|The number of vans on Belgian roads continues to increase year after year, says Belgian insurer AG. In 10 years, the number of registrations of new vans has increased by 58%. Besides the success of online shopping, the strong growth in the number of self-employed start-ups is undoubtedly an important explanation for this increase. For many of these self-employed people, a van is the working tool of choice for the transport of their goods and equipment, which is why drivers and fleets need hire and reward van insurance.
Vans are therefore often moving workshops. And that makes them especially vulnerable not only in accidents, but especially to theft from and in the van. That’s why AG is launching a customized insurance cover, the Merchandise and Equipment Pack.
The kitchen installer who loads cabinets, countertops and appliances into his van to place them with a customer the next morning… The electrician whose van is crammed with electrical equipment and tools… which self-employed or SME does not recognise this situation? According to the latest statistics, there are currently some 815,000 Belgian vans on our roads , an increase of more than 16% compared to 4 years ago.
22 thefts per day in the Netherlands
Unfortunately, a rapidly growing number of vans also means a rapidly growing number of thefts from and in vans. Specific figures on thefts in vans are not available in Belgium, but figures from a similar country to the Netherlands illustrate the scale of the problem. Our northern neighbours had almost 8,000 reports of vehicle equipment theft in 2017, almost 22 a day, and a doubling compared to four years earlier. As in Belgium, theft in vans often seems to be a regional and temporary phenomenon: the theft scourge rises rapidly in a certain region and then disappears just as quickly to appear elsewhere. Police forces therefore assume that these are well-organised and specialised gangs.
“For car thieves, stealing tools is interesting because it has a good second-hand value and because tools are poorlyregistered”, explains Margreet Jansen of the Dutch Insurance Agency Vehicle Crime. In addition, cunning burglars manage to get the standard locks of a van’s cargo area open on average within 30 seconds. With great consequences: “The damage in the event of a burglary quickly rises to thousands ofeuros”, states the Dutch business association Evofenedex. Such damage consists not only of the loss of the precious tools, but also of any damage to the vehicle itself and the loss of income because work cannot be carried out.”