Tool insurance

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on May 26, 2024. Next review due April 6, 2025.

    From a spanner and a screwdriver to a laptop and a light meter, every business and professional needs tools to carry out their trade. Sometimes, this equipment can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds and if it were lost, damaged or stolen, it could be difficult to replace and may even put your business in jeopardy. Fortunately, tool insurance is available to eliminate this risk. Buy it to protect your vital tools and equipment. Keep on working if the worst should ever happen.

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      What is tool insurance?

      Tools insurance, also known as portable equipment cover, is a business insurance that protects the machinery and equipment you take from job to job. This includes things like hand and machine tools, generators, lighting rigs, tech devices, ladders, and testing equipment. The portable nature of these essential items makes them more prone to loss, theft, damage, and accident.

      Why is tools insurance cover important?

      Millions of UK tradespeople, engineers, technicians and other professionals rely on their tools every day. If their essential equipment were suddenly lost or rendered unusable, the impact on their work or business could be catastrophic. Tools insurance is designed to keep workers working no matter what – quickly covering the cost of tools and equipment repairs or replacement.

      What's covered with tool Insurance?

      Tool insurance pays for the repair or replacement of essential tools, equipment and machinery in the event they are stolen, damaged, or lost, up to the maximum value of your policy. 

      Standard covered events include:


      Covers damage, destruction and loss caused by fire.

      Example: A fire in your garage destroys the engine testing equipment you use.


      Covers loss should your tools be stolen, including theft by employees or contractors.

      Example: Someone breaks into your workshop and steals your machine saws, drills and nail guns.


      Covers damage, destruction and loss caused by flood.

      Example: Burst water pipes flood your photography studio, destroying cameras, lights and accessories.


      Protects you should you lose items of equipment.

      For example: You leave your tool bag and all your kit on the train, and it is never handed in or returned.

      Other tools cover 

      As well as the protection shown above, tradespeople and businesses can also purchase other tools insurance to cover situations such as:

      • Tools kept in your van overnight
      • Accidental tools and equipment damage caused by yourself
      • Tools in transit – in case they are lost or damaged whilst going from A to B
      • Deliberate vandalism or burglary
      • Hired-in plant cover – tools and equipment you have rented
      • Toolbox insurance – covers your tools and the box they are kept in

      How does a tool insurance claim work?

      If you need to make a claim against your tool insurance, you should contact your insurer as soon as possible, providing the following information:

        • Your policy number
        • The time and date of the incident
        • Receipts for your tools (emails and digital receipts are usually accepted for tools purchased online)
      • Police crime reference number, for cases of tool theft. (You must also report tool theft to the police within 48 hours of discovery)

      Example claim

      Your van is broken into overnight, and the thieves make off with your expensive power tools. As soon as you discover the theft, you should contact local police to report the crime – ensuring they give you a crime reference number. Next, contact your insurer to make your claim following the steps outlined above. 

      Tools insurance FAQs

      Got a question about tools insurance?

      Do you need receipts for tool insurance?

      Yes. If you make a claim, you must provide the original receipt or provide proof of ownership for the tools for which you are claiming. If you do not possess or were never given a receipt for your tools, you will need to provide other evidence of ownership of your tools. 

      Are tools covered under home insurance?

      Possibly. It depends on the terms and conditions of your home insurance. Some home insurance policies may cover tools that are for work or commercial use, but many standard home insurance policies do not.

      Can you insure a garage?

      Yes. If your garage is attached to, or in the grounds of your home, it should be covered by your home buildings and contents insurance. However, not all home insurance policies protect tools that are used for commercial use. You may still need tools cover even if your garage is already insured. 

      What is tools in transit?

      Tools in transit refers to tools and equipment that are in the process of going from one place to another – most often in a van or other commercial vehicle. Tools in transit can be covered by your tool insurance policy, providing cover in the event your tools and equipment are lost, stolen, destroyed or damaged when being loaded into, carried in, or unloaded from a vehicle.

      Who can get tool insurance?

      Tool insurance can be purchased by any business, tradesperson, or professional who wishes to protect their vital tools and equipment from loss, damage or theft.

      How much does tool cover insurance cost?

      Premiums for tool insurance can start at less than £4.50 per month, but the cost you pay will depend on your type of business, the value of your tools, the level of risk attached to what you do, the amount of cover you choose and the limit of your policy excess. 

      How much is the typical excess?

      A standard tool insurance policy providing cover up to a maximum of £10,000, would typically come with an excess of around £200. However, excess levels can be affected by the value of your tools and other factors unique to your business – such as the risk of loss, damage or theft. You can also set a higher excess sum to reduce the cost of your policy.

      How Swoop can help

      All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t let the loss of your tools and equipment create an even bigger loss for your business. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality tool insurance policies and to discuss all your business insurance needs.

      Written by

      Chris Godfrey

      Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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