Most of us keep our gold and valuable items in bank lockers thinking that it is safer to keep there than at home. The probability of theft is much lower in case of banks as compared to a house but did you know that banks bear no responsibility for the contents kept in the locker as they are not aware of the contents of the locker? Suddenly you may no longer feel comfortable leaving your jewellery in a locker but the fact is bank lockers are definitely a much safer option but the safest would be to insure the contents.
So how can one protect the contents? There are general insurance companies which provide bank locker insurance under their home insurance or content insurance products.
"Tata AIG insures jewellery for its high net worth customers under a packaged policy. This insures jewellery kept in locker, home and also if someone is wearing it," said Abhishek Bondia, principal officer and managing director, SecureNow.in
IFFCO Tokio General Insurance has a standalone policy for bank lockers which not only provides protection against theft but other perils. Subrata Mondal, executive vice president-underwriting, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Co. Ltd, said “Our policy protects the items kept in a bank locker such as jewellery and other valuables against various risks including fire, earthquake, burglary, holdup, infidelity of bank employee , act of god perils and any act of terrorism. Not only jewellery and valuables, one can also opt for insuring important documents kept inside bank locker against any loss or damage, wherein at the time of claim the replacement cost is born by insurance company up to the agreed limit."
The policy provides a minimum coverage of ₹3 lakh at ₹300 and a coverage of ₹40 lakh for ₹2,500. While for a coverage above Rs40 lakh the charges are 0.60 per mille or per thousand of sum insured.
“Under home insurance policies, the premium for jewellery insurance could be as high as one per cent of the sum assured," Bondia said.
Indraneel Chatterjee, Co-Founder and Principal Officer, RenewBuy.com, said "One should get locker insurance if the documents or contents kept are important or valuable. The process to buy is simple and easy. Needs a self-declaration up to a specified limit. However, financial planners suggest that they generally don’t advise buying a locker insurance as the probability of theft is lower but then it will also depend on a case to case basis.
“We generally don’t advise people to take standalone bank locker insurance, but if it is available with a broader home insurer with some extra cost, I would recommend it. However, it will also depend on a case-to-case basis on the worth of jewellery or valuables kept in the lockers. If a person has kept high value jewellery or documents in the locker worth lakhs of rupees then one can also go for a standalone policy as well," said Suresh Sadagopan, Founder, Ladder7 Financial Advisories.
Abhishek of SecureNow said, “I would suggest people to go for a comprehensive coverage instead of just insuring contents kept in the locker because the chances of theft outside the bank locker are higher." Buying jewellery is an expensive affair, so insure it right and breathe easy.