New York Times Exposes Realities for Safe Deposit Box Users- Take These Steps to Protect Your Valuables

A New York Times article published on July 16th is drawing attention to the fact that banks disclaim virtually all liability if anything was to happen to your box contents, and your safe deposit box is not immune to theft, negligent taking by the bank or destruction from natural disasters.  The article is a well written, compelling story worthy of reading.
But it is important to keep things in perspective; a safe deposit box remains the single best storage solution for anyone seeking to protect valuables, collectibles, investments, family heirlooms or any other property. Statistically, you are exponentially more likely to have your valuables damaged or stolen from your home or business than from a safe deposit box. Raging fires, unprecedented flooding, and brazen burglars threaten the valuables in our homes where they are far more vulnerable than those in a safe deposit box resting in a fortified, secured vault at a financial institution or an accredited private vault.  That is why boxes are universally recommended by law enforcement, FEMA, AARP, and the American Red Cross.
Nonetheless, the article highlights that many banks, particularly the larger ones, are de-emphasizing their safe deposit box service which is dramatically increasing the number of instances where valuables in the boxes are being lost, taken or mistakenly seized by the bank.
There are steps you should take to protect yourself against the increased exposure.

Visit your box regularly, at least once every three months.

  1. Pay the rental fees on the box when due. If payment is being auto deducted from your account annually, remember to verify that the payment was been taken from your account.
  2. Make sure your financial institution has your current mailing and contact information.
  3. When you visit your box, in the private viewing room use your phone to take a picture of the items in your box and maintain a written inventory.
  4. Insure your box contents.
Finally, there are a growing number of private vault facilities offering safe deposit box services. Click here to find a list of those that we have reviewed and accredited to assure they are providing a level of security and professionalism beyond what you find at financial institutions.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 224.227.6181