Tool cover on van insurance

Find out how your tools are covered by van insurance and whether you might need to take out extra cover.

goco author
Updated 29 July 2021  | 3 min read

Are tools in my van insured?

It depends whether you paid to cover them when you took out your van insurance policy.

Van insurance doesn’t usually include cover for your tools as standard. But you can buy tool cover as an added extra or even as a separate policy.

Key points

  • Van insurance won’t necessarily come with tool cover as standard, but you can pay for tool cover as an optional extra
  • Check the excess on the policy. A high excess that amounts to as much as or more than the cost of your tools won’t be worth it. There might be a different excess just for tools if you took out tool cover as an optional extra, which is usually lower than your normal excess
  • You can also cover your tools under your business insurance policy – but look out for exclusions around leaving them in your van

A tool insurance policy will protect the tools of your trade if they’re lost, stolen or damaged while being carried in your van, when they’re being loaded or unloaded, or when they are left unattended in your vehicle for a short period. 

Leaving tools in vans overnight

Some van insurance policies won’t cover your tools if they’re stored in your van overnight, so you’ll need to remove them from your vehicle each evening.

This could be a deal-breaker for you if it’s impractical to unload heavy and cumbersome equipment every evening after a hard day’s work. 

In that case, check your policy to make sure it covers tools left in your van round the clock. 

Policies that cover tools left in your van overnight will usually come with some conditions, for example:

  • Tools must be concealed in a locked cargo hold or other locked internal compartment
  • All vehicle windows and doors be securely locked and fastened, with keys removed. Some insurance companies might stipulate that you need to use an alarm. 
  • Your van is parked in an area secured by a locked gate, in a locked and secure garage or on your off road driveway at your private home. Failing that, it will need to be parked in a well-lit area, on the same street as the address you’re staying at and visible from it.

Are there other ways to insure my tools?

You can buy a tool insurance policy, which is specific cover just for your tools. They’re available from specialist providers.

You may also be able to cover your tools under your business insurance policy. 

Some policies are even specially tailored for tradespeople, with more cover for tools included in different scenarios.

What is ‘tools in transit’ insurance?

It’s a specific type of standalone insurance policy to cover you for leaving your tools in your van.

These policies protect all your tools when they’re being carried or loaded and unloaded from your van. Some may cover them being left overnight in your van, too.

Like other tool policies, they cover the cost of repairing or replacing tools that are damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen.

Check whether ‘tools in transit’ cover is available as an add-on for your van insurance or business insurance too – it might work out cheaper.

What else do I need to consider when buying tool insurance?

The level of cover you need will depend on your trade or business, the amount and types of tools you’re insuring and what they’re worth.

Consider the cost of the excess on any policy you buy. If it’s more than your particular tools are worth, then adding on tool cover to your policy won’t be worth doing.

Check for exemptions. Are your tools covered for overnight storage? And can you meet the security requirements for overnight insurance to be valid?

Does your policy offer ‘new for old’ cover? If it doesn’t, be aware that the amount you’ll be offered in the event of a claim may not be as much as you paid for your tools originally.

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