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Chelsea Groton Bank APRIL 2016

Mutual Matters



What You Should – and Should Not – Put in a Safe Deposit Box

Safe Deposit BoxSafe deposit boxes and home safes both have benefits, but it's important to understand what should be kept where. Here are four tips to help you sort through where to keep your valuables:

  1. Bank's safe deposit boxes are ideal for the original versions of key documents, such as birth certificates, property deeds, car titles, and savings bonds that haven't been converted into electronic securities. Other items could include family keepsakes, valuable collections, pictures or videos of your home's contents for insurance purposes, and negatives for irreplaceable photos.

  2. Items that may need to be accessed quickly, such as passports for a last minute flight or original versions of "powers of attorney" that authorize others to transact business or medical care decisions, should be kept out of safe deposit boxes, and instead, stored in a safe place at home. While a home safe can be good for replaceable items you may need immediate access to, note that they are not as secure as safe deposit boxes.

  3. Cash should be stored in a bank deposit account, like a savings account or certificate of deposit, rather than a home safe or a safe deposit box. This allows cash to earn interest. If cash is in a safe deposit box or home safe, it actually begins to lose value.

  4. No safe deposit box or home safe is completely protected from theft, fire, flood or other loss or damage. Consider protecting against water damage by placing items in plastic containers or zip-lock bags. Remember to keep identifying information, such as the box number and the bank's name, at a distance from your safe deposit box key in case of loss or theft. By law, FDIC insurance does not cover the contents of safe deposit boxes. For protection for the valuables in your safe deposit box or home safe, talk to an insurance agent.

For more information about safe deposit boxes, contact your local branch.

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