Safety Deposit Boxes vs. Protection at Home

My background is in Risk Management, so I’m naturally inclined to think about things like this. I’m not there yet, but at some point I’m going to get to a point where I’m nervous about the concentration of my collection in one place. A lot of the collectors I know keep at least some of their collection in Safety Deposit Boxes.

A while back I started looking into how to properly insure my collection. What I found was slightly shocking. My homeowners policy, as it currently stands, only provides coverage for $200 worth of coins; and that’s generous….most policies don’t include that much. I can think of two coins that would put me over that limit. Naturally, I inquired about increasing the limit. It costs $18 per $1,000 in coverage with my current carrier. So in order to get $5,000 in coverage for your coins, it costs $90 a year. That, and you have to get an appraisal. I don’t know about you, but my collection is constantly changing/growing. So to keep an accurate appraisal would be ridiculously tough….and time consuming.

Safety Deposit Boxes vs. Protection at Home

On top of the cost of insuring the coins in your home, you have to consider where you’re going to store them. Are you going to store them in a shoe box, the wide open, or are you going to invest in a nice safe? Safes can literally cost thousands of dollars. Spread out the cost of a $1,000 safe over the course of say 20 years, and it’s not THAT bad….but it still adds $50 a year to your expenses. Add in the cost of insuring them, and you’re well over $100 a year.

But then there’s always the Safety Deposit Box. A Safety Deposit Box (SDB) provides a level of protection most people are unable to achieve inside their home. An SDB provides added protection against fire, theft, etc….but is it cheaper?

I looked into the closest bank to me, which happens to be a credit union, and here is what I found: Fees vary by size of the box. A 2″x6″ box costs $20 a year (not much room for coins) and a 10″ x 10″ box costs $70 a year. Pretty expensive real estate if you ask me. You could probably fit a couple hundred coins in a 10″ x 10″ box? Maybe. Of course, I’d only be storing my high dollar stuff there, but still.

So what you’re left with is the cost of $70 per year (or more if you need more space) vs $120+ for a safe and proper insurance. Ultimately, the decision is yours. At what point do you think it makes sense to move to an SDB? $5k in value? $50k in value? At some point, it’s worth thinking about getting an SDB. But that’s just my two cent piece. LOL, did you see what I did there? Oh look, an eagle!

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