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Back to Basics on Safes

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It is considered to be best practise for businesses to seek advice and approval of a safe ahead of actually making a purchase.

In common with most (but not all) insurers we will usually refer to the AIS Safe List. This is a highly reliable resource but it is not available to the public therefore, your insurer needs to do it for you. The AIS Safe List provides a recommended ‘cash rating’ for almost all safes available on the market, both new and secondhand.

In a nutshell, ‘cash rating’ means that if your new safe was rated at £10K, that is the maximum amount of cash that you should be keeping in it at any one time. However, this is not an exact science and it is important to note that insurers may increase the amount of cover the ‘cash rating’ of your safe will give you by taking into account the overall security of your premises. In effect, good security measures may allow you to store higher sums of cash in the safe.

For the storage of jewellery in a safe, insurers tend to multiply the ‘cash rating’ by 10. So in the example given above, jewellery stored in the safe would be covered up to a limit of £100K. As explained above, insurers may decide to allow a higher level of cover, others lower, based upon other security factors being considered. This is why it is so very important to obtain advice and approval before purchasing your safe.

Some of the safes on the list carry an ‘AIS Approval’. This means that they will have been tested by an approved certification body. Clearly it will make life simpler, particularly for a small start-up business, to try to obtain a safe that carries the AIS Approval.

If older safes are to be accepted by insurers at the cash ratings recommended on the Safe List they must be serviced at regular intervals by safe engineers in accordance with the BS 7582:2005 Code of Practice for Reconditioning of Used Safes.

It is, on the whole, best not to purchase from non-approved suppliers (online etc.), unless the safe you buy is subsequently going to be fully serviced and the locks changed by an approved safe engineer.

Another good tip is to look for safe suppliers and engineers of new and secondhand safes who are members of EuroSafe UK. This is a not-for-profit organisation representing the interests of safe manufacturers, importers and distributors in the UK. Check out for a list of companies.

Installation of the safe should be done strictly in accordance with BS EN 1143-1:2005 for safe grades Zero and above, and BS EN 14450:2005 for safes below grade Zero, which would include correctly anchoring it as the weight of the safe requires.

As ever, all aspects of insurance for jewellers is a complex matter best dealt with by experts. ALWAYS seek advice you can trust. Going to a broker approved by your official trade organisation is a good place to begin.

For an instant general assessment of your overall security risk level use this link:

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