Texas Living

Need to Know: Safe-Deposit Boxes

By Mary O. Parker 4.13.16

You’ve got your key, your code, and your assigned number. But what should you store in your new safe-deposit box? They work best for items you don’t usually need to access frequently, such as coin collections, heirlooms, jewelry, and birth certificates.

What Should It Contain?
When deciding what to put in and what to leave out, keep in mind that you’ll only have access during banking hours. That’s why Independent Community Bankers of America recommends holding on to passports, health-care proxies, living wills, and other items you might need on the fly. And if you’re the only one with permission to open your safe-deposit box, don’t include items your beneficiaries might need, such as your will or trust documents, says ICBA.

Insure Your Box
But while a safe-deposit box provides valuable peace of mind, nothing is foolproof. Since the FDIC, National Credit Union Administration, and some banks don’t insure box contents, you need to protect your most prized possessions.

“Our homeowners, renters, and Texas Ag Advantage [farm and ranch] policies automatically contain what we call a 10 percent extension for off-premises personal items,” explains Ryan Pinkston, a Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent based in Taylor County. “That includes safe-deposit boxes and storage units.”

Choose the Right Policy
But remember, your deductible applies and is subject to the restrictions of the policy.

“That’s why,” says Pinkston, “it’s a good idea to schedule certain items — like jewelry, furs, and coins — on a personal articles floater policy. Not only can they be insured for either the current market or appraised value, but a personal articles floater policy provides your best coverage and a lower deductible.”

Call your Texas Farm Bureau Insurance Agent to learn how a homeowners policy can protect your valuables.

Coverage and discounts are subject to qualifications and policy terms and may vary by situation. ©2016 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance