What should you keep in your safe?

dart point / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Safes might seem like something only the wealthy use in heist movies, but in fact, they’re useful for anyone with valuables and important documents that they need to store in a safe place. Homes can be vulnerable to disasters and emergencies such as floods, fires, or hurricanes, to name a few, and may not always be the safest place to keep certain valuables. Here, experts recommend what sorts of things you should keep in your safe.

See: 23% of Americans were victims of credit card fraud last year – How to protect yourself
Find: why it’s always better to use your credit card than your debit card

precious memories

Some of your most prized possessions aren’t particularly valuable in monetary terms, said Adam Wood, co-founder of RevenueGeeks. However, they are precious to you on a sentimental level. “Personal papers such as letters from friends and family or old journals – yours or that of a long-deceased relative – can be safely stored in your safe. You can scan these items before store them to ensure you always have a backup, but there is no alternative to holding a precious piece in your own hands.

If you also have old photos, taken before digital cameras, you can store the original negatives and albums in safes, he recommended. “To make sure you never lose digital copies, store them in the cloud, on a USB drive, or both.”

car titles

The title to your car, like the deed to your home, is a crucial but seldom-used document that is difficult to replace if lost, said Tyler Martin, founder and certified business coach at ThinkTyler. “As a result, a safe is a perfect place for that. When it comes time to sell the car, you’ll know exactly where to look for the title: in your bank vault.

See: 4 people whose identities were stolen – and how they got away with it


Recordings that are infrequently used but difficult to replace should be stored in a vault, said Chris Muller, director of audience growth at DoughRoller. “We are discussing birth certificates, death certificates, marriage certificates and divorce certificates. A birth certificate from a foreign adoption, in particular, is complicated to replace if lost or destroyed.

Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group LLC, added that you might also want to include military discharge documents and documents that veterans need to grant eligibility for certain services. “Having extra copies of these documents can save you and your family valuable time and stress,” he said.

Jewelry and Art

If you are lucky enough to have the kind of jewelry or art that is worth a lot in monetary or sentimental value, a safe can be a good place for the really special or antique items. However, remember that jewelry is not insured by your bank.

Muller added, “As far as jewelery placed in a safe, your homeowners insurance will only provide limited coverage. The insurance industry recommends that you get a personal items float. This complementary strategy extends the protection of certain assets. Each piece of jewelry will likely require a formal appraisal for insurance purposes.

Important: The Biggest Problems Facing Social Security

An inventory of your home and its belongings, as well as a video extract of the contents

In the worst case of an act of nature like a fire, earthquake or flood that damages your home or property, you will need proof for your insurance company of what was lost. . Hands recommended that you keep in your safe “An inventory of your home, along with documented photographs of open closets and drawers, and furniture. [to] help you establish your legal right to the land in question. »

Tax documents

“Some tax and mortgage information may also be stored in your deposit vault to keep all of these documents safe,” said Donny Gamble, founder of PersonalIncome.org. “While you don’t need them all the time, it’s good to be able to know where they are in case you need to check them out.”

Safe but not assured

Remember that while the contents of your safe may be safe, they aren’t covered by your bank or FDIC insurance policies, Muller said.

Read: $1 Million Isn’t the Standard Nest Egg Anymore – Here’s How Much Most Americans Think You Really Need to Retire

Don’t lock away what you need

Be careful not to put anything in your safe, “that you might need to access immediately or that you might need to access at a time when the bank isn’t working,” Mains said. “It could [include] originals of your passports and powers of attorney, which allow individuals to conduct business on your behalf or make medical care decisions in certain situations. For advice on where to keep your original will, consult a professional about what is required or suggested by your state’s laws.

What not to store

“Too often, documents such as wills are stored in physical safes that cannot be accessed without going to court after the person dies. It slows everything down and makes a generally sad situation even more difficult and costly,” said Renee Fry, CEO of Gentreo. Instead, she recommended a digital safe for those items.

And of course, there are some things that are illegal to store, including weapons, drugs, explosives, toxic or radioactive substances, according to Iryna Ki, chief financial officer of crypto firm foxoffers.

“Grocery or other perishables also cannot be kept in a safe. This clause is still in the contract with the bank,” Ki added.

other considerations

Be sure to keep your safe with a well-known and trusted financial institution because smaller banks may close, said Erick Arbé, co-founder of Willio.com, an online estate planning tool. “More and more banks are consolidating, making it hard to believe your bank will exist for the next five to 10 years.”

More from GOBankingRates

About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a BA from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. His articles and essays on finance and other topics have appeared in a wide range of publications and clients including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times , Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for many commercial customers. As someone who had to learn a lot of her money lessons the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and how to live. a better quality of life.

Comments are closed.