How Safe is Your Money? Here's How to Check

In these shaky economic times, consumers and businesses are rightly worried about protecting their finances. So how safe are your savings?

Most bank accounts, up to $100,000, are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

“For 75 years, no one has ever lost a penny of insured deposits,” says FDIC Chairwoman Sheila Bair. But, she adds, it is up to the consumer to know how FDIC coverage works in order to ensure that his or her money is protected.

First of all, log on to the FDIC Web site,, to make sure your bank is insured.

The FDIC also has set up an online tool – known as “EDIE the Estimator” – that consumers can used to get customized information about their accounts. It’s available at

Basic FDIC insurance covers up to $100,000 of deposits per bank holder per bank, or $200,000 for joint accounts. If you have more than that amount in one account, you can open another account at a different bank.

Most retirement accounts are protected up to $250,000.

Have more than $100,000 in a CD? You may want to check out the service offered by the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service (, which will help you protect up to $50 million in CDs.

Want to check on the health of your bank or credit union? You can find some helpful information online.

BauerFinancial Inc. compiles financial data that banks report to federal regulators and assigns Star Ratings to individual institutions that range from one star for “troubled” institutions to five stars for “superior.” Take note, however, that the company doesn’t vouch for the accuracy and completeness of the data.

Criteria used to determine the ratings include profitability/loss trends and evaluating the level of delinquent loans, repossessed assets, market versus book value of the investment portfolio, historical data and liquidity.

Check it out at

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