Insurance Coverage on Safe Deposit Box Contents

If you store valuables such as jewelry in a safe-deposit box, the contents should be insured. Many people don't realize that the contents of safe-deposit boxes are not insured by the bank, and insurance under a regular homeowner's policy is typically limited to $1,000 or less. A rider on your homeowner's or renter's policy can add safe-deposit box insurance at a rate that is usually far less than the cost of insuring valuables that are kept at home. An inventory of the box contents should be stored at home or in the office. At a minimum, your inventory may prevent a wasted trip to the safe deposit box to retrieve some document or bauble that isn't there.

Jewelry can be insured for about one-quarter of the cost of insurance for jewelry outside the box. In an effort to find a middle route between cheap in-vault and expensive out-of- the-vault rates, wearing jewelry for one night, for example, some insurance companies now allow people to switch between the two types of coverage.

A home safe may be a viable alternative to a safe deposit box. They don't cost any more than a few year's worth of safe deposit box rental fees, and losses are covered by your homeowner's insurance if you have each valuable item listed in a floater policy.