What is the safest place for your diamond jewelry? A bank’s safety deposit locker seems the embodiment of absolute safety. Well, we’ve all watched The Reservoir Dogs, and we know things may go wrong even in the safest of the places. What if your items stored in the locker get lost or damaged or stolen? Holding a locker costs money and almost all banks insist upon a fixed deposit as well, so it is really important to understand the actual arrangement is.
It is necessary to understand that the banks are not liable. When you enter into an agreement on renting a locker, the relationship is as that of a bailer and bailee. The bailer transfers his assets of movable goods, but does give up on the ownership. The bank has no information about the contents in the locker and their nature, or their value. So, technically the bank or any locker provider for that matter is not held responsible for any loss or damage of the contents stored. Even if there is a break-in or a natural calamity that has affected other lockers as well, all you can possibly do is to file a police complaint and wait patiently. In this case, the locker provided has to co-operate with the police investigation and arrange for the necessary CCTV footage. Even if the loss is due to negligence on the part of the locker provider, you have no other way but to take the case to the consumer court.
So just blaming the bank or the locker agency won’t do any good. Locker providers are protected, even by law. Hence, a good way to ensure that you are compensated in a case of loss is by insuring the contents in the locker. The insurance company is going to conduct a proper inspection of all the contents and decide a valuation before insuring it. If the valuables are lost, you can make your claim. The insurance policies typically charge about 1-2% of the total asset value in the locker. Charges may be higher for more compressive plans, which may include a cover on assets not only at the locker or at your home, but anywhere in all. If that is the case then, why bother a locker in the first place then, you may ask. One reason why lockers are a better choice is because when you keep your valuables in a locker, you have a better chance of the claims settled. Comprehensive insurance policies protect against any direct losses, physical damage, including fire or theft, earthquake, floods, or even accidental breakage.
While valuables such as jewelry can be insured, it is always advisable to keep a record of all the other important documents as well. If the locker has not been operational for a while, or if the authorities have classified you as a high-risk customer for any reason, your locker can be forced open after one year of inactivity. So it is always better to operate your locker on a regular basis and update your contact details at the bank or the locker agency.