Does Steep Decline of the Economy make Americans Over Protective ?

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THE STORY

The sale safes has greatly risen in the U.S. as citizens have become over-protective about their assets and have decided to adopt the Prevention is better than Cure motto when it comes to storing their valuables.

THE SELLERS OF SAFES

Value Safes from Port Charlotte said it sold an average of $13,000 in safes a day in the past week a great increase from its previous average $3,500. SentrySafe that sells safes online on Amazon.com found that its, $170 1.2-cubic foot combination safe was among the site’s most purchased last Friday, with sales rising 44% over 24 hours.

“Folks are worried about the decreasing value of the dollar, burglaries on the rise in their neighborhoods … and even the possibility that the unrest we are seeing in other parts of the world slipping over to our country, said Bryan, owner of Santa Ana, California -based Maximum Security. Her companys sales has risen by 30% in the past 2 to 3 weeks.

The unstable economy has forced many consumers to cut back, they also want to protect what they already have left.

Brown Safe has seen sales of its high-end safes and vaults, which can run from a small $450 wall safe to a $120,000 custom armor luxury safe, rise 38% in the past three weeks. Several of its customers have been making purchases over the past few weeks because they dont trust their banks anymore and the stocks are uncertain.

ENGLANDS INFLUENCE

The Utah-based, Liberty Safe said the 26% spike in sales of its $900 to $5,000-plus safes for the last three weeks was also a result of the riots in England and other uprisings around the world. Its high-end, maximum security products have been the highest in demand.

The uptick in more modest safes suggests fear is spread throughout the class system. Riots in the UK have certainly helped fuel that issue. Last week Amazon saw sales of military police batons jump to more than 4,000% and aluminum baseball bats went up to a whopping 6,500%.

Is violence the best solution? If economic and employment conditions don’t improve, it is expected that sales in these fear based industries to increase further.

The luxury models include safes like the “Jewel Vault,” which can endure extreme conditions even two hours of fire. “People haven’t taken security as seriously as they are now,” said Richard, president of New York City-based Empire Safe. The company sells simple and luxury jewelry safes and bullion vaults ranging from $2,000 for an ordinary safe to over $150,000 for a customized vault. People used to have money to replace any losses they incurred, but nowadays, whats gone is gone.

DESPERATE TIMES, EVEN DESPERATE MEASURES

Krasilovsky also pointed out that the difficulties faced by people also lead them to take other steps other than protecting what they have. Those who cant afford safes, or probably do not even have enough to keep safe, turn to theft. Wealthy consumers are more likely to take measures to protect their valuables from burglaries and even previously trustworthy housekeepers.

“Sales don’t surge right away with something like this,” he continued, “It’s like a tsunami — when you see the waves coming, you’re freaking out about so many things that it’s not until a little later that people have time to register what happened — and then we’ll start getting really slammed.”

FEAR, THE MOTHER OF INVENTION?

Whats more is that people are getting creative on how they protect their valuable. Not everyone can afford safes, or afford to be criminals.

As millions of Americans continue to lose their savings in the stock market, others are keeping their money safe in places where no one would care to look, for instance, in a box of tampons, or the belly of a teddy bear. Kerrie Hopkins gave her aunt a lettuce-shaped safe, made of the head of a lettuce, with a secret compartment. “No one would ever suspect it’s anything but a perennially ripe leafy vegetable,” Hopkins said.

Last week, a personal finance site named Mint.com asked its users to name the most unusual places they’re hiding their cash. Answers ranged from an iPhone case, the back of a boom box to a box of Animal Crackers.

The stock markets plunger of over 10% has led people to stock up on tangible assets like cash and gold.

INSURERS AND BANKS

Insurers don’t give a discount if you have a safe but they recommend that it be secured to a wall or the floor.

A spokesman for insurer, More Than said that while its standard home policy covers 75,000 of contents, if an individual thinks that their contents are worth more, it would send an assessor to look through ones home and perhaps recommend a safe.

If people choose not to purchase their own safes, and rely on banks, U.S. citizens may also turn to traditional High Street banks that also offer safe deposit boxes. Barclays has boxes in 500 branches and charges 10 a quarter for a standard box. HSBC charges 29.37 a year, including VAT, for small deed boxes, rising to 53.84 for large ones. There is an access charge of 9.78 including VAT.

However, the contents of bank safe deposit boxes are not insured by the bank. They will have to be insured by household insurance.

In tough situations as there, people are bound to be worried and become more cautious. Some may think that the current recorded behaviour is an over-reaction based on fear of loss. But one cannot blame the people. If not at the moment, at some point or the other everyone feels the need to feel secure and go on with their lives with out the fear that will not be able to provide themselves or their families with the basic necessities of life.

Sources: CNN Money, Wealth Wire, Mail

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