Insurance · 31 October 2017

Tool theft costing Britain’s tradespeople nearly 100m a year

The average insurance claim for stolen tools in 2016 was 1, 200
The average insurance claim for stolen tools in 2016 was 1, 200
Erratic cash flow, late payments and property tax rises are some of the typical roots of money worries for small business owners. For Britain’s community of self-employed tradespeople, however, tool theft is the number one financial concern.

According to the findings of a Freedom of Information request, obtained from various police constabularies by Trade Direct Insurance, stolen equipment cost UK tradespeople 94, 521, 600 in 2016 alone.

Further, the average insurance claim for stolen tools added up to around 1, 200 over a week’s work for the typical day rate of 210 for a tradesperson. The figure equated to 450, 000 days of work for tradespeople to recover the total cost of stolen tools.

For one in four tradespeople, tool theft has become the primary concern when it came to their finances. This was followed by not having the right insurance cover for a public liability, being sued by a customer and receiving a negative review online.

A closer look at the data revealed where tradespeople were at the greatest risk of tool theft. In West Yorkshire, 18 tradespeople reported stolen tools every day last year. However, those in the East Midlands were more worried about theft than any other part of the UK.

Revealed: The best UK regions to become a tradesman

Commenting on the significant financial burden of stolen tools, Andrew Marlow, sales and service manager at Trade Direct Insurance, ‘said tradespeople had become a target for opportunists.

tool theft has always been the plague of the tradesperson but it’s staggering to see the total cost of these crimes, he said.

there’s no doubt that tradespeople are targeted and no matter how many precautions you take it’s almost impossible to fully safeguard against becoming the latest victim.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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