Yes! In 2015 there were 12 events worldwide that resulted in a financial loss for safe-deposit-box holders: these included theft from the safety deposit box, flood claims for the contents of the safe-deposit box and claims for fire, from bank safety deposit boxes and private safety deposit box centres.
You can place all items of value or important documents and information in a safe-deposit-box, for example:
Documents: Marriage Certificate, copies of your Will, Birth Certificate, copy of Passport, Share Certificates and Business Documentation.
Valuable items: jewellery, gold and silver, antiques, paintings, family heirlooms, irreplaceable items.
Yes, you may keep cash and currencies in a safety deposit box. In order to insure currencies you need to keep a transaction trail to evidence ownership.
Please refer to the individual Bank safety deposit box centre and private safety deposit box centres for their terms and conditions. Please check these terms and conditions annually for any changes.
Items that you cannot store within a bank or private safe-deposit-box:
Any living item – including animals and plants; any noxious material; offensive material – including drugs; inflammable or explosive material; firearms; immoral items; perishable items; banned or embargoed items; stolen goods or items stored for the purpose of seeking to put them beyond the reach of law enforcement agencies; money obtained from crime or fraudulent activity.
Safe-deposit-box sizes range from small 5cm x 20cm x 25cm boxes to boxes that are a metre square and larger areas within vaults for storing paintings and works of art.
The cost will vary depending on size of box and term of rental. All banks and security box centres have a safe deposit box cost section on their websites, but cost can be as little as £50 per year or as much as several thousand per year.
The more secure the safe-deposit-box centre the more it will cost.
Most of the large banks in the UK are in the process of closing some of their branches and their vault storage facilities, however there are other smaller banks installing new safe-deposit-boxes such as the Punjab National Bank, Bank of India and Metro Bank who have plans for hundreds of branches in the UK with bank safe deposit box services.
Most Banks offer no insurance for the contents of your box.
Some private centres will offer limited cover, with the policy issued in the centre’s name. These policies will have terms and conditions not known to you, the box holder: they contain warranties, such as alarm warranties, meaning that if the centre does not set their alarm properly cover will cease and will be void.
Always make sure any policy is in your name, so any insurance claim comes directly to you and not the centre.
(Do not buy a policy if it is not in your name.)
Always make sure the policy is adequate to cover the contents of the box: don’t under insure.