Homeowners insurance can help reimburse you if something happens to your property — but some things are not easily replaceable.

Home safe and deposit box tips

March 30th, 2016 by

Homeowners insurance can help reimburse you if something happens to your property — but some things are not easily replaceable.

Homeowners insurance can help reimburse you if something happens to your property — but some things are not easily replaceable. Certain documents and items may not only be of extreme monetary value, but sentimental and even legal value as well. To keep your most precious items secure, you may want to consider investing in a home safe or renting a safe deposit box. 

When getting started looking for a home safe, consider the following:

Home safe or safe deposit box
When making the choice between a home safe or a safe deposit box, it helps to consider:

  • What you are trying to protect.
  • How much of it you need to keep safe.
  • How often you'll require access to the items.
  • How secure you need the contents to be.

Largely, the question is: How safe would you feel storing this item in your home? For extremely high-value items that you don't see yourself accessing frequently, a safe-deposit box is one of the most secure ways to warehouse an item. Expensive jewelry or small family heirlooms that you intend to leave to family after your death, as well as original copies of key documents like deeds, wills and titles, are great candidates for a safe deposit box. Cash is less than ideal, since storing it outside a bank means it will not generate interest or be FDIC insured.

The protection offered by a bank will almost always be more than what you can afford for your home, which is one reason to consider a safe deposit box. Keep in mind that a bank will charge a rental fee for the box and that this fee is often tied to the size of the box required, so if you are in need of storing a large quantity of items, it may be more cost effective to invest in a personal safe. 

Choosing your safe 
Some items just make sense to store in a personal safe in your home. Typically, these are items of value but that you may need to access at a moments notice. A few ideal candidates include:

  • Insurance documents.
  • Passports, original birth certificates and Social Security cards.
  • Tax documents.
  • A list of medical information and emergency contacts, including doctors, pharmacies and medications.
  • Investment and banking documents, as well as emergency cash.
  • Thumb drives with backups of important documents.
  • Safe-deposit box keys.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is what you want your safe to protect your valuables from. Are you worried about fire? Flooding? Burglary protection? Safes are typically rated according to their resistance to each of these hazards.

Fire tends to the No. 1 concern for homeowners looking to purchase a safe, and with good reason. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is a one in four chance of experiencing a household fire large enough to warrant calling the fire department during a person's lifetime. Home safes are rated against fire protection by being able to prove that the internal temperature stays below a certain threshold. Safes also can promise protection against fire for certain durations, with 30 minutes of protection being the most common.

For protection against burglary, the design of most safes makes them a good deterrent. Safes are tested against tool, bombs and blowtorches. Additionally, the weight of a safe makes it unappealing to thieves attempting to steal from your home, as most want to get in and out quickly without arousing suspicion. 

When considering the location of your safe, try choosing an area in your home that is both well-protected from the elements and a bit out of the way. Basements are generally a wise choice, though avoid areas that flood easily.

Fundy Mutual wants to help you protect your home by offering low rates on insurance. Contact us today to get started.