Should You Rent a Safe Deposit Box?

by TTMK on April 14, 2014 · 2 comments

should you rent a safe deposit boxWe often have some really important documents and possessions that we simply don’t want to lose.  These are physical papers or jeweler, for example, that we simply can’t scan and store a copy on the cloud.  Rather, we really want to make sure that we keep the items safe and untouched so they won’t get lost.

Enter the safe deposit box!

For me, renting a safe deposit box has worked out quite well.  A big part of this is that it came free with my account!  That sure makes it a little bit less of a decision.  However, that won’t be the case with many people, and that’s where it becomes a decision that merits some assessment.  In my case, I think it would still be a worthwhile purchase.

In my situation, it’s been a place to keep some important documents I don’t need to have laying around the house.  In addition, there are a few other items in there as well.  Whatever the case, each person might have his or her own reason to consider a safe deposit box.  But what are the factors to consider?

Here are 4 pros and 4 cons to having a safe deposit box:

Reasons why a safe deposit box rental might be a good idea

Your home isn’t in a totally safe area.  Now, of course no town or even neighborhood is going to be 100% perfectly safe and risk-free.   But a secured vault area of a bank would seem to be a more safe location than the typical home.  Someone would have to get into the bank, get into the vault, and then access the boxes.  That’s multiple tough steps, right there.  Not to mention that it would seem to be tough for someone to access your safe deposit box during business hours, as each box generally has its own key and the box holder has to show identification before accessing it.

You don’t have easy places to hide things at home.  Even if you consider yourself to be creative in terms of hiding things, the bad guys are probably not entirely dumb.  Plus, a safe might be able to be carried out without too much trouble

Saving money on insurance.  It’s possible that insurance on certain items could be lower if they are located in a safe deposit box instead of at home.  Saving money is a good thing, right?

Reasons not to rent a safe deposit box

You won’t have immediate access.  If you need the documents or valuables, you’ll be able to get them during business hours.  That might not be all that convenient, and is a factor to consider.

You get nervous without your valuables in your immediate possession.  If not having things with you at all times can make you worry, maybe that safe deposit box rental isn’t the best option.

Lack of FDIC Insurance.   This is specific to the U.S., but my understanding is that while funds in accounts can be insured, items in safe deposit boxes might not be.  Worth keeping in mind.

Cost.   Yes, I realize that I noted that I didn’t pay a fee for mine.  However, some people might have to pay depending on the financial institution they’re dealing with.  If you’re paying $50 per year, for example, you want to make sure that it’s worth it based on the value of actually having it.

My Questions for You

Do you have a safe deposit box?

Why or why not?

Do you have any other advantages or disadvantages for us to consider regarding renting one?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peter H. April 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm

I don’t have a safe deposit box. I thought about it before, but for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything to put in there. Maybe I’m just not at the tax bracket yet.


The Thrifty Issue April 18, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I have been considering one for important documents, but for the most part haven’t had a need for one.


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