6 tips to minimise theft of tools and materials

Here's what you need to know.


Theft of tools and materials continues to be the most common claim type seen by Master Builders Insurance Brokers. With supply shortages causing significant delays in timber and materials delivery, the demand for materials significantly exceeds the current supply, resulting in increased theft exposure for materials.


While these thefts are insurable, there are steps you can take to minimise the chances of it happening to you.

Here are some tips to minimise the chances of suffering a theft of tools or materials loss:

  1. Delivery schedule – wherever possible coordinate deliveries of materials to coincide with their use or installation.  By promptly installing/utilising materials involved in your projects, you’ll minimise the amount of materials available on-site for theft. 

  2. Storing materials or goods - while minimising the amount kept on-site is important, overnight storage of materials is another key consideration.  Storing items away from public view, ideally in a locked storage container, will help lower the chance of theft.

  3. Marking materials – sometimes you can't always minimise large or bulk items like timber on-site or locked away.  Look to mark timber and windows with your company name or job address to more readily identify it and reduce the likelihood of theft.

  4. Know your neighbours - neighbours can play an essential part by reporting suspicious behaviour. Please get to know them where possible and provide your contact details.

  5. Security cameras and lighting - Install on-site security cameras and use temporary lighting which helps illuminate the building site. These are becoming less expensive and now can easily link to smartphones and other devices.

  6. Site fencing and warning signs – While site fencing is only a moderate deterrent, having a secure job site and security warning signs will often discourage potential thieves and prevent a loss altogether.

If you would like further advice on how to protect your business through having the right insurance policies in place or risk management initiatives that can reduce the chances of losses occurring, please contact MBIB for further information.

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