If you have been reading the newspapers regularly, you would not have missed this interesting and shocking news. A daring bank robbery took place at the Bank of Baroda branch near Navi Mumbai. A group of robbers dug a 25-foot tunnel to the lockers of the bank.
Then sometime between Saturday and Sunday, the robbery took place and the thieves escaped with Rs 40 Lakh worth of valuables. When the bank staff walked in on Monday morning, they found several vaults empty. This news must have got you worried. What about your gold jewelry and valuables in the bank lockers? Are they safe? What if thieves steal your valuables in the bank locker?
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You always believed that your valuables in bank lockers were safe....Till the great Mumbai Bank Robbery. Now you're worried....What if thieves loot your valuables? You need to be worried.
If you think that bank lockers are the safest place for your gold jewelry, then think again. Banks have no liability for loss of valuables in lockers.
You cannot expect any compensation for the loss of valuables from bank lockers as the locker hiring agreement absolves the bank of all liability.
Take a look at the locker hiring agreement of a leading private bank. This bank says it will not be held responsible for the loss or damage or destruction of the contents in the locker caused by rain, fire, flood, earthquake, civil war, war, lightening, riot or any causes which are not under the control of the bank.
The bank advices you in your own interests to insure the valuables you have deposited in bank lockers.
SEE ALSO: Bank Lockers are not safe anymore
Yes, you are paying for the facility of storing valuables and gold jewelry in bank lockers. It's not free. Locker fees could be anywhere between Rs 1,000 a year for bank lockers in a small city to Rs 10,000 a year for bank lockers in a metro city.
But...banks say the relationship between them (banks) and you (customer) is that of a lessor and a lessee....So banks are not responsible for your valuables stored in bank lockers.
SEE ALSO: How to open a locker with a bank?
Yes...you are responsible for the safety of your valuables in bank lockers....Make sure that the bank where you keep your valuables has CCTV. If your valuables are stolen from the locker, the Police could easily catch the thieves.
What should you do if the bank refuses to compensate you for a locker theft? You must approach the National Consumer Redressal Commission (NCDRC). NCDRC will look into this issue and force the bank to take responsibility.
You must insure your valuables stored in bank lockers. There are some homeowner policies which offer this facility. You can also keep gold jewelry and other valuables in a safe at home. You insure these valuables with homeowner insurance. Homeowner insurance not only gives coverage/protection against accidental damage or loss of jewelry kept at home, it gives you this coverage even when you travel around the World.
If you avail homeowner insurance, you could be charged around Rs 1,000 for sum assured up to a lakh. You could choose various limits from Rs 2 Lakhs up to Rs 10 Lakhs. You have to give details of gold jewelry like type, weight and replacement cost up to Rs 10 Lakhs.
Follow these 5 tips if you want to keep your valuables in bank lockers safe. Last but not the least, never open your bank locker in front of the bank employee, who accompanies you to the locker. Wait for him to leave and then open the locker. Make sure to properly lock the bank locker before you leave the vault. Be Wise, Get Rich.
Mr. C S Sudheer is the founder and CEO of IndianMoney.com – India’s largest Financial Education Company. He started his career with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and later on worked with Howden India. After his brief stint in Howden India, he moved on and incorporated Suvision Holdings Pvt Ltd which is the sole promoter of IndianMoney.com. He aims to build a nation that is financially literate with investment savvy citizens.
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