You should always ask your insurer does a key safe invalidate house insurance if you either have one fitted or are planning on getting one.
If you are considering a key safe then it is likely you have an empty property or a holiday home. As such you may want to look into unoccupied house insurance or holiday home insurance and find out if those specific products have requirements about key safes.
Table of Contents
A Key Safe Is Better Than The Alternative
If you like to keep a spare key handy for emergencies then you’ve probably considered a key safe. It is surprising how many people today still consider the old trick of keeping a spare key under a plant pot or under the mat. Understandably it is very unlikely an insurer will pay out for a claim where a burglar has found a key this way.
But what about a key safe? These devices are designed to be securely fastened to the wall precisely so that only those who are meant to can get the key inside.
When Might You Need A Key Safe?
That is ideal for situations like holiday homes or second homes – and we at Emerald Life do provide holiday house insurance if you want to see how we compare.
If you have a holiday home or second home then you may well let it out when you’re not there. Alternatively you might have cleaners or neighbours checking in on the property. These are also cases where you might want a key safe so you don’t need to manage keys yourself or leave keys with other people.
Does a Key Safe Invalidate House Insurance?
But what is the insurance view on this? Does a key safe invalidate house insurance? The chances are this will vary between insurers and so you should ask them yourself to be sure. In many cases around holiday lets, then you need to ask that specific question. Many insurers are okay with a key safe at a domestic property for a cleaner or for emergencies, but if it is used for regular holiday homes then they might expect the code to be changed after every stay – so that might be possible if there is a cleaner or agent doing a changeover and clean.
If you are looking for a keysafe currently or you need to change the one you have then needless to say not all keysafes are created equal.
It is very likely that your home insurer will want to know if your key safe conforms to high standards of security. There are various certifications for this in the same way that door locks are usually expected to conform to a required standard.
Make Sure It Conforms
Essentially, the best keysafes are verified by security experts as attack proof and as secure as the front door itself so you should make sure your keysafe conforms. That could be wise no matter what your insurer says so you know your house is as secure a sit can be.
You should also pay attention to the installation of the key safe. It might be a good idea to install it in a more secluded location to deter criminals who might try and break it. Don’t forget that a key safe is also a clear advert that your home is unoccupied a lot of the time and so people could break in either by breaking the door down or through a window.
Check if your insurer has any requirements of the installation. They may require that a licensed professional installs the key safe safe on your behalf in order for it not to void your insurance. In theory a key safe won’t be unlocked if it is broken off a wall by brute force and so the property won’t be at risk but it is probably a good idea to clarify this with your home insurer.
Change The Key Safe Code
As mentioned above a consideration is the code itself. Keeping the same code all the time is very risky and you need to control how many people have access to it. That is an inherent problem with key safes and home insurance as a code is infintely repeatable. Who knows how many people have it?
As a key safe means people can come and go freely without a trace you may not even know your security is compromised. Because of this you must change the code regularly and it is likely your insurer will need this. But that undermines one of the key points of a key safe in that you don’t have to be there regularly so you should weigh this up in your decision process.
One innovation that is helping with this is smart key safes that offer a number of beneficial features. Firstly you can control who has access and control it remotely via an app. You can also track when the safe has been opened.
Maybe this seems unecessary when you could just install a smart lock that uses the same technology on the door itself without needing a key. Only you can decide but a smart key safe means you can keep the original door locks which may be a requirement of your insurer.