Cash and Valuables Ratings

20 pound notesEvery security safe should have a cash rating and a valuables rating. Sometimes referred to as an “insurance rating,” this gives an indicator of how secure the safe is. The higher the cash and valuables ratings, the harder it is for a thief to break open the safe. The valuables rating is always 10 times the cash rating, as cash is so much easier to steal.

Generally speaking, it is the safe’s manufacturer who decides what the cash rating of the safe will be. Usually cash ratings are decided upon in consultation with loss prevention experts or the insurance industry, who will have to cover the theft of any cash and valuables from the safe. If a safe has a cash rating of £1,000, then an insurance company should in most cases cover the loss of that amount from the safe during a burglary.

However, it is always wise to consult with your insurance company before purchasing a safe in case they disagree with the manufacturer’s cash rating. This is very rare, but can happen. Most insurance companies will have an independent database of safes and cash ratings and will be able to tell you whether they consider a certain safe to be up to scratch. Alternatively, they may have a blacklist of safes which they believe do not meet the required standards.

Cash and valuables ratings are published as part of the safe’s specifications and are one of the first pieces of information you should seek. Cash ratings start at £1,000 for the most basic safes and go all the way to £150,000+ for high-end, maximum security safes.

In Europe, the cash and valuables rating is usually based on independent burglar resistance standards decided on by the European Centre for Standardization. These security standards are known as EN 14450 (for medium security safes) and EN 1143-1 (also known as Eurograde, for higher security safes). There are two levels of security within EN 14450, S1 and S2, while the Eurograde system starts at Grade 0 and goes all the way up to Grade VII.

In the UK, the cash and valuables ratings given by the insurance industry for these European standards are (in £1,000′s):

EN 14450 S1

EN 14450 S2

EN 1143-1 Grade 0

EN 1143-1 Grade I

EN 1143-1 Grade II

EN 1143-1 Grade III

EN 1143-1 Grade IV

EN 1143-1 Grade V

EN 1143-1 Grade VI

EN 1143-1 Grade VII

2

4

6

10

17.5

35

60

100

150

250

Different countries in the EU may decide upon different values for each of these grades. Grade VII safes are quite rare and many UK insurers will not provide cover because of the high cost involved. Those that do will generally agree upon a £250,000 rating, but this may vary.

While the cash rating of a safe gives a good indicator of how much security it provides, an even better way to be sure that you’re getting the protection you need is to look for safes that have been independently tested and certified to international standards.

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