We often recommend safety deposit boxes to our clients who have important items that they need to protect from loss (and potential fire/water damage). Owning a safe deposit box ensures important items such as rarely worn jewelry, birth/death/marriage certificates, and other irreplaceable will not be stolen, damaged, or otherwise misplaced. And, if your items are not lost in the first place, you won’t spend needless time and money AND incur great aggravation trying to get them replaced. Can you imagine trying to get a new birth certificate or marriage license at the last minute?
So what are the top five things that you should know about safe deposit box storage?
- Home safes are a good alternative, but not a good replacement, for off-site safe deposit vaulted storage. According to 2012 year-end statistics from the FBI, a burglary occurs on average every 15 seconds; 66% of burglary incidents occurred at a residence, and the average amount of money lost per burglary incident was $2,185. Off-site safe deposit boxes (inside a vaulted site) provide a much safer option against burglaries or home invasions.
- In the event of a disaster such as a flood or fire, a safe deposit box provides the protection required to keep important documents and valuables both secure and intact. By comparison, most home safes are fire-proof, but not water-proof, and home safes cannot provide the same levels of protection against extreme elements (wind, hail, tornado) as a reinforced, steel-plated vault.
- Safe deposit boxes are a great place to store important, irreplaceable documents such as birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards, photos, and passports. They are also a great place to store high-value intangibles such as coin collections and foreign currency.
- For business owners looking for a safe place to put important files, intellectual property, or back-up files, an off-site storage vault is a secure option to protect your business. Some private safe deposit storage facilities will offer renters the ability to establish box rental contracts in the name of an LLC, trust, estate or POA. By contrast, many financial institutions do not offer the same flexibility with contract titling options.
- Safe deposit boxes are cost effective. Prices range from as low as $10 per month to $45 per month. In addition, most insurance companies will provide a discount on their rates (for storing insured valuables under a separate schedule for personal property) at an off-site vault.