Top Things You Need to Know about Safety Deposit Boxes

Posted on Jun 4 2018 - 1:57pm by Alonzo Callahan

Guy opening a security boxSafety deposit boxes are where people store their valuable belongings, such as jewelry and important documents. They are usually found inside bank vaults and can be accessed using pin codes, keys, or other types of security pass. Customers depend on the security the bank provides in protecting their valuables.

What to Put in a Safety Deposit Box?

A safety deposit box is a good place to store valuable items that you don’t need immediate access to, especially outside the normal banking hours. Palmettocitizens.org cites some examples.

  • Rare collectibles and jewelry that cannot be insured
  • Property deeds
  • Car titles
  • Family heirlooms
  • Important photos and negatives
  • Flash drives or hard drives that contain important data
  • Diplomas
  • Transcripts
  • Stamp/coin collections

What Not to Put in a Safety Deposit Box?

While a safety deposit box is one of the most secure places to store your valuables, there are still some items you should think twice before locking up. When you lock your belongings in a safety deposit box, it means they will become inaccessible, especially when banks are closed. The items you need immediate access to should not be placed in a safety deposit box. These include the following:

  • Passport
  • Will
  • Funeral or burial arrangements
  • Cash
  • Power of attorney

How Safe is a Safety Deposit Box?

When you talk about matters of safety, most safety deposit boxes sit in bank vaults surrounded by steel-barred concrete walls and protected by motion, vibration, and heat detectors. Additionally, the doors that seal them weigh at least three tons.

These features make them extremely safe, but that doesn’t make them immune to incidents, such as fires, floods, or break-ins. However, the reported occurrences of such incidents are rare. Also, when compared to your home, safety deposit boxes are still safer.

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Before securing your belongings in a safety deposit box, you need to understand that the items placed in it are not covered by the bank’s insurance policies. They are also not covered by FDIC insurance, which is why you should not place cash or stuff you want to insure inside this box.