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“Uninsured Plant Thefts Cost Double the Original Price Tag” Warns Bolton’s aba Group

Unlike other vehicles like cars and lorries, traditional construction equipment or ‘plant’ remains particularly vulnerable. As engineering techniques and technology have improved, construction equipment has become increasingly small, more easy to use


Many pieces of plant equipment can be carried by hand and so they have a greater appeal to opportunists; what’s more, a large proportion of mobile plant can be started with a common key.
Mr Graham Webster, the Managing Director of Bolton’s aba Group states:
“The precise extent of the problem that plant theft poses in the UK is still up for dispute but it is commonplace and in statistics published by the IMIA, it is thought to cost in the region of £1.5 million every week; where mini-diggers alone account for some £20 million every year”
The key victims of plant theft are the contractors and insurers; where money is lost through claims, lost business and disrupted projects, although the cost of uninsured plant theft is considered to be much higher.
“When plant is stolen, not only must it be replaced, but you also have to consider the reparations. If a contractor has specialists on-site to use the equipment then the contractor  will need to pay them more to keep them around once the replacement plant arrives and they may also need to pay to keep the site open for longer. As part of some contracts, the contractor may have to pay fines or accept discounted payment if they miss deadlines or fall behind… so often, uninsured plant theft can cost twice the amount paid out for the equipment in the first place” Says Mr Webster
One of the contributing factors to plant theft is the lack of a universal standard, or centralized database for indentifying equipment. With the DVLA, it is much easier for the authorities to trace a vehicle’s owner, whereas with some plant items it is much more difficult and this is reflected in the rate of recovery. Where cars and other DVLA registered vehicles are returned 70% of the time, plant is only ever recovered in 5% of cases. This is made even more difficult because even when plant is recovered, it is often very difficult to reacquaint the item with its original owner owing to a lack of information.
“As a result it is quite common for plant to be stolen and then claimed for, so that by the time stolen plant is returned, the owner often already has a replacement courtesy of the insurer as their projects cannot wait for the original to turn up. This does however illustrate the importance of having cover. If like many contractors, you hire your plant, it is vital that you have Hired Plant Insurance; otherwise in the event of theft, you’ll be paying out for much more than a mini-excavator. You will have to pay out for lost fees on the plant providers part, as they can’t hire out stolen goods, and you will also have to hire a replacement to finish the job” says Mr Webster.
As the British weather improves, thefts in outdoor areas such as storage yards and out-buildings are expected to rise owing to the increase in daylight hours. So if you regularly use hired plant, you might want to consider a Hired Plant Insurance policy to manage your business risks. You can request an audit from any Commercial Insurance Broker, or you can contact the aba Group directly.
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About aba Group:
aba Group has been operating in Bolton for years, headed by Managing Director Graham Webster and fellow Director Lynne Eckersley, they have 70 years’ experience in the industry between them. Their specialist insurance coverage spans schools and academies, directors, officers, contractors, engineers, landlords and a whole host of other professional roles and activities; which has seen them become the go-to business insurance brokers locally.
For further information contact:


 hired plant insurance
 commercial insurance
 business insurance broker
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