Safe Deposit Boxes Aren’t Safe - From the New York Times By Stacy Cowley, July 19, 2019

Marilyn Brohm |

Safe Deposit Boxes Aren’t Safe - From the New York Times By Stacy Cowley, July 19, 2019

There are an estimated 25 million safe deposit boxes in America, and few protections for customers. No federal laws govern the boxes; no rules require banks to compensate customers if their property is stolen or destroyed. They operate in a legal gray zone within the highly regulated banking industry.

Every year, a few hundred customers report to the authorities that valuable items — art, memorabilia, diamonds, jewelry, rare coins, stacks of cash — have disappeared from their safe deposit boxes. Sometimes the fault lies with the customer. People remove items and then forget having done so. Others allow children or spouses access to their boxes, and don’t realize that they have been removing things. But even when a bank is clearly at fault, customers rarely recover more than a small fraction of what they’ve lost — if they recover anything at all. The combination of lax regulations and customers not paying attention to the fine print of their box-leasing agreements allows many banks to deflect responsibility when valuables are damaged or go missing.

If you have a safe deposit box or are considering one, please read the entire article: (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/19/business/safe-deposit-box-theft.html?searchResultPosition=1)