Help! How Can I Make Sure My Money Is Covered By The FDIC!?

The FDIC says there were over a billion dollars in assets at IndyMac that were not covered by the FDIC. Why not?

The FDIC says:

At the time of closing, IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. had about $1 billion of potentially uninsured deposits held by approximately 10,000 depositors. The FDIC will begin contacting customers with uninsured deposits to arrange an appointment with an FDIC claims agent on Monday. Customers can contact the FDIC for an appointment using the toll-free number above. The FDIC will pay uninsured depositors an advance dividend equal to 50 percent of the uninsured amount.

Does this sound like fun? No, it doesn’t. In order to prevent this from happening to you, we suggest you check out the FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE).

The FDIC says:

If you or your family has more than $100,000 at one insured institution, you can still be fully insured if your accounts meet certain requirements. You can use EDIE to determine your insurance coverage beyond the basic $100,000 amount.

Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator (EDIE)


Edit Your Comment

  1. stinerman says:

    I’ve got $25 in my savings account, so it looks like I’ve got a lot of headroom.

  2. FilthyHarry says:

    This is why I keep my money in the rotting torso of a dead hooker, buried in the yard.

  3. djanes1 says:

    Looks like some people should have upgraded to the extended warranty.

  4. Angryrider says:

    I’m happy I don’t go to an America-only bank. They get a LOT of bad press.
    My money is kept in a Ronco unbreakable vault. Ha!

  5. tripnman says:

    Most concerned about the millions I keep in UBS. Can it be FDIC insured without telling the IRS that I have it?

  6. wgrune says:


    Is the Ronco Bottle and Jug cutter able to break into that?

  7. chucklebuck says:

    If you or your family has more than $100,000 at one insured institution, you can still be fully insured if your accounts meet certain requirements. You can use EDIE to determine your insurance coverage beyond the basic $100,000 amount.

    Actually, this just taught me something, because I always thought the insurance was good for up to $100,000 per account, not per institution. So it sounds like if I ever get to the point where I have $100,000 in a bank, I need to put any other money in some other bank to get the benefit.

  8. lockers says:

    @Angryrider: I hope that isn’t one with a key lock. At Work, we had an advertisement that came in a small key locked safe that you had to go to a sales pitch to get the key for it. After a quick search on the internet we bent a paper clip and had it open within five minutes. Seeing that I went home and opened my fire proof safe within a minute. I no longer consider it a solution for keeping a few hundred dollars I keep on hand.

  9. Mayor McRib says:

    For once, my financial indiscretions have actually saved me from languish. In the interest of saving my future I am torn between investing my life savings in 1 oz. of Gold or lots of pudding. Since it’s so close to lunch, I am leaning towards the pudding.

  10. mobilehavoc says:

    I keep my money with HSBC…they’re online account website is absolute garbage and feels like it’s stuck in the 90s but at least they have a less chance of going under since they’re a huge world bank with HQs outside the US.

  11. CaptRavis says:

    why not? Because ignorant people relied on information given to them by stupid people that were trained by dishonest people.

  12. Nytmare says:

    Does the same limit apply to credit unions?

  13. sir_eccles says:

    Joint accounts have slightly higher limits.

  14. aidenn says:

    @nytmare: Credit unions are insured by the NCUA for the same limitations as the FDIC. Read more here: NCUA

  15. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Reminds me of that bank robbery in “Heat”.

  16. lockers says:

    @nytmare: it applies to any institution that participates in the FDIC insurance program. Banks and credit unions advertise that fact when they are. If you can’t find any mention of it on your credit unions website you can just call them up and ask.

  17. celestebai says:

    For those of you who have more then $100,000 (certainly NOT me), check out the CDARS program. I’ve worked at a community bank that was one of the only ones in the state to offer this program, but there are quite a few out there. Basically, you bank with one financial institution, one statement, etc., but they invest your money over $100,000 at partnering institutions to ensure FDIC coverage. Each institution will host your $100,000 dollars and everything’s covered. has more information.

  18. lockers says:

    @aidenn: oops, right you are.

  19. Rectilinear Propagation says:
  20. satoru says:

    The thing I don’t understand is who has over $100,000 IN CASH just sitting around in a savings account? If the money is anywhere else, bonds, stocks, etc it’s an asset that’s not affected by the liquidity of the bank. Hell putting that much money in a savings account is LOSING money because of inflation.

    You’ll have to excuse me if I cry crocodile tears for rich people who are mentally retarded.

  21. ZekeSulastin says:
  22. lockers says:

    @satoru: To be fair, these aren’t really rich people. These are unsophisticated investors who are risk averse and don’t understand the actual risk in the possibility of a bank failing. All the same, it’s a shame they didn’t understand the risks of keeping all their money in the same basket while working so diligently to save for retirement, but I do agree that it is ultimately ones own fault that they lost some of their nestegg.

  23. Amelie says:

    They have them sitting in CD’s in banks, Jane Bryant Quinn.

    Anyway, my credit union offers free private insurance for funds between 100,000 – 250,00

  24. While I have to say that yes I agree that these people should have been a little smarter about where and how they kept their money I have to also sympathize with people watching their hard earned money just disappear.

    An unwise decision yes, however were it a loved one that was being hit by this (and none of mine are) I’d have to guess that some of you would be being a little more sympathetic.

  25. Amelie says:

    For credit unions, one can be insured to 350,000.

  26. @satoru:

    Have you seen the market lately?

    Deposit $100,000 in an FDIC Money Market Account on 1/1/07 (3%) now worth $102,375

    Purchased $100,000 index mutual fund on 1/1/07 now worth

    Hardly “losing money” by “putting it anywhere else”.

  27. dorianh49 says:

    @nytmare: I don’t think credit unions can be federally insured. I think they have are insured under a different program. I’ll defer to someone else with more knowledge, though.

  28. ionerox says:

    @lockers: Sometimes, they are also people who don’t believe in earning interest on their money.
    Some strict followers of Islamic law believe that they are not allowed to pay interest on a loan or receive interest payments.

  29. thebluepill says:

    You will find a lot of the people who have over $100K in there are Elderly people who had their “life savings” in the bank, some with higher interest rates.

    You also have people who were using it as a holding place after selling a large item like a house.

    Imagine selling your house for a $200K profit, only to have $50K of it dissapear overnight..

  30. Norcross says:

    I’ve always had to keep this in mind when I’m purchasing CDs for the trust accounts I manage. You’d be suprised how much money dead people have just laying around.

    @Mayor McRib: $240 worth of pudding?

    @ionerox: That’s correct. They can get around it by purchasing mutual funds that invest in interest bearing investments, but pay a dividend.

  31. dangermike says:

    @chucklebuck: You can be insured for over $100,000 at a single institution. You just need to make sure you have multiple accounts in different account categories. For instance, if you have an account in your name, one in your spouse’s, and a third joint account, you’d be insured up to $100,000 in each, for a total of $300,000. Or if you have a corporation and can prove that individual accounts exist for specifically different purposes, they could each individually be covered for up to 100,000.

  32. mzs says:

    My credit union switched from NCUSIF to ASI (American Share Insurance) a few years back


    Should I be worried?

  33. Landru says:

    @mobilehavoc: Um, HSBC Direct is HSBC Bank USA, National Associations. Nothing international about them.

    You should look them up on They don’t seem not so hot. ING Direct is better.

  34. neuman1812 says:

    what If you owe the bank over 100k? say 250$ on a mortage? If the bank goes under do I only have to pay them 100k?

  35. sven.kirk says:

    @neuman1812: Your debts will remain. Those are “assets” to a bank, and will be sold/transferred to another financial institution. And the contract/interest rate will remain the same.

  36. Sudonum says:

    @satoru: @lockers:
    My wife and I have around $250k sitting in a Merrill Lynch money market account getting close to 5% interest. We keep these funds liquid so that we can use them for real estate investments when a “bargain” comes our way. In some cases it’s not enough to purchase the property but we can use it to show our genuine interest until we liquidate more assets or borrow the money to finalize the purchase.

    We’ve also used these fund to build spec homes in lieu of making a construction loan and paying interest on the funds.

    We are by no means “mentally retarded” or “unsophisticated” investors. And yes, we’re still making money in real estate even in this market.

  37. majortom1029 says:

    On cd’s and i think accounts if you have a benificiary put on the account its insured up to $200,000

  38. majortom1029 says:

    ameile in the credit union i am apart of we are insured for the same amounts as regular banks

  39. camman68 says:

    @majortom1029: Actually, you can be insured up to $300,000 – if you have 3 beneficiaries.

  40. P41 says:

    @satoru: Crass financial guesses aside, one would expect that if (in your case) Merrill Lynch went under that

    1) people in positions like yours would realize it was too late and that lining up in the hot sun, starting fights to maintain their perceived position in line and crying to the cameras how they don’t trust the government anymore should reflect poorly on the customer and not anyone else.

    2) that although there’s practically zero history of losing money market funds from failed banks, that it should be generally agreed that the FDIC limit is a risk you’re taking and if someone has that much money in cash it’s their responsibility to find out if they’re exempt, and can well afford an attorney and should not be left sputtering ‘but but but some teller told me…’ and that goes doubly so with a place not with the well known name of Merrill Lynch but the place people must have thought was a huge international bank safe enough to exceed the $100k limit because it had all the $trillions from companies involved in the Indy 500, plus all the $trillions from people who got rich off the iMac. Me, I’d have worried it was a very small bank run by some family member of Bernie Mac.

    3) That if you actually had real business with the FDIC after a failure, such as whether you’ll be $150k poorer or not, or needing to show evidence of multiple beneficiaries, etc, that you’d probably be annoyed if there wasn’t a ‘$5000 fee to speak to a teller if you have less than $100k in this bank’ queue.

  41. P41 says:

    Oops sodonum not satoru

  42. Orv says:

    @P41: AFAIK money market accounts are not FDIC insured for any amount. They’re considered investment accounts.

  43. RChris173 says:

    Here is the reality of the situation. The FDIC itself is not true “insurance” in the event that it cannot pay out. It is limited by the way the law was written in 1933 and could pose a problem.


  44. wezelboy says:

    So, I’m reading that the FDIC is paying 50% on uninsured deposits?

    Seems like they are being kinda generous.

  45. sean77 says:

    @CreativeLinks: inflation is over 4% now. For June, inflation was just over 5%.

  46. Sudonum says:

    I assume you were referring to me and not satoru since I was the one who mentioned Merrill Lynch. In response to your comments:

    1. The government is not responsible for mine or my wife’s actions when it comes to money, except as it relates to what they do with our taxes.

    2. We have one our “due diligence” as it relates to our Merrill Lynch account independent of any information Merrill Lynch has given us. In the event we made a mistake, see #1.

    3. Huh? If you mean do I expect special treatment because of the size of our deposit or loss, no. I would expect good customer service based on our years of business with Merrill Lynch and all of the money they made off of us. And we do get that service currently. We have a “Personal Financial Adviser” that we can contact whenever we have any problems. For example, my wife wrote several thousand dollars worth of checks on the account recently. For no explainable reason M-L bounced the checks. We found out when a painter who did some work for us told us the check bounced. He told us on a Sunday. Monday morning my wife had a letter of apology from M-L which they told us to give a copy of to anyone else who’s check bounced. Furthermore, those people could use the letter (contact information provided on the letter) to have M-L pay their DOCUMENTED bank fees as a result of M-L mistakenly bouncing our check to them. Have you ever heard of any other bank stepping up like this AND covering the third party losses?

  47. Sudonum says:

    You are correct

  48. furseekr says:

    I posted this in another thread, but it’s appropriate here too:

    The $100K insurance limit is per ownership category, NOT per account (and the limit is $250K for retirement accounts).

    Credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which is essentially the same as FDIC.

    Your bank or CU should (actually must, by law) have a brochure available titled something like “Your FDIC (or NCUA) Insured Deposit” which explains in agonizing detail how it all works. The best thing to do if you are concerned about insurance limits is to go and talk to a bank/CU representative. They can explain how the limits work and help you set up your accounts so that all your funds are insured.

    This is COMPLETELY off the top of my head, but IIRC a married couple with 2 children can have funds of $1.4 million insured at a single institution as long as the accounts are set up properly.

    And to the person (in the other thread) who said taxpayers pay for the insurance payouts to customers of failed banks, this is not really true. Banks and CUs pay insurance premiums to FDIC or NCUA which cover the losses UNLESS things get really ugly like they did with savings and loans in the 80s. Then a government bailout is required. Older readers may remember the FSLIC which was like FDIC for S&Ls and died along with S&Ls in the 80s.

    Will things get really ugly with banks now and require a government bailout? Probably.