a handy location.
*Price based on a quote for a painter decorator for a combined Public Liability and Portable Equipment policy with RelyOn (underwritten by Hollard Insurance). BizCover™ Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769).
To compare and save on your Tool and Public Liability Cover get multiple quotes online in seconds from top-rated Aussie insurers –call 1300 952 854.
For more information visit http://BizCover.com.au