How much money is in your safe

Money in the safe: how safe is cash at home?

The European Central Bank has been pursuing a low interest rate for years. This is gradually leaving its mark on savings. Putting money into the account is simply not worth it. If you want to keep cash at home, look around for a solid hiding place. That will mostly be a safe. However, there are other options as well.

Unsafe hiding places

In the face of a lack of alternatives, some people rediscover Grandma's piggy bank, put their money under the mattress or deposit it in a shoebox. There is no interest for it either. Nevertheless, Max Herbst from FMH-Finanzberatung in Frankfurt am Main can see something positive about this idea: "I am always fluid." However, the money should be kept safe.

Fake hiding places such as preserving jars, microwaves, books, vases, socks or hanging washcloths do not prevent burglars from accessing them, but only make them smile tired. Apart from that, there is a risk that ignorant family members inadvertently char the assets in the microwave or throw them together with books in the waste paper.

Is the money insured?

The household contents insurance only partially compensates for the damage. The insurance companies have different upper limits. A spokeswoman for the Association of the German Insurance Industry (GdV) cites 3000 euros as a guide value for cash. There is the same maximum amount for savings accounts. Gold and jewelry are generally insured for 25,000 euros. "If 1500 euros are agreed in the contract, the insured only receives this amount," emphasized the spokeswoman. She recommends taking a look at the documents.

How secure are safes?

Safes offer more security than supposed top hiding places. Because safes can slow down the thirst for burglars. These "want to quickly steal prey", explains Falko Adomat, who certifies safes for the Frankfurt-based European Certification Body (ECB). "But they either have to break open the safe or tear it out of its anchoring. That takes time." In his experience, a fifth of the perpetrators do not even try to get to the safe deposit box. Others try to steal the safe and then break into it in peace.

In order to make the work of perpetrators as difficult as possible, the container should therefore be either very heavy or firmly anchored. Adomat advises that you fasten dowels in the concrete floor or wall with sensible screws. He prefers an anchoring in the ground because not every wall is solid enough. The assembly must be carried out according to the manufacturer's specifications, otherwise certified safes lose their recognition. This can lead to problems with the insurance company later.

What tenants need to consider with safes

The installation of safes in rental apartments can also lead to problems with the owner. "Depending on the size and anchoring, the assembly represents a serious intervention in the rental property," explains Ulrich Ropertz from the German Tenants' Association. "I may need the landlord's approval." Anyone who builds in must remove the traces when moving out, ie "restore the rental property to its original condition". In order to avoid damage to the underfloor heating or pipes, advice should be sought from experts.

You have to keep this in mind when buying a safe

The insurance industry recommends using a tested and certified device when buying a safe. These safes have passed a burglary test. They can be recognized by a blue sticker on the inside. There are different levels of security. In apartments, level S2 according to the European standard EN 14450: 2005 is often sufficient, explains Adomat.

Many home insurance policies allow you to store values ​​of up to 30,000 euros. After all, the S2 safes offer such high resistance that perpetrators would have to make some noise if they tried to open them. That is often enough to alert the neighbors.

In the absence of a clairaudient neighborhood, Adomat advises you to use at least resistance level I (according to the EN 1143-1 standard). If the safe is to hold 100,000 euros and more, level II would be an option. But that should be discussed with the insurance company. Basically, the higher the level, the more stable the value container. Containers marketed as fire safes also protect against fire.

Alternative: direct bank

Herbst prefers a classic solution that is both easy on the nerves and generates interest: changing the bank from a branch to a direct bank. "That is not reprehensible. One bank doesn't want me, otherwise they would offer me more interest." Older people with no experience of online banking should ask children and grandchildren to organize the transfer.

The other anti-savings option is the safe deposit box in the bank. That doesn't bring any money, it costs fees. But you can sleep peacefully.