Stolen ToolsTradies having their tools stolen is becoming all too common in Australia.

Sometimes it’s a couple of power tools taken from the back of the ute, and other times it’s the whole ute plus the trailer!

Either way there isn’t much worse than walking out to your driveway in the morning to see that your gear has been nicked.

We can’t stop it from happening, but tool insurance can make life afterwards a little easier.

What is tool insurance?

Tool insurance is a way of covering the cost of your tools in the event that they are stolen.

Different policies will have different levels of cover, but a typical policy will generally cover the following:

  • Damage caused by fire or lighting
  • Theft following forced or violet entry
  • Damage caused by a vehicle collision or rollover

The most important aspect of the cover to most tradies is theft.

With theft it’s important to know that most policies will only cover you if forced entry has been required in order to access the tools.

A police report to confirm that forced entry was used will also be required as part of the claim.

Forced entry may include any of the following examples:

  • Home or car broken into
  • Secure tool boxes busted open
  • Secure trailer busted open
  • Entire car stolen after being broken into
  • Entire trailer stolen, provided that it was locked to something

The above examples don’t necessarily mean that a claim is guaranteed as there will be other variables, but the list does show what can potentially be classed as forced entry.

How much tool insurance do I need?

Most tradesman tool policies cover the replacement cost of your tools.

So if it would cost you $15,000 to go and purchase all of your tools again, that is how much you should be insuring them for.

Depending on your policy there may be some allowance made for depreciation.

For example if the item was purchased ten years ago, the insurer may pay you a lesser amount than the brand new replacement cost.

When taking out any tool insurance policy it is important to find out exactly how you’re going to be covered.

If everything is covered for the full replacement value, then this is how much you should insure. But if some items are going to be depreciated, then you may need to decrease the amount of cover.

When considering how much you should insure your tools for, it’s also important to consider how you are going to provide evidence that you own the tools.

This isn’t a concern when taking out your policy, but it will become very important in the event of a claim.

The best option is to keep receipts for all of your tools, but where this isn’t possible try to keep some sort of evidence such as user manuals, packaging and also photos.

What about my trailer and ute?

It should be obvious to most people that tool insurance isn’t going to cover your ute being stolen. That’s why it’s important to make sure your car insurance is up to date.

The trailer isn’t quite so clear cut however.

Whilst some car insurance policies will include cover for your trailer, there will often be limits on how much the trailer is covered for.

For example looking at one of Australia’s biggest car insurers, their policy will only cover up to $1,000 for a trailer, and only if it has no more than two wheels.

So if you run a four-wheel trailer like many tradies, that particular car insurance policy isn’t going to help you at all.

On the other hand if you have a two-wheel trailer worth $800 then the car insurance policy would be perfectly adequate.

So step one here is to check your car insurance policy to see whether or not it’s going to be any good for your trailer.

If not, then we can also assist you with a separate policy designed just for trailers.

More information

We can put you in touch with a specialist tradesman insurance broker who can assist with your tools and trailer.

For more information or a quote please contact us or complete our online quote request.

You know that your tools and trailer are vital to being able to do your job, so make sure they’re properly covered with the right insurance.

General Advice Warning

Please note that the information contained within this post is generic and does not relate to any one specific insurance policy.

The coverage provided by each different tool insurance policy can differ, so it is important to read the Product Disclosure Statement and speak with your broker.

Also note that ‘tool insurance’ is a term we use for cover which is more formally known as ‘General Property’ cover.


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