SAN ANTONIO – Turmoil at a few banks is giving some people a little anxiety, wondering just how safe their money is.
“First of all, keep calm,” said Matthew Goldberg, an analyst at Bankrate. “This is the time to check your FDIC insurance coverage to make sure, A, you are at an FDIC-insured bank.”
Most are. To be sure, you can check your bank’s website, ask them or use the Bankfind tool on the fdic.gov website.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protects depositors money in the event of a bank failure. Started 90 years ago, the FDIC says no depositor has ever lost a penny of insured money.
“The second thing, you want to make sure you’re not over the insurance limit,” Goldberg said.
If you have less than $250,000, you would get every dollar back. For joint accounts, the cap is $500,000. Amounts over that may or may not be lost.
An estimator tool called Edie on the FDIC website calculates how much coverage a depositor has for various deposit accounts and ownership categories.
FDIC deposit insurance covers checking accounts, savings accounts, money market deposit accounts, certificates of deposit, cashier’s checks, money orders, and NOW accounts.
It does not cover stock or bond investments, mutual funds, life insurance policies, annuities, safe deposit boxes, U.S. Treasury bills, bonds or notes, or Cryptocurrency.
Credit Unions are not covered under the FDIC but do have similar protections from the National Credit Union Administration.
If you have liquidity over the cap, one option is to spread your wealth and open another account at another FDIC-insured bank.
“We’re in this rising rate environment in the last year,” Goldberg said, “So, maybe open a high-yield savings account at an FDIC-insured online bank.”
That would supplement a separate account at the brick-and-mortar bank.
As for hiding life savings under the mattress, financial advisors don’t recommend it.
“That’s why the FDIC insurance exists,” Goldberg said. “They don’t want you to do that. They want you to have faith in the banking system.”