insurance

Check Your Bank Account Coverage

If your money isn't fully covered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., you could divvy up your funds between different accounts.

Now would be a good time to take stock of how much you have in the bank. In 2010, the financial-reform law permanently raised the amount the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. covers at qualifying institutions to $250,000 per depositor, up from $100,000 before the financial crisis. A temporary provision of the law, however, offered depositors unlimited coverage for transaction accounts that don’t pay interest, such as non-interest-bearing checking accounts. Now that provision has expired, and such accounts are included under the $250,000 threshold.

The FDIC divvies accounts into ownership categories. Individual account holders are guaranteed $250,000 in coverage per bank for the sum of their deposit balances—checking and savings accounts, money market deposit accounts, and certificates of deposit. If, however, you and your spouse have a joint account (or accounts) at an FDIC-insured institution, you’ll each receive $250,000 in coverage for your joint-account balances, plus $250,000 per person for any individual accounts you have, for a total of as much as $1 million. Separate limits apply to certain other categories. Credit union deposits are insured under the same terms by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

To see whether your money is fully covered, use the tool at www.fdic.gov/EDIE. If it isn’t, you could move some funds to another insured bank or credit union. A couple of services will divide your money among several institutions. Insured Cash Sweep splits funds among interest-bearing checking or money market deposit accounts. To spread cash among CDs, use the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service.

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