We all have seen the closures of numerous failed banks. Not only do the depositors have a concern about their money, those who have items stored in the bank’s vault in safe deposit boxes could have anxiety as well. There are ways to insure that your contents stay safe while sitting in that bank’s vault in a safe deposit box.
Safe and Secure
A common question many people have is how safe is my contents in a bank safe deposit box. The short answer is that it is much safer than placing your valuables underneath your mattress. However, it should be pointed out that safe deposit boxes are ‘loss resistant’ and not ‘loss proof.’ Banks do what they can to insure that nothing is stolen or misplaced in a safe deposit box vault, never the less; your items can be stolen.
A misconception many people have about safe deposit boxes are that they are insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the federal agency that insures banks, only insures the money in the bank accounts, not contents of safe deposit boxes. To insure what you have in your safe deposit box you would need to have them listed on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
Many people chose the convenience of self-service vaults. They are easy to access for the customer and many of them are open 24 hours a day. However, they are not as secure as most bank vaults.
Many safe deposit boxes come with two keys. The reason is so that as the owner you can designate someone to access your safe deposit box if you become either ill or disabled. Give great care in who you choose to give that responsibility of your safe deposit box. You don’t want a child who may have a drug addiction to use it as their own personal treasure chest.
Safe deposit boxes are not protected by any means. Your safe deposit box can be susceptible to water, fire, or smoke damage. Store your items in watertight bags before putting them in your safe deposit box to protect them in case of some disaster.
Many banks and Internet online vendors are beginning to offer their customers, virtual safe deposit boxes. This service is done by making digital images of your important documents and then storing them on a secure computer network.
Pay the Rent
Many people forget to pay the rent on their safe deposit boxes. Depending on the state you live in, after a certain amount of time of not paying the rent that state could seize the contents of your safe deposit box. They would then be put up those contents as unclaimed property by the state.