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Analysis by building services sector specialist ECIC has revealed that there has been a worrying rise in the economic value of tools theft from vans over the past twelve months, with the total value of such incidents up by 55% on the previous year.

What is interesting is that despite the cost of tools theft incidents rising dramatically, tools and van insurance companies are facing roughly the same number of claims as they did in the previous year.

One theory as to why this might be the case concerns the savviness of thieves; it is thought that they may have become better at identifying and targeting vans containing valuable tools.

Furthermore, it is thought that thieves have become both more brazen and more sophisticated in their tactics, with increasing numbers using the “peel and steal” method to saw vans open and steal the contents. Other popular methods include keyless entry system hacking and driver distraction techniques.

Alarmingly for drivers and their van insurance companies, ECIC says that the average value of tools theft now stands at £2,685 – a figure that outstrips the resale value of many of the vans that are targeted.

“The increase of thefts from vans and van thefts is widely recognised but showing no signs of abating. It is hugely disruptive to contractors, impacting work commitments and insurance costs,” commented a spokesperson with ECIC.

Prevention is key

The best way to avoid becoming a victim of tools theft is, of course, to remove all tools from your vehicle, storing them overnight or when you are not working. Van drivers who must take tools with them throughout their working day should ensure that they are stored inside a secure box that is fixed inside the van.

Taking such steps will not only ensure that you are less likely to be targeted by thieves, it will also help ensure that your van insurance covers you in the event that a thief succeeds in taking your tools.

Furthermore, ensure that you include goods in transit cover as part of your policy and that if you have any driver van insurance, every driver who uses the van has full training on how to keep the vehicle’s tools secure.