’There is absolutely a gap in the market to offer really premium products to tradespeople,’ says cofounder

ARMD’s new Tools in Transit product can fill a gap in the tradesperson market amid theft from vans becoming a “significant problem”.

That is according to the managing general agent’s (MGA) latest hire Alan Hickman, who feels that the firm’s solution is gaining interest from brokers due to it providing more “comprehensive” cover when a theft occurs.

Back in May 2023, insurer Direct Line revealed that there were 35,098 incidents of tool theft reported to police forces in 2022 – up 13% from 2021.

Over half (55%) of the tool thefts took place from a vehicle – equating to 19,147 cases and a 10% increase from 2021.

To help combat this problem, ARMD launched its Tools in Transit product in December 2023, which provides up to £10,000 for tools left securely in a van 24/7.

“There are a few specific products that exist in the market – some of them, in our view, do not have the right level of cover,” Hickman says.

“There is absolutely a gap in the market to offer really premium products to tradespeople because [theft] is a problem that exists.

“Theft is our start point with Tools in Transit – theft from a van is a significant problem.

“The numbers are enormous, they are growing year-on-year, so there is a problem to be solved.”


To help with the distribution of the product, ARMD partnered with wholesale broker distribution platform Sparta Insurance Services.

Since doing this in December 2023, the MGA says its full focus is on distributing its insurance offering via brokers.

To help do this, Hickman has been brought on board as a cofounder, with him aiming to “help the business scale and achieve its ambitious growth plans with brokers in the UK”.

“[When it comes to] bolstering the strategy, it is about understanding insurance brokers, understanding the value they can add to this chain and recognising their understanding of the tradespeople they insure across multiple product lines,” he says.

“Brokers are really interested in the product. They love a product that is comprehensive, which is good news because part of the frustrations were that there is limited levels of liability cover [in the market].”


As part of ARMD’s offering, the Tools in Transit product also includes a web-based tool inventory to help with quicker claims payouts.

Hickman says that the average claims turnaround is around five weeks in the UK, although feels that subject to the utilisation of the technology, tradespeople can obtain claims payouts within five days.

And Hickman says that ARMD is working to bring the timeframe down even further, which he feels is also piquing brokers’ interest.

“What we are trying to do is bring the tradesperson back in work and we want to, over a period of time, reduce that to as minimal timeframe as possible, so the tradesperson can get back out to work that day,” he says.

“Brokers love the product, they love the technology and they love the innovation.

“They like the ability to be able to prevent loss as they see that as a unique selling point to their tradespeople.”

He also reveals that with technology currently at ARMD’s disposal, the firm is looking to expand the products it provides in the tradespeople market.

“The work we are undertaking with brokers, wholesalers and software houses is based on longer-term partnership goals and what else we are able to offer broker partners that they can offer tradespeople,” he says.