5 Thing You Didn’t Know about the Safe Deposit Boxes

Safe Deposit Boxes
Safe Deposit Boxes

A safe deposit box, in essence, is a type of small or miniature vault that you can use to store family heirlooms, jewelry, and important documents. Due to how secure it is, a lot of people also call it a safety deposit box. But, that’s not all. If it’s your first time hearing about a safe deposit box, you’ve come to the right place.

1: How Can You Get a Safe Deposit Box?

In the past, banks and credit unions used to rent out safe deposit boxes at their branches. But these days, fewer of them provide this service. Instead, some private vault facilities are now offering safe deposit boxes for people to store their valuables.

An excellent example of such is STARVAULT’s safe deposit box. It is extremely affordable and offers a higher level of security, no matter what you are keeping inside of it.

2: How Secure is a Safe Deposit Box?

Safe deposit boxes, those individual secured containers nestled within larger bank vaults, offer a layer of protection against fire and water damage.

However, while the vaults boast robust security measures like steel-lined or concrete walls, the alarms tend to get triggered by heat, motion, and vibration. The boxes themselves remain a little vulnerable to potential harm from fire, flooding, or theft as well.

Safe deposit boxes in banks face minimal risk compared to keeping valuables at home.

In 2015, out of 25 million boxes, only around 0.10% experienced issues like loss due to mistakes or incidents like fires or break-ins.

In 2019, most burglaries (63%) and a huge chunk of robberies (16%) occurred in people’s homes, according to the FBI. Meanwhile, only 1.4% of all robberies were bank robberies. So, if we look at the numbers, it’s statistically safer to keep valuable items in bank safe deposit boxes rather than keeping them at home.

3: How Much A Deposit Box Might Cost?

The price of a safe deposit box depends on its size and where you rent it from. At banks, smaller boxes, like ones that are 3×5 inches, can go from $25 to $75 a year.

Bigger boxes, up to around 10×10 inches, might cost a couple of hundred dollars to nearly $300 annually. Generally, traditional banks might charge more than local credit unions for the same size box. So, it’s best to opt for a private organization.

Typically, payments for safe deposit boxes happen once a year.

Some banks also offer discounts to account holders who set up automatic payments from their accounts for these boxes or for those with premium accounts.

Remember, you will need to pay extra to insure the things you store in the box because they aren’t covered by the FDIC or NCUA.

You may try getting insurance through your home insurance policy or purchase a separate insurance policy. The cost might change based on how valuable the items in the box are.

4: How Do You Use a Deposit Box?

Having a safe deposit box is like having a special locker at the bank. To open it, you need two keys: one you keep and one the bank keeps. This way, both you and the bank have to be there to open it, making it super secure.

Only people who are allowed can get into these boxes. When you want to open yours, you’ll need to show some ID and your key to the bank. Once inside the secure vault, it’s just you and your box—no one else can see what you’re doing in there.

But not everything can go into these boxes. There are rules, like not storing guns, drugs, or dangerous stuff. They’re meant for keeping important things safe, like papers, jewelry, or valuable items you want to protect.

The Alternatives of Safe Deposit Box

There are a few alternatives to safe deposit boxes, but they have their downsides.

Home safes or strong boxes are an option, however they can cost anywhere from $30 to $500 and aren’t as secure as a bank. Plus, if someone breaks into your home, they could just take the safe and crack it open later.

Private vault facilities are more secure but pricier.

Renting a small box there might start at $300 a year, much more than at a bank or credit union, where it could be around $25 or higher, up to $65.

Before choosing, it’s essential to research the place where you’ll keep your valuables. Understand their rules and your responsibilities in their rental agreement.

And remember, once you store your stuff, don’t forget about it. Check on it regularly, and make sure your family knows about it in case they ever need access.

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