title:A Guide to Safe Deposit Boxes author:John Mussi source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_6317.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:08 category:business_and_finance article:

One of the more common banking services that is commonly overlooked is the safe deposit box. These boxes can be used to keep your valuables safe within the security of a bank vault, and may either be available at a discount or entitle you to a better interest rate if the safe deposit box is rented from a bank where you have other accounts. There are some drawbacks to the rental of safe deposit boxes, however, so it’s important that you consider both the pros and the cons before making the decision to rent a box for your valuables.
To assist you with this, you’ll find more information about safe deposit boxes in general below as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages that are associated with box rental.
How safe deposit boxes work
Safe deposit boxes are designed with one thing in mind? keeping their contents safe and secure. The boxes themselves are often made of steel or other metal alloys, and are designed with a double lock that requires two keys to open. Upon rental of a box, the renter is issued one of the keys to the box, and the other key is kept by the bank. In order to access the box, the renter has to use their key to unlock one of the locks while the banker uses the other key to unlock the other. Should the renter lose their key or have it become damaged beyond use, a fee must usually be paid to get a locksmith to come in and drill out the lock so that it can be replaced. Boxes are usually rented for either 6 month or yearly terms, though some other rental terms may also exist.
Advantages of safe deposit boxes
Obviously, the rental of a box is intended to keep whatever you place inside safe from theft; the metal box is locked in place within a bank vault, and likely isn’t going anywhere without the right keys. The location and construction of the box also help to protect your valuables from natural disasters and fire, even moreso than a personal or home safe. Depending upon the bank, there may also be other advantages of renting a safe deposit box such as special rates for having multiple accounts and services from the same bank or discounts offered on the rental of additional boxes or other services. It’s best to shop around at different banks to determine what might be available in the way of rental benefits before deciding upon a single bank, as any offers may vary from one bank to the next.
Disadvantages of safe deposit boxes
Just as there are a variety of advantages to renting a safe deposit box, there can also be several disadvantages that you should consider. Since the box is located within the vault of the bank, you can only add or remove items during regular banking hours? and some banks may limit the hours during which boxes may be accessed further. There is also the matter of the box rent itself, which may vary from bank to bank but which must be paid either monthly or every time that the rental term begins. If you lose the key to your box, the fees associated with replacing it adds additional cost to the inconvenience as well as the time that it takes to replace the lock. Other aspects of safe deposit box rental may also prove inconvenient depending upon your personal situation, so it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons before deciding to rent a box.

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