Discovering your van has been broken into is a dreadful experience. It’s normal to feel angry and then worry about cancelling work and the hassle of replacing your tools.
We talk to tradespeople every week who have suffered this fate, so we thought compiling a list of what to do would be useful.
First Things First
Try to establish what has been taken and jot it down. You might not notice everything initially, but starting a list is helpful. It’s also worth taking photos of any damage. Check for any personal possessions that have been taken, such as a wallet or credit cards, as you may need to contact your bank to cancel them if so.
Report the theft to the police. We get it – you might think “they won’t do anything”. While the chances of catching the thieves and recovering your tools might be slim, reporting is critical for two reasons. Firstly, the more thefts that are reported, the more pressure is put on authorities to take action. If statistics show frequent break-ins in specific areas or at certain times, it gives the police something to work with. Van break-ins must be taken seriously, and for that to happen, we need the data to show the extent of the problem. Secondly, you’ll need a crime reference number for an insurance claim.
Claim on Your Insurance
Phone your insurance company and explain what has happened. Many standard policies only cover the van for theft or damage, so check if contents insurance is included. You may need to claim for damage even if you can’t recover the cost of stolen items.
Contact Your Customers
Inform your customers as soon as possible that you may have to postpone work, and keep them updated on when you anticipate being back in action. You might be able to borrow tools or adjust your schedule, so reach out to your contacts in the trade, too.
Speak to Us
Yes, we know this sounds like ‘shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’, but you will bounce back. Let’s reduce the chance of this happening again. If your doors have been drilled, we can fit a protective plate over the existing damage so you can get back on the road quickly. We’re also here to offer advice on additional protection you should consider.