Safe deposit box

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"Safe deposit" redirects here; not to be confused with Safedeposits in Scotland.
Safe deposit boxes inside a Swiss bank.
Safe deposit vault after the 2011 Joplin tornado.

A safe deposit box, sometimes known erroneously as a safety deposit box,[1] is an individually secured container, usually held within a larger safe or bank vault. Safe deposit boxes are generally located in banks, post offices or other institutions. Safe deposit boxes are used to store valuable possessions, such as gemstones, precious metals, currency, marketable securities, important documents (e.g. wills, property deeds, or birth certificates), or computer data, that need protection from theft, fire, flood, tampering, or other perils. In the United States, neither banks nor the FDIC insure the contents.[2] An individual should purchase insurance for the safe deposit box in order to cover theft, fire, flooding, terrorist attacks and other natural disasters and catastrophes.

Many hotels, resorts and cruise ships also offer safe deposit boxes or small safes to their patrons, for temporary use during their stay.[3] These facilities may be located behind the reception desk, or securely anchored within private guest rooms for privacy.

The contents of safe deposit boxes may be seized under the legal theory of abandoned property.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Safe Deposit Box or Safety Deposit Box?". Straight Dope. Retrieved November 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Storing Gold Externally". Gold Buying Facts - Your one stop resource about how to buy gold. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ Payne, Kirby D. Safety Deposit Boxes and In-Room Safes. Hotel Online data base of News and Trends.
  4. ^ Liz Pulliam Weston. "Why treasures in safe deposit boxes get 'lost'". MSN Money.