Non-Bank Places to Rent a Safe Deposit Box

In troubled economic times, people not only choose to move their money out of the bank but their safe deposit box items as well. Safe deposit box locations outside banks are growing in number as people become concerned with not only the solvency of their bank, but the possibility of identity theft. Here are some innovative ideas about where to rent a safe deposit box outside a bank.

To Store Precious Items and Heirlooms

Private storage firms can rent you a safe deposit box for a year at a time to store items you want to pass on to your children, or rare collectibles you are holding for their future market value.  You may only need one piece of identification to open a box account for your use.

You will also hold the only key. In the event of payment default, the box will be opened by dismantling the lock.

Two private safe deposit companies are located in Vienna, Austria, and Prague in the Czech Republic. Noted for their discretion, entry to their vaults is by electronic card at the main door. You can authorize anyone to access your box, simply by giving them the key and card.

Tax havens are also noted for their discreet policies regarding money and valuables. These include the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands (south of England), Luxembourg and Switzerland. Simply open a bank account and pre-authorize payments for your safe deposit box.

If you choose to store personal valuables such as jewelry and stock certificates in a bank, be aware that safe deposit box contents do not meet FDIC and CDIC (Canada Deposit Insurance Corp.) insurance eligibility. Add a special rider to your household insurance to protect the contents of your safe deposit box.

To Store Property Information

For the present, your local bank, where you are known and have an account, is the place to keep a full copied set of your title deeds, car ownership, and insurance. Keep the originals of your car ownership and all insurance documents at home for quick access.

To Store Personal Information

Your bank can rent you a small safe deposit box for these papers. If you have been a customer there for a few years, you may be eligible for the first year rent-free, and a reduced rental rate thereafter.

Private storage is not recommended for personal information documents. These companies deal with many people who want to remain outside the law.  They are also mobile, and can close up business tomorrow, leaving your personal information in limbo, or disposed of in a dumpster.

If you are storing only information, online safe deposit systems are becoming popular. Scan your passport, credit card numbers, visas and transportation tickets, photograph your luggage and its contents, and send the whole lot by secure e-mail to an online safe deposit company. You need only a password and box ID number to access your stored items immediately from any computer terminal. If your passport is stolen, you can obtain replacement papers much faster than having to wait for copies to arrive from home.

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