Do You Have a Safe Deposit Box? Here's How To Ensure Your Valuables Are Secure
Before you rent a box, be sure to ask these questions of your banking institution.
Safe deposit boxes are a secure place for you to store your valuables — but some recent heists have people wondering if they're really that safe.
Last year, a team of thieves took off with $400 million in loot from a vault in England and earlier this year, there were two safe deposit box heists at banks in Queens, New York.
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Cathyann Tully lost cash, bonds, jewelry and irreplaceable family heirlooms in the heist in Queens.
“We had this impression that we had a safe deposit box — we put our precious belongings there thinking that was a safe place to put them,” she told Inside Edition.
She said she regrets ever putting her valuables in a safe deposit box.
“It's not the material dollar value of those items; it's more the history behind it,” Tully said.
She’s not alone. According to the FBI, there are about a dozen safe deposit box heists per year in the U.S.
But banking experts say despite the risks, a safe deposit box is still the best place to store your valuables. However, some safe deposit boxes are more secure than others.
Before you rent a box, you should ask these questions of your banking institution, according to bank expert Dave McGuinn.
Take his full test below or click here to download and print the PDF.
A few more tips from McGuinn and the American Bankers Association:
1. Safe deposit boxes are not FDIC insured so if there is a heist, your assets in the box may be lost forever. Obtain private insurance to protect your valuables.
Read: Cops: Brazen Bank Robbers Nab $280,000 and Loot Safety Deposit Boxes By Cutting Hole in Vault
2. Floods and plumbing catastrophes are far more common than bank heists. Put your valuables in a sealed container and try to rent a box at the top of the room.
3. Since safe deposit boxes can only be accessed during bank hours, do not store anything you may need at a moment’s notice such as a passport or living will.
4. Do not keep your box key on a keychain where it can be easily lost. Instead, store it in a secure place – not in a labeled envelope with the name of your banking institution. If you have more than one key, keep them separate in case you lose them. Banks don’t keep a copy of your key and if you lose it, you may be charged a hefty fee to drill out the lock.
For more tips, visit Dave McGuinn’s website.
See the American Bankers Association's website here.
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