How to Insure Bank Accounts

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a government agency, insures deposit accounts at most U.S. banks up to $250,000, with the exception of joint bank accounts, which are insured up to $250,000 per owner. The agency says that since the FDIC was established in 1933, no depositor has lost money from insured funds.


Account owners can't increase that insurance coverage. However, there are steps you can take to ensure all of your deposits are fully covered under FDIC insurance.

Things You'll Need

  • List of your deposit accounts at FDIC-insured banks
  • Current balance of those accounts
  • Names of all account holders and beneficiaries

Inventory Your Accounts

  • Gather the most recent statements for all insured deposit accounts, including checking, savings, retirement and revocable trust. Nearly all banks carry FDIC insurance, but not all types of deposit accounts are insured. You can find out if an account is insured by using the tools at fdic.gov/deposit.

  • Determine whether any insured deposit account contains more than $250,000 (or $500,000 for a joint account held by two people). The FDIC offers a deposit insurance estimator tool at fdic.gov/edie.

  • Decide where to move the surplus if any deposit account contains more than the insured amount.

Move Your Surplus

  • Decide what type of account to open so you can deposit the surplus.

  • Open a new account. This can be a different type of deposit account at the same bank, or the same type of account at a different bank. For instance, if you don't have an IRA at your current bank, you can transfer the surplus from an existing savings account to a new IRA account. The new account will also be insured up to $250,000.

  • Deposit any surplus in the new deposit account.

Tips & Warnings

  • Monitor your deposit accounts periodically to ensure they do not exceed FDIC insurance thresholds.
  • As of January 2010, the $250,000 limit of FDIC insurance for most deposit accounts is scheduled to revert to its previous threshold of $100,000 on Jan. 1, 2014. For certain retirement accounts, including individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, the limit will remain at $250,000.

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