When a Safe Deposit Box Is a Mistake: Why You Need a Home Safe

If you worry about protecting valuable jewelry or critically-important documents, you probably think your best bet is to secure them in a safe deposit box at your local bank. After all, banks have sophisticated security systems 24/7.  That could be a costly mistake.

What most people don’t know is that, whereas what you store in your home is protected by your homeowner’s insurance policy, the items you store in a safety deposit box are generally not insured.  That includes cash—FDIC insurance only covers what’s in your bank account, not the cash that’s stored in your safety deposit box.

And, when it comes to important documents like wills and passports, items which you might need at a moment’s notice, banks will only let you access them during normal operating hours, and banks will often seal a safety deposit box when they receive notification of a death.  Accessing a will can therefore mean that a representative of the estate will have to present appropriate documentation in court.

Having a secure and fireproof safe in your home will eliminate these problems.  You can store your valuables and your important documents, insure them, and have the peace of mind of knowing that you can access them whenever you want to.

What items are best stored in your home safe as opposed to a bank?  Here are 7 which make a home safe a smart investment:

  1. Insurance Policies:  store all of your important insurance documents in your home safe, including life insurance, home and car insurance.  Be sure also to include all relevant contact information for insurance agents so that in the event of an emergency you can file your claim immediately.
  2. Identification Documents:  this includes all passports, birth certificates and social security cards.  These items can be challenging to replace—having them in a secure location in your home ensures you’ll have them when you need them.
  3. Medical Records:  it’s smart to have one, safe location which contains the names and contact information for all family doctors and specialists, a list of all medications used by you or members of your family, and all medical records, including past illnesses and preferred treatments.
  4. Items with Sentimental Value:  a fire can wipe out your personal history.  It’s a good idea to copy valued family photographs and other items onto CDS and place them in your safe.
  5. Financial Documents:  these include all documentation related to your retirement account and any investment papers.
  6. Legal Documentation:  if you have documents which establish power of attorney or a living will, you’ll want to store these securely in your home safe.  Your safe is also an ideal location for car and other vehicle titles.
  7. Valuables: this includes your jewelry, cash, coin collections and any other items of value.

There are circumstances in which a bank’s safe deposit box makes sense, and many others when it could represent a costly mistake.  If you want the financial security and peace of mind that comes with insuring your most valuable belongings and knowing that you can obtain these at a moment’s notice, a home safe is your safe choice.

To learn more about the ways a home safe can protect you and your valuables, contact us today.

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