Insurance Guide

Cover Your Tools and Equipment with Tradies Insurance

Most tradies are lost without their tools. If a tradie finds themselves without their tools, whether due to theft, accidental loss or damage, the need for speed, accuracy and sometimes ability to complete jobs is not possible.

Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, tiler, bricklayer, gasfitter or any other type of tradie, covering your tools is about covering your ability to earn. With the right tradies insurance, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the cost to replace your tools is covered should an insurable loss happen.

What is tools insurance?

Because most tradies operate out of vehicles and work sites throughout their working week, there is a chance of an item being lost, stolen or damaged. Insurance for tools is a cover for tradespeople in the event that their tools are lost, stolen or damaged.

Insurance for tools isn’t usually sold as a standalone product but as part of tradies insurance, which can also cover things like vehicles, legal liability and business interruptions.

Tradies insurance tends to cover self-employed tradespeople and small businesses (usually up to five people). It can be crafted and customised to suit any number of trades: bricklayers, floor layers, plasterers, plumbers, builders, gasfitters, shop fitters, stonemasons, tilers, painters, decorators, electricians, glaziers, locksmiths, handypeople and more.

Do I need tools insurance?

If you’re a tradie who relies on tools of the trade to get the job done, you should consider choosing tradies insurance that includes an appropriate level of cover for your tools.

New Zealand tradies need to be wary of tool theft, particularly from work vehicles as they travel from site to site. Tools can also be accidentally damaged in any number of ways, from being left out in the rain to being misused by an apprentice. Their portable nature means that they can also be lost or left on-site, never to be seen again.

If you lack the appropriate cover for your tools, you risk:

  • Having to pay the cost of replacing or repairing the lost, stolen or damaged tools out of your own pocket (which can prove quite an expensive exercise.)
  • A drop in revenue while you take time to replace or repair your tools.
  • The reputational damage that can come from delaying and postponing jobs or from attempting to complete jobs without the right equipment.

On the flip side, if you do have the appropriate level of cover from insuring your tools, you can be confident that you are covered in otherwise damaging situations.

What does tradies insurance cover?

You can think of tradies insurance cover as a business insurance policy that has been designed specifically for tradespeople and trade businesses. It, therefore, covers a variety of different business assets and a range of potentially damaging situations.

Along with cover for tools of the trade, tradies insurance also can include cover for your:

  • Business premises: Tradies insurance can cover your business base, whether a workshop, yard, office, warehouse or any other type of business premises, up to the sum insured.
  • Stock: This cover can cover you against loss, theft and damage of stock at your premises, on the road, or on-site.
  • Devices: If an electronic device like a laptop or mobile phone is lost, damaged or stolen, and is less than three years old, your policy will cover up to the sum insured. A shock-proof case may also reduce your excess.
  • Business continuity: Business continuity insurance helps you with the costs relating to disruptive claimable events, assisting you to continue business activities.
  • Liability cover: Public liability insurance or indemnity insurance covers business owners against a range of liability claims, from defective workmanship, personal injury of an employee or property damage while at work.

For more information, visit the Tradies Insurance Policy Document.

The exact assets and events you’re covered for will depend on the cover options you choose to include, the policy wording and any exclusions or limitations that may apply. The premium cost will reflect the value of the insured sum, while the excess may be tied to the claimable event (i.e. damage, loss, theft, etc.)

Can a handyperson get tools insurance?

As mentioned above, tools insurance is usually only offered as part of tradies insurance. The good news is you don’t have to hold a trade to secure tradies insurance, as this cover is available to other types of businesses too, including handypeople. While there are some exceptions, such as spray painters, tradies insurance is available to almost all trade and trade-adjacent businesses.

The more pertinent question is whether tradies insurance represents good value for a handyperson and matches their insurance needs. If you don’t have many tools or use simple and comparatively cheap tools, the excess for making an insurance claim may be beyond the value of the tools, and this cover may not be appropriate.

But if you own a number of premium or specialised tools and run a full-scale tradespeople business, tradies insurance may be a good option. It is always a good idea to speak to your broker or AMP advisor to make sure that the cover is right for your business needs.

Tips for keeping your tools safe

Prevention is better than cure. While you can’t stop the worst from happening, and tradies insurance can help if the worst were to happen. There are a few things every tradesperson can do to minimise the chances that their tools are lost, stolen or damaged:

  • Lock it up: Put a lock on your toolkit, fit your business premises with a security system and fit your vehicle with an alarm, as these things can act as powerful deterrents to potential thieves.
  • Keep it out of sight: When storing tools in your vehicle, lock them away out of sight. Never leave your toolkit in the front seat where opportunistic thieves can see it through the window.
  • Take it with you: Where possible, avoid leaving tools on-site, even if you’ll be working there for weeks or months on end. Take them home in your vehicle.
  • Do a daily stocktake: Do a stocktake of your tools at the end of every workday to ensure nothing is left behind.
  • Read the manual: While you might have experience in operating a tool, your new one may be slightly different to your old one and using it incorrectly could lead to damage. By reading the manual, you’ll also learn how to maintain your tools properly.
  • Invest in training: Take the time to teach apprentices and new hires the right way to operate, maintain and store tools.


Are you looking to cover your tools?

Our Tradies insurance products not only cover you for incidents involving your tools and equipment but for a wealth of other business risks, too, offering the ultimate peace of mind for anyone who spends time on the tools. Enquire today to get a tailored tradies insurance policy for your trade business.

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The information in this blog is of a general nature and does not constitute financial or other professional advice. Policy limits and exclusions apply - refer to the policy wording for full terms and conditions.