What are insurance-approved locks and why are they important?

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What are insurance-approved locks and why are they important? Full Width Image

As a homeowner, keeping your family, property and belongings safe and secure will be a top priority.

Having good home security in place will go a long way to helping you achieve this.

When it comes to applying for home insurance, the security you have in place will have a significant bearing on the amount you will need to pay in premiums.

Simply put, the more secure your home is, the cheaper your premiums should be.

The type of locks you have can have a big impact on this.

If your home has the correct locks fitted, which meet your insurer’s requirements, you should be able to get the cheapest deal for your property and area.

If, however, your locks don’t meet the standards required by your insurer, you could see your premiums rocket.

So, it’s essential to know what type of locks insurers are looking for and consider getting them installed if you don’t have insurance-approved locks already in place.

What are insurance-approved locks?

It’s important to note that, technically, there is no such thing as an insurance-approved lock.

Locks aren’t approved by insurance providers, their approval and certification are done by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

However, most insurers in the UK require locks to conform to BSI standards, usually BS3621.  

BS3621 locks are good quality, theft-resistant locks that are usually fitted to external exit doors to provide a decent level of security.

They are usually used with timber doors and doorframes.

Mortice lock and cylinder rim locks are both made to BS3621 standards and are widely available.

To check whether yours conform, look out for the BSI kitemark symbol on the lock's faceplate. If they don’t conform to BS3621, it might be time to think about upgrading.

At Gray Locksmiths, we would always recommend choosing BS3621 locks for any ground floor exit doors.

The following types of locks are available in BS3621-compliant models:

Mortice Locks

Mortice locks are one of the most popular types of lock on the market. They are embedded into the door and can be opened only with the correct key. They are usually found on back doors but can also be fitted to front doors along with a cylinder rim, or Yale, lock to provide added security.

Mortice locks come in two forms. A deadlock has a keyhole and a bolt, while a sash lock has a bolt, latch and a handle on either side.

You can get mortice locks with two, three, five or seven lever mechanisms. Generally speaking, the more levers a lock has, the more difficult it is to pick and the more secure it will be. Only mortice locks with five or seven levers meet the British Standard.

Cylinder rim locks

Cylinder rim locks automatically lock when you shut your door and require a key to open it from the outside. They are also known as Yale locks, because that is the most popular brand on the market.

They are fitted to the door's surface and mounted on the inside of the door with a cylinder connecting to the keyhole on the exterior.

They offer additional protection and security to any door, especially when fitted in combination with a separate mortice lock.

Anti-snap locks

One of the quickest and easiest ways for an intruder to enter your home is to snap the lock. It can be done in a matter of seconds, using a hammer or pair of pliers. Once the lock is snapped, removing the deadbolt or locking mechanism is straightforward.

Euro locks and other locks with protruding cylinders are the easiest to snap, so if you have locks of this type, it may be worth considering upgrading.

The best solution is an anti-snap lock. These locks are designed to reduce or eliminate the risk of snapping. They are stronger, more robust and can resist more force than regular locks.

They are also designed with ‘built to fail’ components that snap off when excessive force is applied, making it harder to grip and break the recessed cylinder.

Why are insurance-approved locks important?

Having BS3621-compliant locks is usually a standard requirement for most UK insurers, so it is unlikely you’ll get a cheaper policy just because you have them installed. However, your insurance premiums may be more expensive if you don’t have BS3621 locks, especially on your ground floor access points such as your front and rear doors, windows and patio. 

It’s worth checking with your insurance provider what their standard requirements are.

If you don’t have BS3621 locks fitted, replacing them could seem expensive.

However, it’s worth working out how much money you could save in the longer-term if you had them fitted.

For example, over five years, the money you save on your home insurance could work out a lot more than the money you invest in new locks, which would make it a worthwhile investment.

It’s also worth bearing in mind the additional security that BS3621 locks can bring.

They will make your home more secure and your doors and windows more resilient. The added peace of mind this can be worth a whole lot more than the money you spend n getting new locks fitted.

So, it’s worth shopping around for the best insurance deal for your needs, but also for a professional locksmith who can install insurance-approved locks with ease and take all the hassle away from you.

Contact Grays Locksmiths

If you’re concerned about your locks and whether or not they meet your insurance requirements, Grays Locksmiths Nottingham can help.

As a member of the Master Locksmiths Association, we’re highly regulated and fully accredited.

We don’t have a call-out charge, and there are no hidden costs.

We’re here to give you simple, honest security advice to help you protect your home, your loved ones and your precious possessions.  

Give us a call on 0115 942 2315 to see how we can help.