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