Are your bank accounts safe?

Here’s some good news about a type of insurance that you don’t have to buy: the FDIC has increased its protection for your bank and credit union accounts. The basic insurance limit was raised from $100,000 to $250,000 for a single account; joint accounts may be eligible for up to $500,000 coverage.** The increased coverage is a temporary measure that will extend through the end of 2009.
With news of two banks having failed last week, the first casualties of the new year, many people are understandably concerned about whether money in their bank account would be safe if their bank should fail. If your money is in a bank that is insured by FDIC, it will be insured up to $250,000.
The FDIC – or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – is an independent agency of the federal government that was created in 1933 to protect consumers after thousands of banks failed during the depression. Since the start of FDIC insurance, no depositor has lost insured funds as a result of a bank failure. The key point here is that your bank must be insured by the FDIC.
You can learn more at the FDIC Frequently asked questions page, where there is information on how to find out if your bank is insured by FDIC, what types of accounts are covered, and what the coverage limits are.
**Clarification per FDIC site:
“Joint Accounts (two or more persons): $250,000 per co-owner”