When searching for the safest place to keep your valuables, you have a few options depending on your preferences and price point. One choice is to trust the security of a safe deposit box at your local bank. But a safe deposit box may not offer the high-level security you need.
Banks benefit from 24-hour security and best-in-class facilities, but they also struggle with problems like fires, floods, internal errors, and mislabelling — all of which can lead to trouble with your safe deposit box. Instead of a safe deposit box, an alternative is to buy a home safe, which offers high-quality construction and accessibility that a safe deposit box can’t match.
Below we’ll explain when you should use a safe deposit box, and when it would be better to use your home safe.
What Should You Store in a Safe Deposit Box?
A safe deposit box can be a good place to store anything you don’t need regular access to. You can use your safe deposit box to store items like rare collectibles, jewelry, or important business documents.
Since you’ll only have access to the items in a safe deposit box during the bank’s opening hours, this means that you should never store something you might need in an emergency. These items can include medical information, passports, and even your will. All of these should remain within reach (but safely stored) inside of your home. A safer, more viable option is to store copies of these documents in your safe deposit box just in case.
What Should You Store in a Home Safe?
Contrary to a safe deposit box, a home safe is where you should place anything that you want to protect but keep within arm’s reach. These might include insurance policies that you might need in case of a fire or flood, any power of attorney documents, or the original copy of your will.
Certain personal treasures that you want access to can also go in a home safe. Popular items include vintage photographs, jewelry, and family heirlooms. It’s also worth keeping emergency cash in your home safe, too — it can support you in an emergency where you can’t get to a bank.
Firearms and other weaponry can also be stored in your home safe, but it’s important to choose a home safe model designed to keep these items safe and secure.
The things you store in your home safe will depend on what kind of model you choose.
The Problem with Safe Deposit Boxes
It’s worth noting that safe deposit boxes are quickly becoming antiquated because they aren’t as secure as people think. The bank protects your property, but a safe deposit box is not covered by FDIC insurance — which means it is not covered in the event of a natural disaster, loss, or other damage. Also remember that banks are dealing with hundreds of separate safe deposit boxes, and human error could put your safe deposit box in the hands of another customer.
If you are facing a problem with creditors, there is a chance that they can access your safety deposit box to recoup money or assets. Although most creditors will typically avoid going to a bank to engage in aggressive collection activities, some situations include the seizure of personal assets, which includes the items in your safe deposit box.
Protecting Your Valuables, the Right Way
While many people believe that the only risk facing a safe deposit box is the unlikely event of a bank robbery, the truth is that there are many things that can go wrong when you trust your valuables to a bank. You can always use a safe deposit box to store items that you don’t need to keep in your home, but a home safe is almost always the better option for safety and security.
When you are shopping for a home safe to store your valuables, remember that you’re not limited to choosing only one type of safe. Many people invest in two different models to ensure that they have the best possible protection for the possessions they want to keep close to home. Talk to the experts at Western Safe about the type of safe or safes that can securely protect your valuables.