If you have installed a safe at home or are considering fitting one, you may be wondering how these are graded and what you can keep in them.

When it comes to more expensive and valuable items, insurers will commonly ask for a particular type of safe to be used by their clients. Whether it is jewellery, watches, money or important documents, this guide will help you understand how to select a safe that meets your insurer requirements.


Safes are graded according to how resistant they are to attack, and the quantity of cash held within. Where valuables are stored, the cash rating is multiplied to give a maximum. The usual rule is a multiplier of ten.

The definition of a safe's cash rating is 'the amount an insurance will cover in a safe/cabinet overnight' and, unsurprisingly, the stronger the safe, the higher its rating.

Size equals strength

The sheer range of safes available on the market can appear bewildering. One can purchase a basic, unrated model for as little as £20, though this will be insufficient for most insurers as it will have no cash (and therefore no valuables) rating. 

Safes gain a grading due to their resistance to attack, and the quality of the safe is linked directly to this – as the grading increases, the safe becomes stronger in simple terms. The walls and door will get progressively thicker, increasing the time it can withstand an attempt to break in.

Making the grade

The grading system itself is relatively simple. You should always check with your insurer before ordering a safe to ensure that it meets any grading requirement and that you are satisfied with the level of cover the insurer will provide.



Cash rating

Jewellery rating
































Installation in a safe place

Once you know what type of safe you need, the next step is to consider where you will keep it. We would recommend instructing a suitably qualified contractor to undertake the installation work. Larger safes, for example, can usually only be installed in rooms on ground floors due to their weight. Similarly, floor safes are generally only suitable for solid floor mounting. Basements should only be used if they are correctly damp proofed, as damp can cause securing bolts to deteriorate.

Security is key

There are three main types of locking mechanisms:

  • Key operated – manually operated lock using a key
  • Mechanical combination – keyless lock that requires a code to access
  • Electronic – keyless electronic lock with a combination as above

If additional staff need to access the safe, you can expand these locks further. In this instance, we would advise employing an audit trail feature to maintain a record of all users. 

Our team at Lockton Private Clients can provide you both insurance solutions and expert guidance around managing your risk when it comes to storing your valuables. We can also put you in touch with reputable expert safe suppliers and installers to secure the best solution for your needs. With the right advice, you can feel confident that your most treasured items are properly protected.

For further advice, please do get in touch with us using the details below.