What is the protection available for the customer (locker-hirer) to secure/protect the value of items stored in the locker?
The only protection that a customer has against a potential locker risk is to go for gold jewellery and valuables cover with an insurance company. Nowadays many banks permit the locker-customer to cover their locker contents with a jewellery insurance cover. The bank, though, is never a party to the contract; the contract of insurance is strictly between the locker-hirer and the insurance company. That too is easier said than done because insurers normally insist on a valuation report for such items before the actual policy is issued. Apart from establishing the identity of items, this report can be of use at the time of claim settlement. With many customers unwilling to declare the actual value of their valuables in the locker, such policies have not found many takers yet. In a nutshell, it is advisable that you take suitable precautions while hiring a bank locker and operate the locker regularly while keeping the bank informed of the slightest hint of irregularity in the locker premises. Of course, it is always prudent to take a jewellery insurance cover to minimize possible losses. responsible for the loss, etc., of the thing bailed (to him), if he (the bank) has taken the amount of care of it as described under Section 151 (…the bailee is bound to take as much care of the goods bailed to him as a man of ordinary prudence would take of his own goods.)
And the Other Points
Why banks feel they are not responsible: