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Important Update: Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage

The FDIC deposit insurance rules have undergone a series of changes starting in the fall of 2008. As a result, certain previously published information related to FDIC insurance coverage may not reflect the current rules. For details about the changes, visit Changes in FDIC Deposit Insurance Coverage. For more information about FDIC insurance, go to www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits/index.html or call toll-free 1-877-ASK-FDIC (1-877-275-3342). For the hearing-impaired, the number is 1-800-925-4618.

Fall 2008 – Special Edition: Your New, Higher FDIC Insurance Coverage

"EDIE" Makes It Easy: FDIC Internet Site Analyzes Your Insurance Coverage

EDIE The Estimator

If your money is in an FDIC-insured bank and you stay within coverage limits, your funds are 100 percent safe. Under current rules in effect through December 31, 2009, if you (or your family) have $250,000 or less in all your accounts combined at the same bank, you're fully protected. But what if your accounts total more than $250,000 and you want to make sure all your money is fully insured by the FDIC? One of the best things you can do is consult EDIE — our online "Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimator"
— at www.FDIC.gov/EDIE.

EDIE can calculate your deposit insurance coverage for each FDIC-insured bank where you have deposit accounts — any time and anywhere you have access to the Internet.

EDIE also will provide you with a printable report for each bank that shows whether your deposits are within or exceed coverage limits. "EDIE's ability to provide insurance information about your accounts makes it much more useful than a brochure," said Kate Spears, an FDIC Senior Consumer Affairs Specialist.

EDIE also has been updated recently to make it easier to use and to reflect the new FDIC insurance rules (see Basic FDIC Insurance Coverage Temporarily Increased to At Least $250,000 Per Depositor).

In general, here's how EDIE works. You'll be asked to provide information about each account, including the name of the owner, the ownership type (such as single, joint, trust, retirement account or business), the balance, and the names of any beneficiaries. (You can type in substitute information if that would make you more comfortable.) Then click on the "calculate" button and EDIE will produce a report that says if you are fully insured or, if not, it shows where your deposits exceed the limits.

"With this information, you can talk to your banker about what you need to do to have your deposits fully insured," added Spears.

We believe that anyone who wants to check up on their FDIC insurance coverage should consider going to EDIE because:

You don't have to know the deposit insurance rules to calculate your insurance coverage using the EDIE system. EDIE is designed specifically so that even people who don't know the FDIC insurance rules can quickly and easily generate an accurate deposit insurance coverage report.

EDIE also provides a glossary of banking terms and answers to frequently asked questions about the FDIC's insurance rules.

You don't need a lot of computer skills. EDIE provides a set of tutorials with examples and step-by-step instructions.

You don't have to worry about protecting your privacy. First, the new EDIE is a secure site. More importantly, you will not be entering any personal information on a computer — EDIE doesn't ask for account numbers or Social Security numbers.

You also don't have to enter the real names of account owners and beneficiaries; you can instead type in first names only or even an alias. (John or Jane Doe, Husband or Wife, Child #1 or a similar description will work just fine.) To provide an accurate analysis, however, all account information entered, such as the type of account and the dollar amount, must be consistent with your bank account records, and the same substitute names must always be used for the same person.

Also, don't be concerned about the information you do enter because EDIE doesn't store any of the account details you key in and no information is sent over the Internet.

When entering business accounts, though, EDIE does ask you for an EIN — an Employer Identification Number — for each account. EINs are, however, public information.

The EIN is needed because "if you have deposits at a bank for more than one business, each business qualifies for its own FDIC insurance coverage up to $250,000, but only if it is separately incorporated from the other businesses, which is indicated by having a different EIN," explained Spears.

You don't even need to have direct access to the Internet from your home or office. You may be able to use EDIE at your bank (just ask a customer service representative), your local library (many let the public surf the Web for free), or the computer of a friend or relative.

Here's what one consumer wrote to us recently about how he used EDIE to make sure all his deposits were insured: "I found the EDIE calculator to be extremely useful — far more so than chart-based examples. In minutes I was able to enter everything and verify my coverage or exposure. Based on the EDIE report, which I printed and took to my bank, I was able to check and correct account titling errors and make adjustments to certain account balances."

So to be sure your hard-earned savings are protected no matter what, visit EDIE the Estimator. "If you're already familiar with how quick and easy EDIE is to use, tell your family and friends about it," added Spears, "so they can get what everybody needs most right now — peace of mind."

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Last Updated 5/26/2009