In a world of online banking, ATMs, direct deposit, debit cards, we don’t have to go the brick and mortar bank as often as we used to. Before the internet age there used to be a time where people had to go to the bank rather often and in doing so would see the alphabet soup splashed on every door and drive through teller window.
A quick check of the top ten largest banks websites and only two had the “Member FDIC” icon on the home page and both of those were at the bottom. Why the other eight banks fail to use it, who knows? You would think after this economic downturn, with banks still closing, using a symbol of security would be given a higher priority. Not to worry though, the other eight banks are also covered by the FDIC, you just have to go several pages in and find the small print. It’s there, somewhere, trust me.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency of the U.S. government that protects the funds placed in banks and savings associations. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government. Since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has ever lost a single penny of FDIC-insured funds.
FDIC insurance covers all deposit accounts, which includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. What isn’t covered are the other financial products available through banks – stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, life insurance, annuities and securities.
The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. The FDIC website offers an insurance estimator, as well as a full summary of all the account coverage limits, to check if your money is fully insured or not.
The National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) was created by Congress in 1970 to insure deposits in federally insured credit unions. The insurance limit was permanently increased to $250,000 per individual depositor on September 17, 2010. Administered by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the NCUSIF is backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. Government.
The NCUA also offers an insurance estimator to those individuals who have money deposited in a credit union.
I’m not Fully Insured
If your bank or credit union deposits are not fully insured, not to worry. You can still be covered in full, you’ll just have to move some money around to make it happen. The easiest thing to do is open a new checking, savings, money market or CD account, at a different bank or credit union than the one you already use. Leave some room to allow your money to earn interest and still be insured. As long as the account doesn’t exceed $250,000 you’re money will be safe.