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Safe Insurance Explained

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When buying safes you cannot base your choice on looks or price alone, at least not if you want your insurance company to cover you for losses due to theft, fire or flood damage to the safe and or its contents.

The manufacturers of quality cash safes will give Insurance or Cash Rating for each safe expressed in terms of the amount of cash an insurance underwriter considers you can safely store in the safe. The general rule is that the higher the cash rating the more secure the safe is from burglars and safecrackers. The Cash rating also usually defines the Valuables rating of the safe i.e. the equivalent value of non-cash valuables such as jewellery the safe can hold. This is almost universally agreed by insurers as 10 times the cash rating.

A safe certified to EN14450 is suitable for low risk applications up to a maximum of £4000 in cash and £40,000 in valuables and are a popular choice for home security. The European standard EN1143-1 covers everything above this security level and safes to this standard are often termed Euro or Eurograde cash safes. The “Grade” is expressed as a number from Grade 0 to Grade13 in ascending order of greater security. A grade 13 safe is effectively equivalent to a bank vault with a cash rating of £3.5 million.

Assigning cash ratings is usually based upon testing to the European Attack Test Standards and drop tests that are now widely recognised by the insurance industry and provide independent third party confirmation of the security level and durability of a safe. You do sometimes see equivalent American test standards quoted usually prefixed by UL and independent laboratory certifications such as NT or NordTest more often for fire and water resistance.

Certification to international standards is the starting point for choosing the right safe for your circumstances but be aware that different insurers may apply different risk assessment criteria due to other factors such as the location of the property and the presence of other security measures. It is always best to check with your insurer that your cover is adequate particularly if you are storing lots of cash or valuables.

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