Theft from vans: an epidemic among the self-employed

Theft of materials from vans is one of fastest growing types of theft in Belgium. Police statistics show that there were 75% more registered thefts in 2016 compared to 2015. What preventive measures can you take and how can you insure yourself against theft?

Theft from vans: an epidemic among the self-employed

Theft from vans is a very real problem at the moment. In late 2016, Unizo and the Bouwunie launched a prevention campaign in West Flanders called Maak van je camionette geen etalage (“Don’t leave your van vulnerable to theft”). They wanted to give contractors tips on how to secure their vans and prevent the theft of valuable materials.

In this article we explain:

1. How you can take preventive measures against van theft.
2. The insurance solutions that are on the market today which can protect you against financial damage in the event of theft from your van.

Ways to prevent theft

Every week, more contractors fall victim to van theft. However, you can significantly reduce the risk of theft by taking certain preventive measures:

  • Park your van in a garage or on a private site.
  • Never leave your sliding doors open, even if you are constantly loading or unloading.
  • Never leave valuable tools and machines where thieves can see them.
  • If you park on a driveway, ensure that the loading doors are parked as close as possible to a door or wall.

Insurance solutions against financial damage

Taking preventive measures is the first step towards protecting yourself against the consequences of van theft. The second step is to take out good insurance.

For many years, contractors lacked options when it came to insuring themselves against the theft of materials from their vans. However, Vanbreda Risk & Benefits recently launched an “Own-account carriage of goods by road” insurance (or “OCG insurance”), giving contractors an excellent way to insure themselves against financial damage resulting from theft.

OCG insurance covers damage to goods owned by you if you are transporting them at your own expense. This includes machines, materials and tools you use in your work.

Below, we have set out a number of scenarios that are covered under OCG insurance.

You may receive payment if:

  • someone steals your vehicle and goods
  • someone breaks into your vehicle and steals goods
  • someone forcibly steals goods from your vehicle
  • someone forcibly steals your vehicle and goods
  • your goods or vehicle are damaged due to fire, lightning or an explosion.
Jesse Mertens

Contact us on 03 217 67 53 or at for more information.

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