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Frequently Asked Questions - Irish Safes Ratings Group

Q:1. What are I.S.R.G. indicative safe ratings?

I.S.R.G. indicative safe ratings are a guide to cash and contents limits in the Republic of Ireland for safes certified and tested by accredited certification bodies and test houses within the E.U.

Q:2. Who provides these ratings?

This information has been provided by the Irish insurance industry to assist both the safe industry and the customer in selecting a safe to suit a particular purpose.

Q:3. Why do we need indicative safe ratings?

The purpose of indicative rates is to broadly “indicate” the cover that a particular certified and tested grade of safe or vault can achieve in a given set of circumstances.

Q:4. Is the indicative rate a guarantee of a level of cover?

Being indicative rates these rates are NOT a guarantee of a particular level of cover. Recommended amounts are for indicative purposes only, so as with all other forms of insurance are subject to approval by the insurer on a case by case basis.

Q:5. Can safes without European certification get insurance cover?

Yes. Insurance risk assessors provide cover on the basis of a risk assessment in a given situation. Insurance companies are commercial businesses and may decide to extend or deny cover based on their own assessment of the risk on a case by case basis. All guide insurance rates including the A.I.S. rates from the U.K. are, and have always been, indicative.

Q:6. Can a safe manufactured before certification was introduced get insurance cover?

Yes. Insurance risk assessors provide cover on the basis of a risk assessment in a given situation. Insurance companies are commercial businesses and may decide to extend or deny cover based on their own assessment of the risk.

In the case of pre-1998 safes, providing cover from an insurance risk assessor’s point of view is more difficult but not an uncommon occurrence. The main points an insurance risk assessor will want to establish are;

1. The identity of the safe.

2. That the safe is of a quality suitable for the intended purpose.

3. That the safe body and door have not been compromised over the years through alteration or a faulty repair or upgrade.

4. That the safe does not contain asbestos, mica, lead paint or some other hazardous material that may affect risk.

Q:7. Why is there no indicative rate above 12.5K without an alarm?

In the Republic Of Ireland, it is in most instances impossible for a business carrying cash or valuables to get overnight insurance cover without a properly monitored and installed intruder alarm. The risk from an insurance company’s point of view is simply too great. 

The insurance industry is however willing to cover small amounts of cash and valuables in the home environment without an alarm as long as the protection level of the safe is within certain parameters and also in exceptional circumstances. This attitude on behalf of the insurance companies is perfectly in line with current advice from the An Garda Síochána (Irish Police). 

To quote current Garda Síochána advice:

• Jewellery and cash are the most common objects stolen during burglaries. More incidents reported by an alarm activation were detected than not detected.Don’t store large amounts of cash or jewellery in the home. NOTE* Unlike a lot of European countries, Ireland also has a requirement that installers of such alarms are licensed to carry out the work by the Private Security Authority.

Q:8. Why is there no indicative cover for “Secure Cabinets” (EN11450)

On examining the test times and standards for Secure Cabinets EN14450, the insurance representatives decided there was no basis for an indicative rating for these units in this jurisdiction. This decision parallels conclusions arrived at by the insurance industries of Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Slovakia. Germany does not provide any cover for these units in a commercial setting.

Q:9. Does this mean that a Secure Cabinet certified EN11450 can’t get insurance cover?

No. Insurance risk assessors provide cover on the basis of a risk assessment in a given situation. As the test time for EN14450 is a known fact, an insurance company may very well be willing to provide a client with some cover based on the unit’s proposed contents. This cover however, cannot be indicated in a cash amount for two primary reasons:

• The EN11450 is a “Secure Cabinet” standard and was never intended as a standard for a cash holding unit. Given this fact, to indicate a cash cover could be quite misleading.

• As these units are “Secure Cabinets” they were never intended for use in a commercial setting. Providing an indicative cash cover for these light units might mislead people to think that an overnight cash cover should be available in a commercial setting.

Q:10. What are accredited certifications?

European bodies certifying safes must have accreditation according to ISO/IEC 17065 to carry out the certification of the specific security products they are certifying. These standards are required for management of impartiality, ensuring non-discriminatory conditions and to verify structural requirements so that results can be relied on.

Q:11. What is the status of the A.I.S. (UK) list in the Republic of Ireland?

The Association of Insurance Surveyors (U.K.) has for many years produced a list of safes with recommended insurance ratings only displayed in pounds Sterling. The list’s stated intent was to act as an aid to the UK and Irish insurance industry. In Ireland the list functioned for many years as the most available guide for safes that were manufactured pre-certification (1998) however, the list presents some serious problems in the E.U. when it comes to providing indicative cash ratings for safes since the introduction of European certification for a number of reasons; 

• The list has many references to LPCB “certified” safes. To date (October 2016), Loss Prevention Certification Board (UK) have no accreditation to certify safes. 

• The A.I.S. U.K. list gives recommended cash rating to safes that by its own admission have never been tested or assessed. • The A.I.S. U.K. list in many cases lists a U.K. safe supplier as “The Manufacturer”. This of course makes it harder to identify the actual manufacturer of the certified product by name. 

• The A.I.S. (UK) list currently makes no distinction between insurance cover recommendations with or without an intruder alarm fitted. This is a very important distinction that is in fact made in the Republic of Ireland and many other European countries.

Q:12. What is the status of L.P.C.B. (UK) certified safes in the Republic of Ireland?

As of April 2016, BRE Global Limited / LPCB Testing in the U.K. has been awarded accreditation according to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 as a laboratory to test safes and cabinets.

Currently however, LPCB are not accredited to test ATM safes completely as they have no accreditation to perform solid or gas explosives tests. Deposit Systems EN1143-2 are also not within their scope.

A more important point to note is that according to UKAS, currently LPCB are still not accredited as a certification body (ISO/IEC 17065) for issuing certificates according to EN 1143-1, EN1143-2 or EN 14450. (October 2016)

Q:13. What is the role of the P.S.A. in Irish safes ratings?

The P.S.A. has sat in an observer capacity only on I.S.R.G. and has sought no influence on insurance industry indicative recommendations.

Q:14. What is the role of the National Standards Authority Of Ireland in Irish safes ratings?

The National Standards Authority Of Ireland sat in an observer capacity only at I.S.R.G. meetings and has sought no influence on insurance industry indicative recommendations.

Q:15. What is the role of I.S.R.G. participants not working in the insurance industry?

The role of non insurance industry participants and facilitators of the I.S.R.G group is to educate, update and inform the insurance industry representatives. To this end we invite European standards experts, SAVTA technicians, certification experts, CEN representatives and other experts with relevant information to attend our meetings. If you have qualification you feel would be relevant to the group please let us know?

Q:16. What is the role of the insurance industry in the I.S.R.G.?

The role of insurance industry participants is to use their experience and knowledge to provide indicative insurance rates for certified and tested safes and vaults. These rates are intended to assist their clients, the safe industry and the general public to make informed and realistic estimates on the level of cover that can be achieved for these products in given circumstances in the Republic of Ireland.

Q:17. Who can participate in I.S.R.G?

We welcome participants of the insurance, safe and vault or risk management industry who have qualifications that enable them to make an educated contribution to our work. Work is completely voluntary.

Q:18. When does the I.S.R.G meet?

The Irish Safes Ratings Group (ISRG) is a voluntary ad hoc group that was established in 2016 at the request of ESSA the European Security Systems Association. The group’s task is solely to make and periodically update recommended insurance ratings related to the overnight cash cover for certified safes, strong rooms and secure cabinets for the Republic Of Ireland , conforming to European standards EN14450, EN1143-1, EN1143-2. Currently the group only convenes when a change to related European standards or a development affecting Safe or Strongroom risk factors occurs. Senior risk managers from all insurance providers are welcome to attend meetings.

Q:19. Does ISRG have a spokesperson or representative?

ISRG is an ad hoc group. It is not a lobbying group, a trade association or an advocacy organisation and has no appointed spokesperson. ISRG has no connection with how CEN votes are conducted and no input with the NSAI. Individual participants in the group involved in working groups, seminars, meetings or when voicing opinions of any description, communicated by any means, represent their personal views only and not those of ISRG as a whole.