Do you leave your valuables such as gold jewelry, diamonds and even documents such as a will or your property documents, locked up in a cupboard at home? This is a bad idea. Today is the age of thieves. Before you realize what has happened, your gold jewelry and diamonds have vanished from your cupboard. Your property documents and sadly your will, have also been stolen. How the thief opened your cupboard is a mystery. This is when you get good solid advice, from a friend. Open a locker with a bank and store your valuables there. Oh…you wish your friend has given you this advice a few months earlier. Never mind…It’s still not too late.
Banks have safe deposit lockers at certain select branches. You can store your valuables such as gold jewelry, diamonds and even documents such as a will, or your property documents in this bank locker. You have to pay an annual fee for using this bank locker. Bank lockers come in various sizes; Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large. Choose a bank locker which is quite close to your home. You can easily check on your valuables, if the bank locker where you have stored your valuables, is close to your home.
You have to first apply for a bank locker. Banks generally allot lockers on a first come first serve basis. If no lockers are currently available with the bank, you are placed on a waiting list. The bank will give you a waitlist number. The bank will inform you when a bank locker is available. You have to fill up a simple application form. You then complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) documentation with the bank. (Identity proof and address proof).
You can also open a bank locker jointly with your spouse. (You and your spouse can jointly open and own a bank locker). You can also appoint a nominee for your bank locker. In case of your (bank locker owners) untimely death, your nominee can access the contents of the locker.
You will have to sign a memorandum of letting agreement with the bank. This states that you are willing to abide by the banks terms and conditions. Some banks might ask you to invest in a fixed deposit with them. They might even ask you to open a savings bank account or a current account with them. You would also have to pay an annual rent depending on the size of the locker. You will be given 2 keys to your bank locker. One of the keys remains with the bank and the other key is given to you. The locker can only be opened on using both the keys to the locker, at the same time.
If the contents of your locker are stolen, the bank is not responsible for your loss. You need to remember that bank lockers are very strong and are also fire resistant. They are not easy to break open. Your valuables are definitely safer in a bank locker, than left lying at home.
Banks charge you an annual rent for a bank locker, depending on its size. A small sized locker could cost you INR 1000-2000 a year, depending on the bank. A PSU bank might charge you a lesser amount for renting out their lockers, rather than a private sector bank. Renting a medium sized locker could cost you INR 2500-3500 a year. Renting a large sized locker could cost you around INR 4000 a year. Rent for an extra large bank locker could be as high as INR 5000. You would have to pay a onetime registration fee to avail the services of a bank locker. You are allowed a fixed number of free visits and you have to pay for extra visits. If the locker needs to be broken or you have lost your locker keys, you are charged for it. Bank lockers are a service offered to you by the bank and you need to pay locker fees in advance.
If you are not a customer of the bank you cannot be forced to open a fixed deposit. Many banks insist you at least have a savings bank account with them. They say this is part of the KYC. Some banks even insist that you have a fixed deposit with them. Banks say this is necessary as part of the caution deposit. (fee charged in case you do not pay bank locker fees or compensation for the bank in case your bank locker needs to be broken in an emergency).
So remember…a bank locker is definitely a better place to store your valuables than your cupboard at home.
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