People in Switzerland hoard around CHF 10 billion in cash at home. But: In the event of theft, that cash may be quickly lost for good.
It is immediately available and serves as a security buffer in times of crisis – according to the payment method survey of the Swiss National Bank (SNB), these are the two most frequent answers regarding the reason for having cash reserves at home. One in every ten households indicates they have cash reserves at home of at least CHF 5,000. According to estimates of the SNB, private individuals in Switzerland hoard a total of approximately CHF 10 billion in cash. But keeping cash at home is hardly risk-free.
"It's important to have adequate insurance coverage – otherwise, following burglary or theft, you could suffer a significant financial hit," 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 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! "Small free-standing 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 the individual insurance situation and support the implementation of the right security measures.
The apparently simple solution of keeping money at home therefore has its drawbacks. Furthermore, the total outlay including the acquisition 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 an expert in pensions and finance. They 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.