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Safe Deposit Box Basics

Thursday, February 1, 2024Written by: Heather Walsworth, Vice President, Retail Banking

Many of you have heard the term “Safe Deposit Box” but might not know what a safe deposit box is. A safe deposit box is a metal container kept under secure control by a financial institution, usually located inside the institution’s vault. Vaults provide protection from fire, burglary, and other unavoidable perils. This allows you to have a safe and secure way to store and protect important, valuable property that you do not need access to regularly or wouldn’t need in an emergency. These boxes give customers peace of mind knowing their valuables are kept safe and accessible only to the renters and their designated deputies.

Renting a safe deposit box is easy! 

1.       Your first step is to select a convenient financial institution such as your local Century Next Bank branch. 

2.       Next, select the box size that you will need. Boxes come in various sizes to meet the needs of both consumers and businesses. The annual rent for a box depends on the size of box.

3.       Once you’ve selected your box size, you will enter into a lease agreement with the bank.  This agreement will identify the renter(s) of the box and any additional individuals, or “deputies,” who you authorize to have access to the box.

4.       The bank will provide the renter with two keys. It is imperative that the renter’s keys are safeguarded from being lost or stolen because without a renter’s key, the box cannot be accessed. The bank does not retain any additional renter’s keys to your box.

5.       When you need to enter your box, a bank employee will escort you to the safe deposit box area where the renter/deputy will sign the admission record which records every entry into a box.  The renter’s key and the bank’s guard key are both needed in order for a box to entered.

6.       The bank employee will ensure privacy for the customer while accessing the contents of the box. Renters handle box contents independently. To ensure the customer’s security, bank employees have no knowledge of the contents of a box.

7.       Once the customer has completed their business for the box, they will close the box and notify the bank employee who will then assist them with returning it to the vault and locking it securely.  

Consider the following examples of what should and shouldn’t be placed inside.

Good items to place in your safe deposit box: heather---horizontal-pic.jpg

·         Personal files (deed to house, title to car, etc.)

·         Collector items (stamps, coins, jewelry)

·         Contracts or other business documents

Items to not place in your safe deposit box:

·         Passports

·         Medical directives

·         Powers of Attorney

·         Revocable living wills

If you rent a safe deposit box individually, avoid storing essential documents your heirs might need. In the event of your passing, accessing the box requires legal documentation, and storing such documents elsewhere may be more practical for your heirs.

It’s important to note that safe deposit boxes are not FDIC insured. Items inside them lack federal deposit insurance protection. To insure your valuables, consider obtaining a specialized insurance policy, similar to auto, home, or life insurance.  

Safe deposit boxes provide security to you and your belongings. If you would like to know more about this service,  one of our friendly Relationship Bankers can help you decide if this is the right product for you. Please give us a call at 866-454-9228 or visit one of our locations to explore your options.

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