As a trades professional, especially if you work as a builder, you will likely have experienced theft or at least know someone who has been a victim of theft.
Theft of tools and plant machinery from construction sites is big business, but isn’t confined to large sites. If you’re a builder who owns plant machinery or hires the machinery for domestic renovations or extension builds, then you too are at risk of falling foul of opportunists and groups of organised thieves.
According to PCB Today, site thefts increased during the Covid-19 lockdown periods, which exacerbated and already growing problem for the construction industry, with site theft estimated to cost £800m each year (1).
A lot of construction theft is intentional, with some crooks making a career out of it by pinching the machinery and then reselling it to overseas buyers either in a complete operational state or split up and sold as component parts.
Excavators, cement mixers, generators, these are some of the pieces of equipment to help you with your job, and if they are taken it can cause disruption to your building plans and deadlines as well as potentially costing you to replace the items lost.
We look at some ways you can combat the risk of site theft and keep your building projects on track.
Theft prevention will probably never be 100% achievable, but you can increase the likelihood of recovering stolen items if you can present indisputable data as to the stolen asset’s identification and its location. Registering your tools and machinery online can help you retrieve your items and minimise disruption and the extra costs of replacing the items.
CESAR is the only official Police (National Police Chiefs’ Council – NPCC) and Home Office approved construction and agricultural equipment security and registration scheme.
The scheme was set up to provide an easy and effective way for police officers to identify all types of equipment and machinery, even if they have limited knowledge of plant machinery. This enables the officers to contact the registered owner at any time of the day as to the whereabouts of their stolen goods.
According to the CESAR website, the recovery rate for unregistered plant machinery is as low as 5%, but the recovery rate for a stolen machine that is registered with CESAR is as high as 30% (2).
Find out more at https://www.cesarscheme.org/benefits-police.php
Yes, you can! Insurance is available for your tools and trade materials and for plant machinery, which can be your own plant or hired-in plant.
Tools and trade materials insurance – Tool theft is common, so it pays to have your tools insured. Extending your tradesman insurance policy to include tools insurance could save you thousands of pounds, eliminate stress and help you get back ‘on the tools’ quicker. Tools insurance can also cover you if your tools are lost or damaged.
Tools insurance provides cover up to £5,000. In the event of a claim being made, the policy will respond to pay you the amount of the loss or to replace your equipment.
Plant insurance – Whether you own your own plant machinery or use hired-in plant that is specific to the needs of each project, you’ll need to ensure you’re insured and that you follow safety guidance to you prevent theft and malicious damage, so you don’t experience any major disruption to your building projects and your business operations.
Plant hire can be expensive. If you’ve leased an item of plant machinery, you’re responsible for paying ongoing hire charges, even if the equipment has been damaged or stolen, rendering it unusable. Plant insurance is designed to pay the costs of continuing hiring charges incurred while the plant is replaced or repaired.
The policy will cover your legal liability under the terms of a written plant hire agreement to pay the cost of repairing, restoring or replacing the equipment following damage to hired-in plant for which you are responsible:
Minus a deduction for wear and tear, within the UK during the insurance period.
Typical exclusions include:
(See the policy document for the in-depth list of exclusions)
At Caunce O’Hara we offer a range of business insurances to the trades sector.
Click the quote button to get a quick online quotation or call 0333 321 1403 to speak to one of our team.
Protects against claims of injury to third-parties or damage to a third-party's property.
A legal requirement for anyone employing staff. Protects your business in-case an employee is injured at work.