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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?” It’s possible, however, not as dramatic.
Safe deposit boxes at banks have been around for a long time. Their purpose is to provide their owners with a secure place to store valuable items in bank vaults versus home safes that may be exposed to less sophisticated thieves, fires, the elements, and other possible disasters that could 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. Often owners put cash in their bank boxes, however, FDIC insurance will only cover what is held in bank accounts. Furthermore, contents of the boxes may not be covered under your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policies.
Lastly, we all have important documents we want to keep safe, however, using a Safe Deposit Box for such documents can both limit your access to them and possibly create a problem once a death notice has been received and the bank requires court documents to open the box and those documents are in the box.
Home safes may end up being a better alternative to Safe Deposit Boxes and most safes today can withstand fire, weather, and damage. Certainly, they are far more accessible and manageable. Many safes are rated to give consumers choices on level of security. The manufacturers may even guarantee the contents if their products fail.
Some people prefer bank level security. If you are interested in Bank Safe Deposit Boxes, consider the following “key” points when using them:
Safe Deposit Boxes do serve a purpose. They provide a level of security beyond a home safe. When choosing to use one, it’s important to consider the requirements, risks, and best practices.
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