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Why You Need A Safe Deposit Locker

4 minsAugust 16, 2018

In life we keep acquiring, sometimes even inheriting, a number of materialistic possessions like gold, silver, (in the form of bars, coins, and jewellery), diamonds, important artefacts, accolades, and even hold vital documents, which are all valuable.

These valuable chattels need to be stored carefully in a safe environment. You cannot stock them home, because, as you know, times have rather become unsafe. Maybe a few possessions you regularly need could be held in your ‘home safe’; but not always.

Ideally, keep the things that you do not require regularly viz. property deeds, heirlooms, accolades, estate planning documents, gold coins and bar, certain jewellery etc. in the safe deposit locker at the bank. And the things that you may need to lay your hand on periodically, viz. Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificates, Academic Certificates, insurance papers, passport, daily wear jewellery etc. in a safe at home.

Today, all major banks provide a safe deposit locker facility; and one should opt for it right away!

Axis Bank’s safe deposit locker can be booked from the comfort of your home or office. And you can choose the size of the locker—small, medium, large, extra-large—as per your needs.

Here are 6 reasons to opt for a safe deposit locker:

  • Facilitates you to keep all your valuables at one place
  • The safe deposit vaults at banks are usually in cemented and iron-gated rooms, have well-equipped alarm systems, a security guard, and electronic surveillance via CCTV in and around the safe deposit locker facility
  • Banks adhere to a high-level identification process to access the locker
  • Your valuables are protected from fire, flood, or any natural disaster at home
  • Your valuables are protected from theft; you need not worry when you step out from home
  • It is cost effective

Owing to the scarcity, to rent a safe deposit locker, the bank may insist that you first become an account holder and/or hold a fixed deposit as a security (usually covering three years’ rent and charges for breaking open the locker in case of an eventuality, say the regulatory guidelines).

The locker rent depends on the size of the locker (small, medium, large, extra-large) and region where the locker is situated (metro branch, semi-urban branch, and rural branch). The annual locker rent is directly debited from the bank account maintained with the branch, making it hassle-free experience.

Note that safe deposit lockers with banks are bound by RBI regulations. Banks are required to exercise due care and necessary precautions for the protection of the lockers provided to you, the customer.

Nonetheless, here are some dos and don’ts to follow…

  • Read the application form and the covenants when hiring a safe deposit locker very carefully.
  • The safe deposit locker should be operated only by those individuals whose names appear on the safe deposit locker rent agreement/form
  • Never share your safety code or keys with anyone under any circumstances.
  • Keep a record/list of all the things you are planning to keep in the locker. Preferably, also take photograph of what you store. This will help you calculate the value of the contents and prove useful while filing a FIR (First Information Report) with the police in case of any item/s is missing.
  • If possible, even insure the valuables you plan to store.
  • Ensure that when using the locker, no one is photographing you.
  • As far as possible do not access the locker in front of strangers/unknown persons
  • Always ensure that the locker is methodically locked before you leave the vault room

Always make it a point to add a nominee to your safe deposit locker to facilitate the release of contents to the nominee/s of the hirer/s, whenever required.

To sum-up…

A safe deposit locker can prove extremely handy to store your valuable possessions. Once you’ve opted for one, make sure to use it regularly.

If you are already holding a safe deposit with a bank but haven’t used it for over a year, do note that RBI recently has issued fresh guidelines permitting banks to break open lockers. “In case the locker remains unoperated for more than one year, the bank would have the right to cancel the allotment of the locker and open the locker, even if the rent is paid regularly,” say the RBI guidelines.

Using a safe deposit locker with the bank serves in your interest.

Happy Banking!

Disclaimer: This article has been authored by PersonalFN, a Mumbai based Financial Planning and Mutual Fund research firm known for offering unbiased and honest opinion on investing. Axis bank doesn't influence any views of the author in any way. Axis Bank & PersonalFN shall not be responsible for any direct / indirect loss or liability incurred by the reader for taking any financial decisions based on the contents and information. Please consult your financial advisor before making any financial decision.


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