Safe ratings – How insurance assess what type of safe is suitable for jewellery

March 31, 2013

The price of gold, diamonds and precious metals has risen dramatically over the last two to three years; general estimates suggest as much as 50-60%. As a result, the cost of jewellery has also risen by similar percentages. Sadly this is only highlighted to people when a loss occurs. Insurers will require either an estimate to repair or replace the item lost or damaged or use one of their recommended companies. It is then that realisation hits that the cost of replacing the treasured item has doubled and the sum insured is not sufficient.


The first recommendation is to have the jewellery valued every two to three years. At Macbeths, we have access to a number of reputable companies that can provide up to date valuations at a reasonable cost. This will ensure that there is no under insurance and that clients will be fully reimbursed following a loss.

In addition to the under insurance aspect, an increase in values can also create significant changes to household insurance’s, not only in premiums but also in any terms applied. Many insurers are asking for the installation of floor safes, the size of safe requested is all based on the total jewellery value within household. Historically ‘Cash Rating’ is the term used for safes that are strong enough to be able to hold cash, but in terms of jewellery the ratio is 10 to 1, so for example £80,000 of jewellery would see an insurer requesting a £8,000 cash rated safe to be fitted.

The second recommendation is to install a floor safe, anchored, of sufficient cash rating that it can protect your jewellery. It is also prudent to plan ahead so that if your jewellery collection is likely to increase over a number of years, install higher cash rated safes to be able to cater for the higher amount.

If your insurer asks you to install a Euro grade safe, what does this mean in terms of cash rating?

Below is a list of the cash rated safes and what they would become in Grades under the European grading system:

Grade 0 – £6,000 cash rating

Grade 1 – £10,000 cash rating

Grade 2 – £17,500 cash rating

Grade 3 – £35,000 cash rating

Grade 4 – £60,000 cash rating

Grade 5 – £100,000 cash rating

Grade 6 – £150,000 cash rating


For further information about safes and the insurance implications as well as how to insure jewellery, please contact Carl Sharp on 01189 165487 or complete one of our enquiry forms.

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