The FDIC - short for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - is an independent agency of the United States government. The FDIC was created by Congress in 1933 to make the savings of millions of Americans secure. The FDIC protects depositors against the loss of their insured deposits if an FDIC-insured bank or savings association fails. FDIC insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.
If a depositor's accounts at one FDIC-insured bank or savings association total $250,000 or less, the deposits are fully insured. A depositor can have more than $250,000 at one insured bank or savings association and still be fully insured provided the accounts meet certain requirements.
FDIC insures all types of deposits received by a financial institution in its usual course of business. For example, savings and checking accounts, NOW accounts, Christmas club accounts, and time deposits (including certificates of deposit, "CDs") are all subject to FDIC insurance coverage. Cashiers' checks, officers' checks, expense checks, loan disbursement checks, interest checks, outstanding drafts, negotiable instruments and money orders drawn on the institution are also considered deposits, and so are also protected by FDIC. Collectively, these types of instruments are referred to as "official checks." For example, a cashier's check is a type of official check.
Certified checks, letters of credit, and travelers' checks, for which an insured depository institution is primarily liable, also are insured when issued in exchange for money or its equivalent, or for a charge against a deposit account.
For more detailed information, go to the FDIC website.