FDIC and NCUA Protect Your Deposits

You’ve probably heard the terms “NCUA insured” and “FDIC insured” in banking commercials. But what does each organization do, and how do they benefit account holders?

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent federal agency that insures customer deposits in the event of a bank failure. This insurance covers up to $250,000 per deposit account, per ownership category, per institution. 

Similarly, the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) is an independent federal agency that insures deposit accounts opened at credit unions up to $250,000. This organization operates in nearly the exact same fashion for credit unions as the FDIC does for banks. Let's take a look at what each organization covers, and how they benefit accountholders. 

FDIC – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 

The FDIC insures deposit accounts up to the $250,000 limit per account holder and institution. Qualifying accounts include:

  • Checking 
  • Savings
  • Money market
  • CD
  • IRA or 401(k)
  • Revocable trust
  • Irrevocable trust

These types of accounts are covered for both single and joint owners. Another thing to keep in mind about these accounts is what the FDIC and NCUA both refer to as “ownership categories.” This term refers to the account type – single or joint. For example, say you have $200,000 in a joint checking or savings account with your spouse, and $100,000 in a CD on your own. Since these accounts are separate ownership categories, your total assets of $300,000 would all be insured by both the FDIC and NCUA. (We'll get into more about the NCUA below.) 

The FDIC also doesn't cover every type of account offered by banks. Uninsured account types include:

  • Annuities
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • US Treasury bills, bonds or notes
  • Safe deposit box contents

Another note worth mentioning – banks aren't actually required to have FDIC insurance. You'll find most major banks opt for the coverage, though, simply because uninsured banks can't stay competitive with those that do. Always check with your bank to verify that you're protected. 

To learn more about what the FDIC covers, visit fdic.gov

NCUA - National Credit Union Association 

Just like the FDIC, the NCUA is a federal agency that insures deposit accounts up to $250,000. While the FDIC insures bank depositors, the NCUA's role is to insure credit union depositors. State-chartered credit unions like BECU often elect to carry NCUA insurance (and we do), but federal credit unions are actually not required to have NCUA insurance. 

Types of accounts covered by the NCUA include:

  • Checking
  • Savings
  • Money market
  • Share certificates 
  • Retirement accounts 
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts

Like FDIC insurance, the NCUA insures up to $250,000 per person, per ownership category, per financial institution. 

However, here's what the NCUA doesn't cover:

  • Annuities
  • Bonds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Mutual funds
  • Stocks
  • US Treasury bills, bonds or notes 

In addition, losses from investments aren't covered, as well as the contents of safe-deposit boxes. Similar to banks that elect to carry FDIC insurance, state-chartered credit unions aren't required to carry NCUA insurance, but most do for the sake of staying competitive.

To learn more about what the NCUA insures, visit ncua.gov

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