More and more people are hoarding cash at home instead of leaving it in their savings account with its record-low interest rates. However: In the event of theft, that cash may be quickly lost for good.
The low-interest period is likely to continue for some time according to many experts. And that also affects private savers. Negative interest rates on bank accounts of private individuals are no longer taboo – and even if a minimal amount of interest is still being paid, the account charges are often higher than the paid interest.
So it's no surprise that the idea of hoarding one's hard-earned money at home in cash rather than leaving it to languish in the bank comes easily to mind. The Swiss National Bank has determined in a study that the hoarding of cash has increased substantially in the past fifteen years. Big notes are especially popular for hoarding cash. But keeping cash at home is hardly risk-free.
"Without adequate insurance protection, bankruptcy is a threat following a burglary."
Cash is insured in the event of burglary – but only to a limited extent
"It's important to have adequate insurance coverage – otherwise, following burglary or theft, bankruptcy is a threat," says Claudio Schäfli, Head of Product Management, Residential at AXA. Because although valuables and monetary assets are covered under household insurance in the event of theft, this is only up to a certain amount. "At AXA, for example, for normal storage of monetary assets, coverage is up to CHF 5,000, and for jewelry, up to CHF 30,000," the insurance expert explains.
Anyone wanting to keep higher sums of money at home can't avoid the need for a safe – and not just any safe! "Free-standing small safes are essentially unsuitable as thieves can simply take them with them and open them later when the coast is clear," explains Claudio Schäfli. In order for your cash to be safe – and insured – a safe weighing in excess of 100 kilos or a wall-mounted safe is required. In such cases, the insured amount is generally higher, at AXA for example up to CHF 20,000 for monetary assets and up to CHF 100,000 for jewelry. If even higher amounts are being stored, the safe must be certified or approved by an insurance expert. "In such cases, the customer must meet their insurance advisor for a personal consultation," says the AXA expert. The advisor can assess their individual insurance situation and give advice on security as well as general support.
The apparently simple solution of keeping money at home therefore has its drawbacks. Furthermore, the total outlay including the aquisition costs for the safe and other security measures should also be taken into account. "It's understandable that small savers also want to achieve a decent return on their capital. We therefore advise interested parties to seek comprehensive advice from a pensions and financial expert. He/she can analyze your individual situation and make suitable investment recommendations," Claudio Schäfli explains. Storage under the mattress at home is definitely not recommended. After all, even the way home from the bank can be dangerous: In the event of a robbery, i.e. if the robber is armed, cash is insured up to a mere CHF 5,000. If stolen by a pickpocket, there is no coverage.