What is a safe deposit box?
Lloyds Bank define a safe deposit box as ‘a secure place where you can store possessions that are impossible to replace or that hold sentimental value’
A safe deposit box, also known as a safety deposit box, will typically be held within a vault at a bank, post office or other institution (for example, Harrods offer a safe deposit box service). You will pick the size of safe deposit box that you require and pay an annual fee for the bank to store the box securely for you.
However, note that in most cases, whilst the safe deposit box will be stored securely for you, items are stored at your own risk. Providers of safe deposit boxes typically exclude liability for anything happening to your items in their terms and conditions. Storing items in a safe deposit box shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to insuring your items. It will be down to you to ensure that the items you store in your safety deposit box are properly insured.
What can you keep in a safe deposit box?
Typically, things such as jewellery, family heirlooms, important documents or hard drives would be stored in a safe deposit box.
Some providers of safe deposit boxes will set conditions on what can and can’t be stored in their safe deposit boxes. Amongst other things, Metro Bank for example do not allow cash, weapons, food or anything else that can go off to be stored in their safe deposit boxes.
Safe deposit boxes can be accessed for personal use, as well as many providers offering a service to businesses too. According to Lloyds Bank, businesses using safe deposit boxes may look to store items such as hard drives, legal documents or archive items in a safety deposit box.
Can you insure a safe deposit box and its contents?
As above, whilst your safe deposit box will be stored in a secure environment by your chosen provider, the safe deposit box itself will not necessarily automatically afford you any insurance cover. In most cases it will be up to you to ensure that the items stored in the safe deposit box are adequately insured.
It is likely that you will need to access specialist insurance for your items stored in a safe deposit box. Some insurance providers may extend cover such as high net worth home insurance to cover items stored in a safe deposit box. Whilst in other cases you may need to take out standalone insurance policy for these items. Always check the full details of the policy you are looking to buy or if you have specialist insurance needs, consider working with an insurance broker.
Should you use a safe deposit box or a home safe to store your valuables?
Whilst both a safe deposit box and a home safe can offer additional security for your valuable items, ultimately wherever you choose to store your items you will need to meet the conditions set out in your insurance policy to ensure that your items are adequately covered.
Some high net worth insurance policies for example will stipulate that high value items must be kept on your possession or securely in the home for cover to be valid. In this case, using a safe deposit box would not meet the conditions of the policy so your items may not be covered if anything were to happen to them.
If you choose to invest in a home safe, or your insurance policy requires you to install one, then you will need to ensure that it meets your insurers requirements if you are storing high value items in it. Not all safes are equal. Safes will typically come with an insurance rating which is linked to the level of security that the safe will provide. The higher the rating the more secure the safe. However, you must ensure that you safe is installed correctly for the insurance rating to be valid.
How to get the right high net worth insurance
At Anthony Jones we are specialist high net worth insurance brokers and focus on getting you the right insurance to reflect your lifestyle. We can also provide risk management advice to ensure that your valuable possessions stay out of harm’s way. Get in touch with us on 0208 8290 9086 or email us at email@example.com.