If you have been looking into buying a safe for a while you may well have come across a few phrases relating in one way or another to Insurance in relation to safes. Some (not all) of these phrases might include 'cash rating', 'jewellery rating', 'eurograde', 'EN14450', 'EN1143-1' or sometimes 'euro grade'. In this article we will try to explain what all this means and more specifically what it means to you.

Firstly we need to accept the simple fact that some safes are stronger than others, in other words some safes are more secure than others. For example, if you buy a safe that looks like this next photo for say £35 in a supermarket, you can't really expect it to be secure at all (and it's not).

a cheap safe with no insurance rating whatsoever

Read on or click here to jump straight to the table with all the ratings

The industry needs a method of quantifying the difference between all the various safes and the relative security that they provide for your belongings. Engineers in white coats examine all the (proper, not the supermarket offerings) safes on offer, they bolt them down, lock them, throw away the key or the code and set about opening them. They use a host of tools that the burglar might use, such as drills hammers and prying tools like crowbars etc. Eventually they get the safe open and depending on how well the safe held up they determine the resistive strength of the safe. They then translate this into what we call an Insurance Rating. Simply put it’s a figure, often given in cash ('cash rating') that an Insurance company will accept the risk for if that amount of cash is locked in such a safe and if that safe is installed correctly. The Cash Rating is throw back to banking days but these days more often than not it's not cash that you are storing it's usually valuables such as jewellery or tech. So the 'Cash Rating' is multiplied by a factor of X10 to achieve the valuables rating, aka ' jewellery rating'.

Here is an example, at the bottom end of safe insurance ratings is the entry level which is a cash rating of £1,000. This safe would be approved by an insurance company for either storing up to £1,000 of your cash or £10,000 of your valuables.

Earlier I mentioned that the safe needs to be installer correctly for the rating to apply, lets expand on that a little. Installing a safe takes experience, understanding the various anchors that can be used to fasten the safe to the wall or the floor and also a understanding of the various materials that the wall or floor are made from.

 A professional safe installer doing what he does best

This is why insurance companies will not recognise safes that are D.I.Y. fitted or even fitted by a builder or a handyperson. It's best left to the experts who have both the experience and the range of anchors require to tackle different materials. When we install a safe we issue a certificate of installation which details both where and how the safe was installed. In the event of an insurance claim you will reply on this certificate to prove to you insurer that your safe was compliant and approved for your own risk.

Clearly you cannot issue such a certificate yourself, not can a builder or a handy man. On this point it should be note that many (most actually) of the online retailers of safes do not install safes themselves, they will merely subcontract to whomever they can find local to you willing to do the job. This almost certainly will not lead to you having the vital certificate of installation so beware.

So how do you know which rating you need?

Well, on the basis that you are wanting to secure valuables, it's quite simple. You merely add up the total replacement cost of your valuables (add 30% to that figure and round up to the nearest £10,000). Lets say you have two watches and some bracelets that to replace would cost £28,000. You add 30% (for inflation) which brings you to £36,400, then round up to the nearest £10,000 and you need a safe rated at £40,000 valuables, which happens to be our Bloomsbury range.

Some safes have certification which means they have been tested and the results documented and certified. This is where that phrase mentioned at the beginning of this article 'eurograde' comes from. Eurograde safes have undisputed ratings and are universally accepted at the quoted rating. Eurograde safes have sub-grades with sliding scale of every higher ratings In the full list below we have details these specifically. Another rating method mentions earlier is EN14450, these is also universally accepted at the quoted rating. Again the EN14450 rating is detailed specifically.

Some (not all) safes are assessed by the AiS (Association of Insurance Surveyors) If you buy a safe with the AiS logo, it's generally undisputed and universally accepted at the quoted rating.

Association of Insurance Surveyors & Three stacked Eurograde 1 Size 1 Electronic Safes

Lastly, multiple safes in one home or business can increase the insurance rating to the cumulative total. This is important to note where it's physically not possible to get say one Eurograde 2 safe into a building. We could for example install two or three smaller Eurograde 1 safes giving the cumulative rating. Please see our article on What is the Best Safe for Home for some examples.

So, moving on, we already said that the entry level rating was £1,000 cash or £10,000 valuables.

Below is a list of all the ratings available. We have shown the rating, who sets that rating and our opinion of safes within that rating.

Cash RatingValuables RatingStandard that should applyOur Opinion
£1,000£10,000None at this rating, figure is given by maker or retailerSuperficial protection only. No real resistive strength.
£1,500£15,000None at this rating, figure is given by maker or retailerCan be opened with basic burglar tools.
£2,000£20,000EN14450-S1Improving over former rating, a little harder to open.
£2,500£25,000None at this rating, figure is given by maker or retailerMarginal improvement over former rating.
£3,000£30,000None at this rating, figure is given by maker or retailerStarting to have tangible resistive strength.
£4,000£40,000EN14450-S2Significant improvement, especially our Bloomsbury range.
£5,000£50,000None at this rating, figure is given by maker or retailerAs you might imagine, marginally better than former rating.
£6,000£60,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 0 (Eurograde Zero) A large leap forward, heavier and stronger safes.
£10,000£100,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 1 (Eurograde One) Getting even heaver, lightest models circa 70kg+.
£17,500£175,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 2 (Eurograde Two) Significantly resistive and heavy safes, 180kg minimum.
£35,000£350,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 3 (Eurograde Three) The start of the monsters, very strong and heavy, 230kg+.
£60,000£600,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 4 (Eurograde Four) The next stage in monster strong safes, 300kg+.
£100,000£1,000,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 5 (Eurograde Five) Very heavy and strong 675kg+.
£150,000£1,500,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 6 (Eurograde Six) Enormous, jeweller's grade safes over 1000g.
£250,000£2,500,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 7 (Eurograde Seven) The heaviest safes, beyond this there are only built-in vaults.
£400,000£4,000,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 8 (Eurograde Eight) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.
£650,000£6,500,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 9 (Eurograde Nine) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.
£1,000,000£10,000,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 10 (Eurograde Ten) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.
£1,500,000£15,000,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 11 (Eurograde Eleven) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.
£2,250,000£22,500,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 12 (Eurograde Twelve) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.
£3,500,000£35,000,000EN1143-1 Eurograde 13 (Eurograde Thirteen) Vaults for high end luxury homes or gem dealers.