How safe is your safe?

March 02, 2021

In recent years there has been a trend for clients to invest more and more in jewellery and watch collections. Some collect them because they like to wear them, others collect them as investment items. Either way, these valuables need to be kept safe, particularly if they are to be insured correctly. A safe would be your best bet, but how safe is your safe?!


Don’t bank on a vault

In the past, a lot of jewellery and valuable items were kept in bank vaults. In recent years, the availability of bank vaults has decreased resulting in clients keeping high levels of valuable items at home. It is therefore a good idea to invest in a suitable safe to keep items in when not being worn.

When looking for a safe, you should also consider future proofing so that you can purchase and install a safe that will continue to be adequate, even if you increase the value of your collection.


Euro Grade Safe Rating

Insurers usually use the Euro grade system with variants from grade 0, suitable for up to £6,000 in cash £60,000 valuables, up to grade 7, which can accommodate up to £250,000 in cash and valuables up to £2,500,000 of jewellery/valuables. The jewellery rating of a safe will always be a 10x multiple of the cash rating. The Eurograde rating system is applied to safes that are designed to be burglary and theft resistant. Safes that have met the necessary testing requirements are assigned EN1143 status. It is perhaps important to note that EN1143 status does not constitute any kind of fire rating. A safe that is fire rated as ‘Standard’ will give up to 30 minutes fire protection for it’s contents whereas a safe rated as ‘High’ will provide up to 90 minutes resistance.

AIS Approved Safe


The Association of Insurance Surveyors (AiS) is the UK’s main authority on insurance ratings for safes. Any safe with the AiS logo on will be a safe bet (no pun intended!) for insurance approval, but it’s always advisable to double check with your broker that the safe you are intending on purchasing will be suitable for it’s intended contents.


Correct Installation is key

When choosing a safe, it is important that it is installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. We always recommend a professional installation. If you want your valuable items to be protected properly then your safe should be anchored or bolted in place. The safe should be sunk into or bolted to concrete. Having a safe bolted to wooden floors does not give you adequate protection. Most burglars will take the whole safe, and it is easy to remove a safe that is bolted to wood.  In doing so, they can also cause a lot of damage to the property whilst removing it and it is not unheard of for a thief to roll a safe down the stairs, throw it through a window, or both!  An insurance rating of a safe only applies if it has been installed correctly and in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations.

If you would like some information on the installation of a safe, or assistance with security matters in general, here are some companies that will be able to assist. It is worth mentioning your insurers to them as well, as they may offer preferential rates. You can of course use your own suppliers, but if you want to find out if they are recognised by insurers, we can ask insurers to verify their credentials for you.


Premier Security Solutions: Contact Sarah Humphreys

TSI Security: Contact Mike Cripps

A2W Security: Contact Fred Whale


Alarms and decoys

Safes can also be connected to the property alarm system so that it is also protected by the alarm. Some safes can have a duress code, so that if you are under threat you can put in the duress code that will open the safe, but an alert will be automatically sent to the alarm company at the same time.  It is also a good idea to have a separate battery back up so that if a burglar disables the main home alarm, the safe is still protected.

Another recommendation is to have more than one safe. This spreads the risk, and means that a thief can often be diverted to a secondary, small safe as a decoy.


Need some help?

If you have a collection of jewellery, there can be a saving in premium if most of it is kept in a safe. We can arrange for what is known as a ‘floating out of safe limit’ allowing flexibility so that a client can swap and change items that they wear, as long as they remain within the pre-agreed floating limit sum.


Naturally, as high net worth insurance brokers, we are dealing with high values of insurables on a daily basis. How these valuable items are stored and secured is a constant consideration. If you want to speak about how you can best go about protecting your prized possessions and what to do to obtain a competitive quote, you can call Nicola direct on 0118 304 3802, email or start a webchat below.


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