General Property Insurance is an indispensable safeguard for businesses, offering a shield against potential losses due to damage or theft of crucial items used in operations. This versatile insurance product is not just for large, high-value items but also covers a range of portable business assets, ensuring that you’re protected across Australia, regardless of where your business takes you.

What is General Property Insurance?

Commonly referred to as “tools of trade insurance,” General Property Insurance is tailored for businesses that rely on portable equipment. From tradies with their array of tools to consultants with essential tech gadgets like laptops and tablets, this insurance plays a pivotal role. It’s particularly vital for items that are regularly moved from place to place, and unlike fixed assets, these are not covered under typical business contents insurance.

General Property Insurance policies are diverse, but they primarily cover:

  • Damage: This includes harm from fire, storms, or vehicle accidents.
  • Theft: Protection covers scenarios of forced entry. More comprehensive plans may also include ‘open air’ theft, which is theft without signs of forced entry, although these policies tend to be more expensive.

Some insurers extend their coverage to include accidental damage and natural disasters like floods, although this varies and should be confirmed with your insurance provider.

carpenters tools on table

What Type of Businesses Could Use General Property Cover?

General Property Insurance is highly versatile, making it suitable for a diverse array of businesses that utilise portable or high-value items in their operations. Here’s a look at some business types that would particularly benefit from this type of coverage:

  • Trades and Construction Businesses – For tradespeople such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and builders, tools and equipment are the lifeblood of their work. These items are frequently transported to various job sites and are at risk of being damaged or stolen.
  • Consulting and Professional Services – Professionals such as architects, engineers, and consultants often use expensive surveying and electronic equipment as part of their services. These tools are essential for their work, whether on-site or in different locations, making them prime candidates for General Property Insurance.
  • Medical and Health Services – Mobile medical providers, including physiotherapists and mobile clinic operators, use specialised medical equipment that needs to be transported to various locations. This equipment is not only expensive but also crucial for providing patient care.
  • Photographers and Videographers – Professionals in the photography and videography industry carry costly cameras, lenses, and other photographic equipment to various locations for shoots. The portable nature of their equipment makes it susceptible to damage and theft.
  • Sports and Recreation – Businesses that operate in sports and recreation, such as sporting coaches or event organisers, often use sports equipment that can be very expensive. General Property Insurance can cover these items when transported to different event venues.
  • Event and Entertainment Industry – For those in the theatrical, exhibition, and broader entertainment sectors, props, costumes, and specialised equipment are regularly moved between locations and are at risk. Coverage is essential to protect these valuable assets.
  • Novelty and Event Equipment Rentals – Businesses that rent out items like photo booths, jumping castles, and large inflatable marketing dolls for events also stand to benefit. These items are not only costly but are often used in less-controlled environments, increasing the risk of accidental damage or theft.

A Potential List of Items That Could Be Insured Under General Property Coverage

The scope of items that can be protected under General Property Insurance is broad, reflecting the diverse needs of various businesses. Here are some key categories:

  • Tools of Trade – Hand tools, power tools, and specialised machinery used by tradespeople.
  • Surveying Equipment – Theodolites, laser levels, GPS tools used in construction, and environmental assessment.
  • Mobile Medical – Portable X-ray machines, ultrasound equipment, and other diagnostic tools used by healthcare professionals.
  • Mobile Electronic – Laptops, tablets, and high-end audio-visual equipment used by professionals across various industries.
  • Photographic – Cameras, lenses, tripods, lighting equipment, and other related gear used by photographers and videographers.
  • Sports Equipment – Training equipment, protective gear, and specialised sporting tools used by coaches and sports organisations.
  • Theatrical – Stage props, lighting equipment, sound systems, and costumes used in theatre and performance arts.
  • Exhibitions – Display stands, artwork, interactive installations, and promotional materials used in trade shows and exhibitions.

Each category encompasses a wide range of items, each integral to the operational success of various businesses. Securing General Property Insurance ensures that these crucial tools and equipment are protected against unforeseen events, allowing businesses to operate without the looming threat of significant financial loss due to damage or theft.

Industries & Professions That Could Use General Property Insurance

This insurance covers a broad spectrum of items, essential for various business types:

  • Tradesmen: Tools and high-value electronic equipment.
  • Consultants and Mobile Professionals: Laptops, mobile phones, tablets.
  • Specialised Equipment: Photographic and sports equipment, medical and electronic devices.

It’s crucial to note that while public liability insurance is key for protecting against third-party claims, it doesn’t cover damage to your own property. That’s where General Property Insurance comes in, filling that vital gap and ensuring your business assets are comprehensively protected.

photography studio

Cost of General Property Insurance

The cost of securing General Property Insurance is influenced by several factors:

  • Value of Insurable Items: Higher-value items lead to higher premiums.
  • Business Type: Businesses with a lower claims history might enjoy reduced costs.
  • Geographical Location: Areas with a higher incidence of claims may see increased premiums.
  • Scope of Coverage: Basic policies covering standard risks like fire and storm are cheaper, whereas those including theft without forced entry and flood cover cost more.

It’s vital for businesses, especially those frequently transporting their tools and equipment, to consider General Property Insurance. The inconvenience and financial burden of replacing stolen or damaged equipment can be significant. Hence, investing in a suitable general property insurance plan not only provides peace of mind but also ensures business continuity.

Why Invest in General Property Insurance?

Every business owner should assess the need for General Property Insurance based on their daily operations. If your business involves transporting tools or other valuable equipment, this insurance can be crucial. It’s not just about the value of the items but the role they play in your business operations. Being prepared for the unexpected helps maintain your business’s efficiency and financial stability.