Portable equipment insurance

Running a business on the go? Portable equipment insurance can cover your kit against theft, loss and damage when you’re out of the office.

Cover laptops, smartphones and other common items. Also, certain specialist kit, such as an architectural laser measurer or a camera and tripod.

Taking out portable equipment insurance as part of contents cover for small businesses can help offer protection when you’re working away from your usual place of work.


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Why choose Hiscox for your portable equipment insurance?


Tailored cover

Tailor equipment insurance to your needs. Tell us about the kit you carry.


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We won the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award in 2024.


Unlimited changes

Make unlimited changes to your cover with no admin fees. Ensure you tell us about any new equipment that needs covering.

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What is portable equipment insurance?

Portable equipment insurance is a specialist type of cover. It protects kit that’s accidentally lost, damaged or stolen outside your premises.

It’s officially known as ‘property away and in transit insurance’. Meaning your property is covered while it’s away from your premises. For example, when visiting a client, or travelling for work.

Loss, theft or damage may cause disruption, no matter how much care you take. Portable equipment insurance can help with repairs or replacements.

Insurance for portable equipment can also help with the cost of hiring similar items. Say, a photographer’s insured lighting is damaged before a client shoot.

In this case, Hiscox portable equipment insurance may cover substitute hire charges. This could apply from the date of damage, until the items are repaired or replaced. But for no longer than six months.

How does portable equipment insurance work?

To insure your equipment and kit, you have different options.

Portable equipment cover is a type of property insurance that covers your equipment against loss, theft or damage, with a variety of options for geographical limits. For example, it can cover incidents anywhere in the UK, Europe, or the world. This depends on the geographical limits you select. It covers items while they’re away from your normal premises. We also insure tools this way.

Another add-on is equipment breakdown insurance. This protects against sudden mechanical or electrical failures. Equipment breakdown and portable equipment are two different types of contents insurance for small businesses. They’re not interchangeable.

Do I need portable equipment insurance?

You may need portable equipment insurance if you rely on certain kit. Or if you’d find it hard to replace items yourself.

Many professionals work on the go. That means they take equipment with them. If this sounds like you, insurance may be useful for the UK and beyond.

  • Are you a health and safety or education consultant? You could leave a laptop or device on a train. Replacements for these would be expensive
  • Mobile hairdressers also rely on kit. What if thieves stole a bag filled with all your clippers, straighteners and curling tongs?
  • Photographers need hardware to capture quality work. But cameras smash. Lenses go astray. Insurance could help cover kit replacement costs
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How much portable equipment insurance do I need?

It’s easy to work out your insurance cover needs. It would be the total price to replace your kit equipment if it was all lost, damaged or stolen.

Need to change your policy at a later date? We can action this with no admin fee. Your policy premium may go up or down.

What does portable equipment insurance cover?

For accidental damage or loss within the geographical limits, we'll pay up to the replacement value you select to:

  • Repair or replace portable equipment as new
  • Repair or replace stock at trade market value
  • Repair or replace goods held in trust at trade market value, or pay your liability in those goods, whichever is the lesser

What does portable equipment insurance not cover?

  • Unexplained loss or disappearance
  • Lost or damaged money or personal effects
  • Damage to portable equipment or stock that directly results from its own failure
  • Damage from wear and tear
  • Loss or damage caused by fraud or dishonesty
  • Loss or damage caused by theft. Unless the insured item is in your care, custody or control
  • The amount of the excess

Please refer to the policy documents for the full details of inclusions and exclusions of this cover. Policy documents are available when purchasing online. You can also contact our customer services team for more information. 

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Portable equipment insurance: FAQs

How much does portable business equipment insurance cost?

The cost of portable equipment insurance is linked to the price of replacing lost, stolen or damaged business kit. Take care when you work these figures out. You’ll use them to set your cover limit. We’ll run the numbers from here.

Our business insurance starts at £8.40* a month.

*Figures based on an average of all business insurance policies sold to at least 10% of our customer base between April 2023 and April 2024

How can I pay for portable equipment insurance from Hiscox?

It’s easy to pay for portable equipment insurance with Hiscox. You can:

  • Buy your cover with a debit card
  • Pay via monthly or annual direct debit

Whichever suits you best. We’ll ask for the payment method when you apply. Depending on the method, we’ll take the payment on a set date.

Does portable equipment insurance cover electrical items?

Yes, portable equipment insurance can cover electrical kit when you’re out and about. Equipment breakdown insurance is an optional extra too. This covers electrical gear if it malfunctions.

Does portable equipment insurance cover hired equipment?

Hiring business equipment? You’ll need to add this to your policy. Once that’s done and showing in your policy schedule, we may pay for damage during the insured period.

Before hiring equipment, do an inventory check. Inspect hired items for existing damage.

When the hire period ends, return the items to authorised staff at the hire firm.

What other property insurance is available from Hiscox?

Other types of property insurance available from Hiscox include:

Does portable equipment insurance cover rental equipment?

Yes, Hiscox portable equipment insurance can cover hired-in items. These can be things like laptops, or specialist equipment such as plant and machinery. This cover helps to protect these items while away from your usual place of work.

Our cover can also help with continuing hire charges while an item is in for repairs after an insured event. Plus, there’s help with fees if you need to hire a substitute item during this time. This is for up to six months.

You must complete a full inventory check when you hire in business equipment, noting any existing damage.

Portable equipment insurance can also cover things like:

  • Computers
  • Stock
  • Research and development property, such as prototypes
  • Tools, plant and machinery
  • Exhibition stands
  • Documents
  • Related accessories. For instance, laptop cases, headsets or chargers.

Does portable equipment insurance cover damage caused by fire and flood?

Yes, portable equipment insurance can cover fire damage. It can also help if flooding damages on-the-go equipment, where floods are caused by storms.

This adds an extra layer of protection in case problems strike when your kit is on an external site.

When should I get portable equipment insurance?

Insurance for portable business equipment may be relevant once you remove kit from your work premises. This could be when you give staff smartphones or tablet computers, for example.

Meet our experts

Simon Ratcliff

“Whether providing office insurance to corporate businesses or tailored solutions for niche trades and professions, I use my 25 years’ industry experience to enhance our property and liability products and do the right thing for our customers.” 

- Simon Ratcliff, Commercial Property and Liability Underwriting Manager