Walking out in the morning to find your van door prised open...
and all your tools gone can be soul-destroying. The cost of having all of your van emptied goes way beyond the simple material value.
The lost time, potential insurance payout problems, as well as the mental anguish, can all be devastating at a time when few can truly afford it.
See our quick video below
While tool theft is the worst-case scenario, there are plenty of ways you can reduce the likelihood, not least by getting yourself a high-quality van alarm. Here are four ways that stolen tools can cost you dearly - and how to prevent it in the first place.
The Cost of Replacement
An enormous £83 million worth of tools has been stolen
from vans across England and Wales over the last three years - which equals a shocking £83,000 worth every single day. The average cost for a single stolen item is now £385, so you can imagine if your van has been cleaned out it’s going to be a costly bill to replace everything.
Ideally, when this happens you are covered by insurance, but that is by no means a given. There are many who either can’t afford the insurance premiums or for whatever reason aren’t covered. For these people, the cost of tool theft can be particularly devastating and can take weeks, if not months, to claw their way back to where they started.
The Insurance Wait
Now, for the group that is insured. If you’ve never had to claim because of the theft of your tools, you might be excused for thinking that the process and the payout might be done quickly - unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
The process leading up to a payout for new tools can sometimes be a lengthy one,
that has a nasty habit of leaving you feeling frustrated and often angry. As you can imagine, insurance companies want to be sure that they themselves are not being stolen from, so typically want to do some kind of investigation about the crime.
They will want to know about your current security measures (and probably more importantly, do they match with what you said on your insurance agreement). If you told them that your van is left in the garage overnight and comes with the latest alarms, when in fact you leave it in the street and sometimes forget to lock the door, you might run into problems.
This is before the payout has even been authorised. Once it has, it can sometimes take weeks if not months until the money is actually transferred to your account. And even then, it will almost certainly not match the amount that you actually paid for the tools.
The Cost of Not Working
Perhaps the most immediately damaging aspect of having your tools stolen is that
you cannot work and therefore cannot make money.
With some luck, your clients will be understanding about the matter, but that’s by no means a given. If somebody is told there will be a one month delay until you get your insurance payout and replace the tools, they might well choose to find somebody different.
Even if you have an understanding client, there is still going to be a period where you won’t have any money coming and for those who are working within a month to month budget, it can be nothing short of disastrous. Often it can be all too tempting to borrow money at this point to help you through, which itself comes with plenty of potential problems.
The Mental Cost
This is an area that is all too infrequently talked about. The hard truth is that if you discover your tools have been stolen unless you’re some kind of tradesperson-monk, the period of time immediately after is not going to be pleasant.
The stress of calling the insurance company, talking to the police and frantically calling around to see if you can get certain jobs covered or explaining why you won't be there today, is enough to push many towards the edge - and that’s before we even take into account the economic impact.
This is a time when most people’s mental health seems quite fragile anyway, and the cost to your mental health with this kind of crime can be huge.
Vanmate Van Alarms Alarms
So, it’s clear that the costs of having your tools stolen can be enormous and wide-ranging. From economic to mental, this is one situation we should be doing absolutely everything we can do to avoid.
A good quality van alarm is one of the best ways to protect your van and the tools inside.
Sometimes people shy away from spending a bit of money to protect a van, but after looking at the potential costs a theft can have on you, is it really worth it?
No van alarm is ever 100% guaranteed and it’s becoming clear that techniques and technology used by thieves are evolving alongside alarms. But having just the basics installed will at least give you a fighting chance. The only thing worse than finding that your van has been emptied is finding it emptied and knowing that you never had an alarm on it in the first place.
We are still amid a van and tool theft epidemic and these numbers don’t look like they’re going to come down anytime soon.