top of page
  • Writer's pictureBruce W. Akerly

Why Safe Deposit Boxes Are Not Always A Good Choice

Safe deposit (or, incorrectly, safety deposit) boxes are a popular option for storing valuable items due to their security features, such as being stored in a vault within a bank and requiring dual access through keys or passcodes. However, there are some limitations and considerations to keep in mind when using safe deposit boxes:


Safe deposit boxes are typically only accessible during the bank's operating hours, which may not be convenient for frequent or urgent access to the stored items.

Limited storage space:

Safe deposit boxes come in various sizes, but they may not be suitable for storing large or bulky items. They also have limited storage capacity, and larger boxes may be more expensive to rent.

Restricted items:

There are restrictions on what can be stored in a safe deposit box. Items such as cash, illegal items, hazardous materials, and perishable items are generally not allowed.

Loss of access:

In the event of a lockout, non-payment of fees, or other issues, you may lose access to your safe deposit box, potentially resulting in delays and difficulties in retrieving your stored items. Also, if the bank is closed for any reason, regular hours, holidays or technical glitches, e.g., software or electrical failure, access to your box may be cut off or limited.

Not insured by FDIC:

Safe deposit boxes are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means that if the contents of the box are damaged, stolen, or lost, they may not be covered by insurance.

Privacy concerns:

Although safe deposit boxes are generally private, they are not completely immune to legal or regulatory search and seizure, which means that the contents of the box may not be fully protected in certain circumstances, e.g., subject to sequestration, garnishment or subpoena.


Safe deposit boxes are not free and typically require an annual rental fee, which can vary depending on the size of the box and the location of the bank. Over time, these fees can add up, making safe deposit boxes a recurring expense.

Despite these limitations, safe deposit boxes can still be a suitable option for storing valuable items that are not needed for frequent or urgent access, and for which the owner is willing to pay the associated fees and accept the limitations of access and insurance coverage. However, it's important to carefully consider your specific needs and circumstances when deciding on the most appropriate storage solution for your valuable items. One option is to have a stand-alone safe at your residence or using a secure storage facility. Be safe out there!!


bottom of page