Insurance rates for safes are published for most European countries and are a helpful guide, usually sourced directly from the insurance industry, for clients in choosing a safe appropriate to a given risk. The recommended amounts related display for each certified grade of safe in relation to cash and jewellery cover are for indicative purposes only. Actual insurance cover is subject to approval by an insurer on a case-by-case basis, so before investing in any safe it is important to consult your insurance provider beforehand however it is the client’s responsibility to ensure that the grade or specification of safe chosen is properly certified.
In the Republic of Ireland our official safes ratings come from the Irish Safes Ratings Group (I.S.R.G.) which was established in 2016 to make and periodically update, recommended insurance ratings related to the overnight cash cover for certified safes, strong rooms and secure cabinets, conforming to European standards, for the Republic of Ireland. The National Standards Authority of Ireland and The Private Security Authority sit in an observer capacity on the group. Having been sourced directly from the Republic of Ireland's insurance industry the I.S.R.G. rates for certified safes are the official rates recognised by The European Security Systems Association.
Inflated Insurance Rates
Many safe suppliers continue to advertise inflated insurance rates for safes on sale in Ireland that are neither conversions of U.K. Sterling rates nor I.S.R.G. rates. To make matters worse, EN14450 "Secure Cabinets", products which are not safes, are frequently presented as both being "safes" and having ratings, a practice that is quite widespread. In all cases, fictitious insurance rates for cabinets and safes are presented as being achievable without the need for an intruder alarm installed on the premises where the safe is fitted. An idea that would never be entertained by any Irish risk manager, or any insurance organisation for that matter.
To give just one example of a certified safe currently being advertised in Ireland with a range of different rates:
- A Certified grade 1 safe has an I.S.R.G. rate of €12,500 and this is the rate correctly on very few web sites.
- £10,000 Pounds Sterling is the equivalent of €11,683.00, yet the most commonly displayed rate or cover for this certified grade 1 safe, on web sites for safe retailers based in Ireland is €15,000 and a rate as high as €17,500 can be found on at least one site.
This unsubstantiated €15,000 figure is neither the U.K. rate nor the higher I.S.R.G. rate sourced from the Irish insurance industry itself so it would seem that, rather than advising genuine insurance rates recommended for safes and vaults, many safe suppliers in Ireland are now engaged in raising their advertised “recommended rates” for safes in the belief that higher advertised rates will give them a marketing edge over their competitors. This practise is of course misrepresentation; in that it is intended to mislead clients into thinking they can achieve an unrealizable insurance cover.
If you encounter rates that differ from the indicative rates shown on the I.S.R.G. web site – www.isrg.ie , or the E.S.S.A. web site – www. http://www.ecb-s.com , it is important to understand that the rates you see are false, either by intention or through ignorance.
Documentation And Certification
Almost all insurers will specify a certified grade of safe for the protection of cash or jewellery, but seldom provide a definition of a "certified safe". EU regulation 765/2008 created the system that provides the legal basis of accreditation for the certification of safes to European standards (ISO/IEC 17065). A system backed by regular auditing and market surveillance.
A reputable safe supplier will always provide accredited certification documents for a safe and the safe will have a certification plate which can be located on the inside of the safe’s door. This will always be a stamped metal plate, never a sticker. Accredited European certification is verifiable assurance that a safe, fire safe or data cabinet has been tested and certified under European law. Proof of standard for insurance, GDPR and litigation purposes. Look for an ISO/IEC17065 accreditation noted on the document and on the safe’s certification plate.
Rates And Cover
Some insurers may decide that a higher cover is warranted based on their risk assessment, some may decide the specification of the safe is not adequate or may insist on various types of monitoring. For higher levels of cover a certain amount of negotiation is to be expected and additional measures may be required to mitigate risk. The rates shown below presume a monitored intruder alarm is installed. It is not hard to encounter rates that differ from the indicative rates shown as unfortunately there are many safe suppliers, some well known, that invent higher rates to attract business. It is often the case that displaying false rates is an indication of more serious issues with a supplier who does so.
|Amounts in €1000 units
Contents cover is five times cash rating
|Grade||Standard||Type||Cash||Jewellery / Contents|
|S1||EN 14450||Secure Cabinet||NA||NA|
|S2||EN 14450||Secure Cabinet||NA||NA|
|I||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€12,500.00||€62,500.00|
|II||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€25,000.00||€125,000.00|
|III||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€50,000.00||€250,000.00|
|IV||EN 1143-1 / EN 1143-2||Safe / Deposit Safe||€90,000.00||€450,000.00|
Certified Safes Ireland™ director Alan Donohoe Redd is a member of the European CEN263 Working Group responsible for writing European Standards for safes, strongrooms (vaults), secure cabinets and physical data protection for the European Union. A registered NATO supplier and a longstanding member of the European Security Systems Association, Alan has a vast range of experience spanning almost 40 years and encompassing installation of safes, strongrooms, physical data protection, CCTV, alarms, access control, secure storage control systems and Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) specification, design, and installation.
Alan is an expert on standards and fraud issues related to secure storage in Europe and the UK, has had articles related to these subjects published by The Law Society Gazette and Irish Broker Magazine, has forced retractions of multiple false claims related to secure storage offerings to the public, including some published by the Irish Times, and has been pivotal in having misleading standards and practises recognised and withdrawn in Ireland, the UK and at a European level.
N.A.T.O. Europe, The U.S. Air Force (Europe), PayPal (Worldwide), Grant Thornton, The Department Of Communications (NCSC Cyber Security) (Ireland), The Revenue Commissioners, Electricity Supply Board (Cyber Security) (Ireland), The Danish Defence Forces (Afghanistan), The Insurance Institute of Ireland, The Royal College Of Surgeons, BFC Bank, Interxion Data Centres, The Private Security Authority, Isle of Man Gold Bullion, Brown Thomas, Bvlgari, Boodles, Druids Glen, The Shelbourne Hotel, and many others ....
Alan's seminars on safes, strongrooms and HNW secure storage have been part of Continuing Professional Development for underwriters and insurers having been awarded CPD points by the Insurance Institute of Ireland and the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK).
Due Diligence Notes
Contrary to what many people may believe the profession of "Locksmith" has long been recognised as one almost completely separate from the supply and installation of safes and strongrooms in the E.U. With most insurers and An Garda Síochána (Irish Police) advising against the use of mechanical locks on safes due to the ease of opening via non-invasive manipulation, the last connection between these two professions is quickly disappearing. There are exceptions to every rule, and a locksmith may have the necessary knowledge to correctly specify, survey for, and anchor a certified safe, however, most locksmiths have very little knowledge in relation to European standards for safes and The Private Security Authority (PSA) does not require any qualifications to issue a locksmith license.
Ireland and the UK are notorious black spots for fraud and misrepresentation in the safe supply sector. Well-known safe suppliers being penalised for tax evasion and having served time in jail are just some indications of a wide range of malpractice and illegal activity throughout the safe supply industry. We strongly encourage due diligence before engaging a safe supplier or having someone survey your home or business, irrespective of who recommends them.