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IndyMac Lesson: Check for FDIC Insurance

Note: this category does not include retirement accounts, such as IRAs and Keogh accounts. Those accounts have a separate $250,000 insurance limit -- and that limit is based on the total of all retirement accounts for that person added together. (You cannot increase that insurance amount by adding different beneficiaries for the retirement accounts.)

Joint Accounts: These are deposit accounts owned by two or more people. If both owners have equal rights to withdraw money from a joint account, each person's shares of all joint accounts at the same insured bank are added together, and the total is insured up to $100,000.

If a couple has a joint checking account and a joint savings account at the same insured bank, each co-owner's shares of the two accounts are added together and insured up to $100,000, providing up to $200,000 in coverage for the couple's joint accounts.

Under FDIC rules, each person's share of each joint account is considered equal unless otherwise stated in the bank's records.

Revocable Living Trusts: These are formal revocable trusts created for estate planning purposes. The owner of a living trust controls the deposits in the trust during his or her lifetime.

Deposit insurance coverage for revocable trust accounts is based on each owner's trust relationship with each qualifying beneficiary. While the trust owner is the insured party, coverage is provided for the interests of each beneficiary in the account. The FDIC insures the interests of each beneficiary up to $100,000 for each owner, subject to certain restrictions on how the account is titled and who is named as beneficiary.
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