Insurance Rated Home SafesInsurance Rated Home Safes

What items mean the most to you? Jewels, family heirlooms, collectible items, letters, money, and more are valuable items that belong in high security, insurance-rated safes that can withstand the harshest elements.

There are an estimated 1.4 million residential burglaries in the U.S. every year. Yet, just under 20 percent of U.S. homeowners have a home security system such as alarms or surveillance cameras. Investing in a high-quality home safe to ensure you are not one of them is well worth it.

Insurance Approved Home Safe
Safes that successfully resist entry have been used for centuries to protect personal belongings. These storage solutions date back to the 13th century BC, when a wooden safe was discovered in an ancient Egyptian tomb.

Sheet iron cash boxes gained popularity in the 16th century. By now, sophisticated safes are a staple in households, offices, and hotel rooms worldwide. A wall safe offers extra security and protection, particularly when it is rated and approved by home insurance companies.

What Insurance Discount Do I Get for My Insurance Rated Home Safe?
Insurers typically offer a percent discount off your home insurance premiums when you use an insurance-rated home safe. The safe discount amount varies between 3-15% depending on what is in your safe and the total value of its contents.

If you also have a central alarm system and other security devices, you can get up to 35% off your annual home insurance premiums.

Choosing a Safe
There is no shortage of safe choices. When buying a safe, your options include mechanical or portable electric and permanent safes made from thick steel. They come with unique features like combination lock doors, programmable keypads, backup keys, key locks, and biometric scanners.

The cubic feet measurement of the security safe's size determines how much space the safe will take up. Size is essential whether you are putting it inside furniture, on the wall, or even inside the floor.

A steel door safe in your home can make a big difference during a robbery. With over 300,000 robberies in the U.S. each year, an electronic lock safe is something the whole family can appreciate. Plus, many insurance companies offer incentives for storing your most important documents inside a safe box. Your carrier also incentivizes you to keep things in a bank safe.

How Are Safes Rated?
There are several safety ratings to consider when looking at safes and similar home products. Most were developed in conjunction with insurance companies who recommend the following stored values based on these safe ratings. They include:

Burglar Rating Without a Burglar Alarm With a Burglar Alarm
B-Rating $5,000 or less $10,000 or less
B/C Rating $10,000 or less $20,000 or less
UL RSC $15,000 or less $30,000 or less
C-Rating $25,000 or less $50,000 or less
UL TL-15 $100,000 or less $200,000 or less
UL TL-30 $195,000 or less $375,000 or less
UL TL-30X6 $275,000 or less $500,000 or less
UL TRTL-30X6 $500,000+ or less $1,000,000+ or less

Your insurer or manufacturer does not guarantee these amounts. Instead, they recommend stored amounts per rating to help you decide which safe to buy.

The Underwriters Laboratories UL is responsible for setting safe ratings used by the biggest safe manufacturers. This independent global certification company leads the way in safe insurance ratings and safety standards. The UL rating system indicates product quality, so look for the UL certification when shopping for safes.

Burglary, torch, and fire resistance ratings are other considerations when deciding on the safe that works best in your home. These ratings are identifiable in the product ratings and manuals. Both are essential documents to keep for insurance purposes when you do purchase a new safe. You might need them to qualify for your home insurance discount.

Burglary Safe Ratings
While reported burglaries have dropped by 32% nationwide since 1990, home break-ins are still a significant concern for homeowners. The possibility of criminal activity and theft makes the burglary safe's rating especially important.

Burglary ratings for cash boxes, gun safes, and all-purpose safes include B and C ratings.

  • B Rating. B-rated safes have adequate locking mechanisms and walls that are 1/2" thick or less. B-rated safe doors are under an inch thick.
  • C Rating. C-rated steel walls have 1/2" thick doors or greater, plus locking doors are at least an inch thick. C-rated safes are the most secure in burglaries.

Residential Security Container (RSC) Safe Ratings
This UL rating tests for a net-working time of five (5) minutes, done on all six sides, with a range of standard tools. Underwriters Lab performs the test and provides certifications to safe manufacturers.

The Burglary Classification Residential Security Container (RSC) rating indicates all six sides of a key lock or combination unit withstands entry by standard mechanical tools.

Tools used in this test are chisels, hammers, adjustable wrenches, punches, screwdrivers, and pry bars. Hammers cannot exceed 3 pounds, and no tool exceeds 18 inches. The safe getting tested is mounted securely, and one operator does the attack.

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Safe TL and TR Ratings
The TL rating refers to tool resistance. It is one of the best burglar performance ratings. The TL score tells you how torch-resistant the safe is on all six sides. Burglars will not have much luck trying to remove your TL-rated safe from the wall.

TL ratings have a net working time, the amount of time spent trying to break into the safe during testing. For example, a net working time of 15 minutes means the testing crew spent 15 min pounding on the safe trying to break in with hammers, torches, drills, and other tools. The two ratings are:

  • TL-15. A TL-15 rating offers the best protection.
  • TL-30. A TL-30 rating is classified as superior protection, confirming combination-locked safes can withstand mechanical and electrical manipulation.
  • TL-30X6. A TL-30X6 rating uses the TL-30 ratings but also applies to all six sides of combination-locked safes. It gets tested against mechanical and electrical hand tools.
  • TRTL-30-X6. A TRTL-30-X6 rating stands for tool resistant (TR) and torch resistant, X6 means the test gets tested on all six sides, and 30 means it was conducted for 30 minutes. This safe is one of the highest-rated safes.

The safe's body and door of these ratings must successfully resist entry for a 30-minute net-working time when tackled with standard tools. Testers base ratings on opening the door or creating a 6" square opening through the door, body, or front face. Tools tested against include:

  • Picking tools
  • Mechanical or portable electric tools
  • Carbide drills
  • Grinding points
  • Power saws
  • Pressure devices or mechanisms
  • Abrasive cutting wheels

Where to Put a Home Safe
Deciding on a home safe is one thing; figuring out where to put it is another. Master bedroom closets, drawers, basements, and other areas hidden away from view are popular placements for safes.

You need to have enough room to open the safe, but that does not mean you need it out in plain view. That is true if insurance surveyors are inspecting your home. The more concealed the safe is, the better.

Fireproof Underfloor Safe
UL-listed safes are a wise investment, but fireproof safes take residential security to the next level. You can install Fire-resistant safes inside the floor surrounded by thick concrete. That method protects against flames for 30 minutes or more.

Fire resistance is a crucial component of home security. Fire-resistant safes can save valued personal documents and money in your safe from the real risk of fire.

Fire departments around the country report around 350,000 residential structural fires each year. So, you can never be overly precautious when it comes to storing the most important documents and personal possessions. If you need them at home, a fireproof container is ideal.

A strong fire rating and burglary rating sets industry-leading safes apart from the competitors. SentrySafe, Barska, and Verifi are some of the most popular brands.

Explore Home Insurance Options
If you are looking for a new home insurance company and other ways to protect your home, we can help. Get a free quote home insurance quote below, and do not forget to mention your safe that qualifies you for a discount!

Hope that helps!

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Young Alfred