Van break-ins: how can you protect yourself?

Van break-ins are now an everyday criminal occurrence in this country. The dark winter months make it even easier for thieves to strike. What measures can self-employed people take and which affordable solution can insure you against van break-ins?

Van break-ins: how can you protect yourself?

Belgium’s newspapers report on criminals breaking into vans all too often. In recent months, all regions in our country have been significantly affected.

  • Two vans and work equipment stolen in the Meuse region (01/10/2019; source: Nieuwsblad)
  • Two vans looted in Westkerke (31/10/2019; source: HLN)
  • Yet another theft of work equipment from a van in Ruiselede (22/11/2019; source: HLN)

We also often read that self-employed entrepreneurs do not have the financial resources at hand to buy the equipment again. As a result, not only have the materials been stolen, but the owner has also lost their livelihood. That is why, as a self-employed person, you must have adequate protection, including cover against additional financial losses.

Break-in prevention measures

Of course, you can also take a number of measures to protect your valuable materials:

  • Never leave your van doors open, even if you are constantly loading or unloading.
  • Park your van in an individual garage or enclosed area.
  • Do not leave valuable tools and machines in your van.
  • Use cameras if possible.
  • If the van is parked on a driveway, make sure that the loading doors are positioned as close to the gate or wall as possible.

If you can implement some of these measures, thieves will be less likely to target you. Also make sure you are particularly vigilant in the dark winter months and do not hesitate to contact the police if you notice anything suspicious.

An affordable insurance solution against theft

The implementation of the above measures is a first step in the right direction and reduces the risk of van break-ins. Another important factor is proper insurance that covers your equipment and any vehicle damage following a break-in.

Not that long ago, it was impossible – or not feasible – for most self-employed people to insure their equipment in vans due to the high cost.

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits has created an insurance policy for the ‘transport of goods by road as part of one’s own activities’ (abbreviated as V.E.R. in Dutch) as an appropriate, affordable solution covering the financial consequences of van break-ins.

The insurance covers all your own goods if they are transported with your own resources. The transport must be part of your professional activities, though. The goods can be machines, materials and tools.

Insurance cover for the transport of goods by road as part of one's own activities (V.E.R.)

Here is a brief overview of some of the cover and territory of the insurance for the transport of goods by road as part of one’s own activities.

You are covered if:

  • Someone has broken into the vehicle and stolen the goods.
  • Someone has stolen the vehicle and the goods.
  • Someone has used violence to steal the goods from the vehicle.
  • The goods have been damaged during loading and unloading.
  • The insured goods are damaged, but there is no damage to the vehicle, for example because you needed to make an emergency stop in traffic that caused the cargo to fall or shift.

The insurance territory includes the Benelux, France and Germany as standard, but this can be extended to the entire EU.

Find out even more about the cover and premiums on the information sheet below or request more information now on +32 (0)3 217 67 53 or at

Jesse Mertens

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