Deposit insurance is a system which guarantees that money deposited into an insured financial institution will be protected and returned to the depositor, even if the institution fails.

Recent collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank have shone a spotlight on deposit insurance. This is how it operates.

WELLESLEY, MA - March 10: Customers wait in line outside the Silicone Valley Bank just before the ... [+] FDIC closed it on March 10, 2023 in Wellesley, Massachusetts (Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)MediaNews Group via Getty Images
On March 10, 2023, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) closed the Silicone Valley Bank in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Prior to the closure, customers were seen waiting in line outside the bank, showing their commitment to the local financial institution. The FDIC is responsible for protecting depositors of financial institutions by providing insurance for their deposits in the event of the bank's failure. Even though the FDIC acts to protect depositors, the closure of the Silicone Valley Bank still came as a shock to the community.

The last few months have seen multiple banks fail, prompting a closer look at deposit insurance. In the cases of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was able to guarantee full repayment of deposits, though the official guarantee is limited to up to $250,000. The FDIC does, however, recognize exceptions for multiple account holders, as well as various account types.

"Understand How Deposit Insurance Protects Your Money"

In response to the bank failures experienced during the Great Depression, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was formed in 1933 by the Emergency Banking Act. The FDIC is now at the forefront of the issue, providing vital protection and assurance to customers that their deposits remain secure. By insuring deposits in banks, the FDIC has provided a foundation to help rebuild the confidence of the American people in the banking industry.

Panic! Bank Runs Threaten Financial Stability

A bank run - when depositors rush to withdraw their money all at once - can be a serious threat to the stability of even a well-funded financial institution. As more people rush to take out their deposits, a bank can be forced to sell corresponding assets in a hurry, resulting in a potential collapse. With this in mind, anyone who has deposits at a bank and whose money is not insured should act quickly if they see others withdrawing their money. Failing to do so could lead to a substantial loss.

In an effort to protect consumer bank accounts, the government has established deposit insurance for banks, ensuring that those with deposits of under $250,000 will be reimbursed even if the bank should collapse. This insurance is seen as a vital safeguard against the devastating effects of bank runs, which can occur when a wave of emotions cause a snowballing effect of customers withdrawing their deposits all at once. But this insurance has proved to be less effective in the case of Silicon Valley Bank, which had many customers with deposits of more than $250,000. This is a concerning situation, as it serves as a reminder of the fragility of the banking system and the importance of government protections.

As the government moves to guarantee all bank deposits, economists warn of a potential moral hazard. If banks know that all their deposits are insured, they may be more likely to take on extra risks, which could lead to disastrous consequences. This is why the banking sector is one of the most highly regulated industries, and why the government has limited the amount of insured deposits to $250,000. While the move to insure all deposits could have positive effects on the economy, it is important to remain wary of the potential risks.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has made a landmark announcement that depositors holding more than $250,000 in banks will only be repaid in the event of a systemic collapse. This rule has caused a mass shift of large deposits to bigger banks, as they are more likely to be deemed critical to the financial system as a whole. The new rule has caused uncertainty among depositors, who are struggling to determine which banks are more "systemically important" in comparison to others. It remains to be seen how this new rule will affect the banking system, but it has already created a ripple effect across the industry.

It’s important to make sure your deposits are insured, and fortunately, the FDIC has you covered. With over 4,000 banks insured by the FDIC in the U.S., it’s easy to check whether your bank participates in the FDIC scheme. All you need to do is visit the FDIC’s website,, to find out if your bank is FDIC insured. Credit unions should be aware that they are not insured by the FDIC, though they do have their own similar scheme, the NCUA, which also provides up to $250,000 of deposit insurance. Additionally, the FDIC scheme only covers U.S. institutions; other countries have similar schemes in place.

Choose the Right Account Type for You!

Consumers across the country have been advised to ensure their bank account type is insured. According to FDIC guidelines, deposits like checking accounts, money market deposit accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) are FDIC insured. However, other investment products such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, crypto, life insurance, annuities, the contents of safety deposit boxes, and U.S. Treasury bonds and bills are not FDIC insured, even if purchased through a financial institution. Consumers are warned to be aware of this fact, as any documentation associated with these products will likely have terms such as 'not guaranteed', 'subject to investment risks', and 'risk of loss of principle', among others.

Investing with deposit insurance may not be the only goal for the average investor, but it is worth considering as a viable option. According to recent studies, these products have often provided higher returns than traditional deposits, although with some fluctuations in performance over time. Risk tolerance and investment needs are always factors to consider when selecting an investment option, so it's important to weigh all the options and select the one that best fits your goals.

Are you unsure if your deposit is fully insured? There is good news! The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) offers deposit insurance up to $250,000 per beneficiary and per qualifying account type at the same bank. That means if your deposit meets the two tests established by the FDIC and is under $250,000, it should be fully insured. But what if you have more than $250,000 deposited in an account with multiple beneficiaries? You may still be insured for more than $250,000, but it is important to consider what other accounts those individuals also hold at the same bank. Additionally, different account types at the same bank can also be subject to individual $250,000 limits. So, if you have any questions about whether your deposit is fully insured, be sure to check with the FDIC for more information.

"Maximize Your Profits: Discover Investment Strategies"

For those with more than $250,000 invested in a single institution, fear not: there are strategies to ensure your money is safe. By spreading your funds across multiple qualifying accounts, adding beneficiaries to accounts, or transferring portions of the deposit over $250,000 to a different institution, you can increase the amount of money you have insured. This allows you to increase the amount of security that you have, while giving you peace of mind.

Discover What You Can Do Now!

Peace of mind for most people with a checking account under $250,000 has been restored, thanks to the FDIC insurance that covers it. Banking failures and their associated nuances are no longer a concern, as long as the account is within the FDIC insurance limits.