One of the most common insurance claims we are seeing are stolen tools from either job sites, back of utes, or even being mistakenly taken by another contractor.
Not only is having your tools stolen a considerable inconvenience, there is a financial impact on both replacing the tools and also the difficulty for you to complete current jobs whilst replacing your old tools.
If your business relies on tools of your trade, we have five ways to protect your tools from being stolen, help you recover them, and potentially reduce your insurance premium.
We also recommend keeping an up-to-date inventory of all your hand-tools and power-tools, it may well be a case of “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.
- Smart padlocks
If you don’t want to carry another key on your already full key-rings and get sick of remembering your padlock code, there are several Bluetooth enabled padlock providers now, including MasterLock, Nokë, Dog&Bone and AirBolt.
You simply attach them like a traditional padlock and then use your mobile device to lock, unlock, and track your property.
- Microscopic labelling with DataDots
Labeling or engraving your tools can help you recover them if they are stolen. But you’ve got to take the time to do it properly and there is limited room on the tools to include all your details.
Another solution is microscopic labelling technology. You simply pick up an aerosol can and spray hundreds of tiny dots – called DataDots – onto your property.
Each dot displays a unique code that is stored on the National Equipment Register database, and can verify ownership, assist in your insurance claims and provide evidence to prove theft.
- Motion sensing camera
A motion sensor camera will help you catch the crook red-handed, it’s also a deterrent if the thief sees this security.
- GPS tracking
With GPS tracking, you can quickly and easily track down your tools if they’re stolen. There are plenty of technology providers with various solutions, but essentially they involve attaching a long-range, low-power GPS tracking chip onto each piece of equipment you wish to keep tabs on. You then install the associated app on your smart device and start receiving real-time location updates.
Take care with the type of tracker you’re purchasing – Bluetooth solutions are useful for locating things you’ve misplaced, like your keys, but less so for stolen items.
- Digital inventory
It can be difficult to know exactly what you have if you haven’t kept an inventory of all your tools and equipment, it will be an even greater challenge at claim time to provide your Insurer a list of what has been stolen if you don’t have any records.
This is where a high-tech, user-friendly inventory platform, such as Sortly Pro, can be invaluable.
There are plenty of smart new ways to protect your tools from theft, but it’s just as important to exercise some common sense – don’t leave them unattended, lock them up at night, store them out of sight and make sure you set up a tool inventory and keep it always updated.
And don’t overlook a good Business Insurance solution – whilst it will set you back the cost of the premium each year, this would be a fraction of the cost of replacing your tools and can allow you to get on with the job more quickly if all your tools are stolen.
For more information or a quote on any of your insurances, contact the horticulture specialist team at Fitzpatrick & Co Insurance Brokers on (03) 8544 1600 or [email protected]. Industry supporters and sponsors for more than 20 years – www.fitzpatrick.com.au