Dear Dr. Don,
If you have more than $400,000 in various accounts at a credit union and all the accounts are joint accounts owned by a husband and wife, is the $150,000 over the $250,000 FDIC limit not insured? Are the joint account totals insured for $250,000 or $500,000?
-- Edward Ensure
Credit unions have a separate insurance fund called the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, or NCUSIF, that covers federally insured credit unions. The insurance limits mirror those of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. FDIC- and NCUSIF-insured deposits are backed by their respective insurance funds and the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
The National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA, Share Insurance FAQ presents the answer to your question on insurance limits for joint accounts, which I've presented here:
What is the NCUSIF insurance amount?
Properly established member accounts in federally insured credit unions are insured up to the Standard Maximum Share Insurance Amount, or SMSIA. The basic insurance amount is $250,000 per individual account holder, per federally insured credit union. This includes principal and posted dividends up to a total of $250,000. Joint account holders are insured up to $250,000 per joint account holder, per federally insured credit union. For example, an account with two joint account holders is insured for $500,000 separately from the holders' individual accounts. This includes principal and posted dividends. IRA and KEOGH accounts are insured, separate from other accounts, up to $250,000 per institution, including principal and posted dividends.
So your joint accounts are covered up to $500,000, and that coverage is separate from the $250,000 coverage for individual accounts. The NCUA provides an E-Calculator, short for the Electronic Share Insurance Calculator, on its website. You can also vet your credit union using the NCUA's "Is My Credit Union Federally Insured?" Web page.
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