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Have you ever watched bank robbery movies, or better yet, spy movies where secret keys lead to random safe deposit boxes full of cash, bags of coins, precious gems, weapons, damaging pictures, evidence and clues? You may find yourself asking, “Is this what Safe Deposit Boxes are used for?”
Safe deposit boxes at banks have been around for a long time since the dawn of the bank vault. Their purpose is to provide their owners with a secure place to store valuable items in bank vaults versus home safes where less sophisticated thieves, fires, the elements, and other possible disasters could otherwise put the contents at risk of loss.
Although safe deposit boxes offer far more security than home safes, it’s important to understand how they should be used and the potential risks involved. It may not seem obvious to some; putting cash in your safe deposit box is NOT FDIC insured. Only your bank accounts are covered. Contents of the boxes may also not be covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies.
We all have important documents and cherished items we want to keep safe. Using a safe deposit box can limit your access and may even be a hassle once a death has occurred and a death notice has been received by the bank that would then restrict access by court decree.
Home safes may end up being a better alternative and most safes today can withstand certain levels of fire, weather, and damage. They are far more accessible and manageable. Many safes are rated to give consumers choices on various levels of security and protection. The manufacturers may even guarantee the contents if their products fail.
But if you are still interested in bank safe deposit boxes, consider the following “key” points when using them:
Safe deposit boxes do serve a purpose; however, these days they are becoming less relevant in the digital world. When choosing to use one, it’s important to consider the requirements, risks, legalities and these best practices.
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