The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was set up in 1933 to keep your money safe. Here’s how the FDIC works. (The below text was taken directly from the FDIC’s website.)
Q: What is the FDIC?
A: The FDIC is an independent agency of the United States government that protects you against the loss of your insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
Q: What is deposit insurance?
A: FDIC deposit insurance covers the depositors of a failed FDIC-insured depository institution dollar-for-dollar, principal plus any interest accrued or due to the depositor, through the date of default, up to at least $250,000. For example, if a person had a CD account in her name alone with a principal balance of $195,000 and $3,000 in accrued interest, the full $198,000 would be insured, since principal plus interest did not exceed the $250,000 insurance limit for single ownership accounts.
Q: How can I get deposit insurance?
A: Depositors do not need to apply for FDIC insurance. Coverage is automatic whenever a deposit account is opened at an FDIC-insured bank. If you want your funds insured by the FDIC, simply make sure you are placing your funds in a deposit account at an FDIC-insured bank and that your deposit does not exceed the insurance limit for that ownership category.
Q: How do I find out if a bank is FDIC-insured?
A: To determine if a bank is FDIC-insured, you can ask a bank representative, look for the FDIC sign at your bank, call the FDIC at 877-275-3342, or you can use the FDIC's BankFind tool.
Q: How much deposit insurance coverage do I qualify for?
A: The standard deposit insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. For a basic category-by-category overview of FDIC deposit insurance coverage, you can use the FDIC’s Account Categories tool.
Q: Is every financial product at a bank covered by the FDIC?
A: No, FDIC deposit insurance coverage depends on whether your chosen financial product is a deposit product. The FDIC covers the traditional types of bank deposit accounts – including checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts (MMDAs), and certificates of deposit (CDs). Investment products that are not deposits, such as mutual funds, annuities, life insurance policies and stocks and bonds are not covered by FDIC deposit insurance.
Q: Can I have more than $250,000 of deposit insurance coverage at one FDIC-insured bank?
A: Yes. The FDIC insures deposits according to the ownership category in which the funds are insured and how the accounts are titled. The standard deposit insurance coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per FDIC-insured bank, per ownership category. Deposits held in different ownership categories are separately insured, up to at least $250,000, even if held at the same bank. For example, a revocable trust account (including living trusts and informal revocable trusts commonly referred to as payable on death (POD) accounts) with one owner naming three unique beneficiaries can be insured up to $750,000.
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