Does a key safe invalidate home insurance?

A wall-mounted key safe is useful for storing a key outside, but make sure you check it’s covered by your home insurance.

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 7 February 2022  | 3 mins read

Outside wall-mounted key safes are a useful way to securely store your keys so that visitors can let themselves in.

But you’ll need to check that using one won’t invalidate your home insurance.

Key points

  • Key safes are outside wall-mounted strong boxes that securely store the keys to your door
  • They’re useful for carers, dog-walkers and cleaners to access your home, plus for holiday home visitors
  • Not all insurers will cover key safes, so check with your provider
  • Look for police-approved boxes with the ‘Secured by Design’ logo

Are key safes better than alternative key storage methods?

Popping a spare key under a doormat or in a plant pot may have been the preferred method of hiding away a key in the past.

But if you did that today and a burglar used your key to enter your home, it will likely invalidate your home insurance claim. That’s because most insurers won’t pay out if there are no signs of forced entry.

Key safes are small metal boxes used to store spare keys. They’re usually mounted on a wall near the front door of a property.

To open a key safe, you need to key in the combination code or rotate the combination wheel.

When might you use a key safe?

They’re useful in a lot of different circumstances. For example, if a carer needs to enter a property to look after an elderly or unwell person who can’t get to the door. Or for letting in a cleaner or dog-walker when you’re not at home.

They’re also useful for children, allowing them to access the house when they need to while reducing the risk of them losing the keys when they’re out and about. They can also be useful if you mislay your keys, too.

Many people who own holiday homes or Airbnbs also use key safes. It means visitors can enter the property without the owner having to be there to let them in.

Do key safes invalidate home insurance?

It’s always best to check with your insurer before you buy and install a key safe. Read through policy documents, and if you can’t see any explicit mention of key safes, then contact your insurer.

Some insurers may stipulate that any type of key safe will invalidate your insurance. Others may only approve certain makes and models.

Providers may also specify certain conditions. This might include a requirement that the key safe is installed by a professional or located in a discreet place, and that you only share your key code with a small number of trusted individuals.

Are key safes a good idea?

They’re handy in a lot of circumstances, but you should be choosy about which type you install.

Poorly designed key safes that can easily be broken into pose a security risk. So, opt for something that’s well-made, robust and durable.

Which key safes are insurance approved?

You’ll need to check with your insurance provider to confirm which key safes (if any) are covered by your policy.

Police-approved or ‘Secured by Design’ labelled key safes are the most reliable as they can better withstand physical attack.

How to make sure your key safe is secure

There’s lots you can do to minimise the risk of your key safe being compromised.

  • Make sure you choose a difficult combination code. Avoid things like 1,2,3,4 or your year of birth
  • Look for a key safe which has a large number of buttons to make it more difficult for thieves to guess your combination
  • Only share the code with a small number of trusted people
  • Change the code for your key safe regularly, especially after someone no longer needs access to it
  • Don’t install the key safe right next to the front door. The police recommend placing the safe somewhere inconspicuous, such as by shrubbery or window boxes
  • Don’t install the box in a place where a thief could easily hide while trying to break into it

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