Safe Deposit Box ~ Do I Need One?
Millions of Americans use safe deposit boxes in financial institutions every day, storing everything from insurance
policies to birth certificates to rare coins to an inventory of their home. All too often, obtaining a safe deposit
box is "the good idea" that people just never get around to doing. Once that stamp collection, heirloom jewelry, or
rare family photos are stolen or lost in a fire, it truly is too late.
If you have any important papers or special items you want to be kept safe, the question you should ask yourself is,
"If I lose this item, am I in deep trouble”? If your response is YES, then it is time for a safe deposit box. Yet before
you do, it is important to be aware of the fact that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) does not cover the
contents of a safe deposit box.
So what is a safe deposit box? It is a designated storage space provided by the Bank, under dual control, for your use
only. Wisconsin River Bank would like to offer you these helpful tips for more effectively utilizing a safe deposit
When you are accessing a safe deposit box, each bank has a set protocol for entering and exiting their safe deposit
area. Although each financial institutions’ procedures may vary, we feel you will find the following information
- Do not put anything in
a safe deposit box that may be needed when the Bank is closed (after hours, weekends or holidays).
- Videotape the contents of
your home, or place of business, and then store the videotape in your safe deposit box. This protects you if something
is stolen, or lost in a fire. And your insurance company will love you.
- Be sure to store your two
safe deposit keys separately from each other, and keep both in safe places.
- It is not a good idea to
place your safe deposit key with your house keys or car keys, as these can easily be stolen or lost. Be sure to notify
the Bank if one of your keys is lost.
A question that is commonly asked is, “can I jointly rent a safe deposit box with my spouse, child or other person”? The
answer to this important questions is YES; yet merely giving someone else a key to your safe deposit box is not enough to
grant them access. The person you want to have unrestricted access to your safe deposit box must also sign the bank's
rental contract, and will be designated as a joint-lessee. Other options are to appoint someone as an Agent, or Power
of Attorney a/k/a POA, which allows them access to your box. Before renting a safe deposit box, you should read the
security and operating procedures in your rental contract. We encourage you to visit with your bank’s representative
about access procedures and security devices. Make sure you are comfortable with the level of protection.
- When inside the vault be
sure to accompany the bank's employee to the safe deposit designated area, and insure no other parties are there with
- Always know where your key
is, and be sure that you do not leave the key in the safe deposit box door when you are viewing the contents of your
- Watch as your box door is
being opened. Remember, your box should never be out of your sight.
- Only open your safe deposit
box when you are inside the provided viewing area, and in private – do not open it in front of others. When done,
look around the room to make sure you have not left anything behind before returning your box to the vault.
- Finally, be sure the box door
is properly locked and that you have your key before you leave the safe deposit area.
Obtaining a safe deposit box is "the good idea" that people put off doing. For just a few cents a day, you can rent a safe
deposit box at Wisconsin River Bank and have peace of mind that your valuables are safe every day. Wisconsin River Bank offers three
box sizes (3x10, 5x10 and 10x10). For more information about renting a safe deposit box, contact a Personal Banker at
either of our locations.