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Insurance and the keysafe - Carers UK Forum

Insurance and the keysafe

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Hi All
A couple of years ago some of my Mum's jewellery went missing. We'd done nothing right of course. No photos, no recent valuation, no idea when she'd last worn the items and the rings were just in a box on her dressing table. The rings were her engagement ring and her ruby ring my late Dad had bought for their 40th. Other items were missing too. A gold cross she'd been given for her 21st and a man's fob made into a necklace. These items were her 'best' and what she wore on special occasions. In themselves not worth an awful lot but sentimentally priceless. Mum was devastated. It could have been a 'carer', it could have been a 'sneak thief', it could be that Mum had done something really silly and they had been thrown out by mistake, wrapped in a tissue (She did that sometimes when she took them off). We will never know. Police were very sympathetic but what could they do? I removed any other items which could be considered of some worth and locked them in my home safe but now Mum can't take any pleasure from her possessions.
Recently Mum's home insurance was up for renewal. I read through all the bumf about window locks, door locks etc etc and it dawned on me that Mum has a key safe which is used by a number of carers. I change the number periodically but not that often. Anyway I thought I'd just check and guess what. The insurers Mum had been with for donkey's years would not cover her for theft at all because of the key safe. I shopped around and found another insurer who didn't mind the key safe and who were actually a lot cheaper. However if people come and go in your home and a key safe is used, you might want to take extra care with those little items, not just assume that no-one would steal from the elderly, and check that insurance with regards to carers etc entering your home, especially when using a key safe.
Hi Elaine
I went on a St John Ambulance course and they told us about insurance companies. I rang mine when I got home and disclosed the keybox. They noted it and premium didn't change.
I've moved anything of dad's of any value out of the house and brother has it for safekeeping.
I also have a "dog lock" which is a front door lock that I can use as an extra one, to which only I have the key. If I take Dad to hospital for an appointment for example I can use my "dog lock" and effectively bar entry to anyone with access to keysafe.
Thanks Henrietta, The 'dog lock' is an obvious good idea - which I hadn't thought of. At the moment Mum never goes out as she absolutely refuses to have a ramp, which would be the only way she could get out of her bungalow. (We've had many a heated discussion about it.) Therefore the key is in the key safe all night. When I was getting Mum up in the morning I asked the last carer in at bedtime to post the key through the letterbox but now I'm not able to get Mum up and two carers arrive an hour before I do. The key safe is pretty OK I think. It's just the risk of the number getting out through carelessness. Fingers crossed. X Elaine
Excuse my ignorance but what is a 'dog lock'? We have a key safe and I often wonder about people accessing the house when it's empty.
Sorry- just my name for it. I worry about some idiotic carer letting my dog out so I fitted another lock to the front door which they don't have a key to so they can't come in when I don't want them to and let the dog escape. :D
The community hospital mum is in at the moment have just recommended a key safe for when she eventually comes home for reablement, now I am abit concerned after reading this!
I think, if and when this eventually happens maybe it would be a good idea for me to remove any valuables etc.,
Also should I ring mums insurer then and check that the insurance covers her having a key safe, never realised some insurers didn't cover this!
Hi Karen- yes definitely ring your insurance. They probably won't increase your premium but not reporting it could invalidate any claim
Hi Karen
1) Get a key safe that won't close unless the numbers are scrambled and 2) train your carers/family to always close the keysafe when they take the key out.
1) This is to prevent the key safe from being closed but not locked and 2) the open keysafe, with numbers displayed being read by a passing person.
Then change the numbers now and then. I do it when I feel that more people know it than I feel comfortable with. For example District Nurses are visiting my Mum at the moment to treat a pressure sore. When they have ceased to come I will change the numbers and inform the Care Company of the new number.
Yes, check insurance and if you are having a number of people visiting Mum in future it is a good idea to remove valuables or get a safe for small items like rings etc.
Not quite sure what you mean by scrambled numbers but I think you are referring to the numbers that roll round like an old library stamp. I personally favour the push button type, the reason being is that if the code is used excessively on the former type, the numbers get kind of "loose" and when you roll it round, it settles in to its favourite position. I helped an elderly lady who had been having 4 visits a day and never changed her number. I was always concerned that it seemed to easy for the code to settle in its favourite resting place. There is also the likely possibility of carers not resetting the code while they are inside so anyone can stroll along and check it. Both these are avoided with the push button type. Of course this doesn't allow for dozey carers who leave it open with the keys inside which happened to me yesterday :evil:
Hi Henrietta
I can see the 'favourite resting place' could be a problem but our key safe numbers are fairly stiff and don't spin around easily so hasn't been a problem for us. The push button type sounds good as long as the buttons don't show wear like house alarm ones do. I think the habit care companies have of writing the numbers down on the schedule sheets the care workers carry around with them is dodgy. I made one Care company disguise them as longer customer reference numbers, as they were clearly marked 'key safe' on the sheets. I heard of one care worker who had all her key safe numbers with addresses, on those sticky notes all over her dashboard!