A safe deposit box may be used to store valuables and important documents. You may rent a safe deposit box at a bank, a credit union and at other financial institutions. While the institutions make no guarantee that your items will be 100 percent safe from harm, safe deposit boxes generally afford the best available security against theft and protection against damage by fire or water damage.
Decide who will have access to your safe deposit box. You may rent a box jointly with a spouse, a child or another family member. You may not simply give an extra key to a person not named in the rental contract. A co-renter may access the box independently of a bank representative. You may also ask the institution to assign a deputy or agent to be granted access in the presence of a bank employee.
Choose a size of box. Safe deposit boxes are available in several sizes, ranging from 2 inches high by 5 inches wide to 10 by 10. Rental fees vary.
Complete the rental agreement. You must provide proof of identity of all who will be on the account and have the appropriate fees on hand at the time you sign the agreement. Rental fees may be assessed on a monthly or annual basis.
Keep a written inventory of the items stored in your safe deposit box.
Ensure the contents of the box are covered in your will.
Keep the key in a safe place. Although a replacement key may be acquired, the fee can be steep.
Speak with the insurer of your home about a coverage the contents of the safe deposit box. Items kept in a safe deposit box are not insured by the FDIC.