What You Should Know About Safe-Deposit Boxes
There’s more to having a bank box than remembering where you keep the keys.
By signing a contract and paying an annual fee, you can rent a safe-deposit box to protect things you don’t want—or can’t afford—to lose.
- Keep essentials in the box. Use a safe-deposit box to protect a home inventory, or family records such as birth, death, and marriage certificates. Store original papers, such as insurance policies, passports, stocks, bonds, and deeds, in the box. You also may choose to store valuable heirlooms or cash in the box.
- Items you may need quickly need another home. Banks aren’t open 24/7, so a safe-deposit box may not be your best option when you might need on short notice an item such as a legal document. You may want to consider having your attorney safeguard those.
- Consider giving another person access. If you name another person as the co-renter, either of you can access the box. You also could name an agent, who must be appointed in the presence of a bank employee and the box renter. Note: An agent can immediately access your box; someone with a power of attorney cannot.
- Remember what’s in your box. Take photos or update a list of the contents whenever you add or remove items.
- Keep track of your keys. Drilling a new lock and replacing keys can be expensive. Designate a spot for your keys, and be sure your spouse, agent or family member knows where they are.
- Assume the contents are unprotected. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures the money you have in the bank but typically not the contents of your safe-deposit box.
- Protect your items. Often you can insure the value of items in your safe-deposit box through your homeowners or renters coverage. Talk to your MetLife Auto & Home® representative about your options.