1

My wife and I share a Capital One savings account. It was mine before we married; when we did I made it a joint account by adding her. The account details within the bank site now show it as a "joint" account, but it also says that I am the "primary holder" and she is the "secondary holder".

FDIC insures $250k per account, per depositor. Probably a stupid question... but is this account covered up to $500k since we are both depositors? Does it make any difference that one of us is primary and one is secondary? I think this is just a nuance in the Capital One terminology, and as far as the FDIC is concerned, we are each equal depositors. But I wanted to ask to be sure.

2

The relevant portions of the FDIC's Your Insured Deposits brochure ("a comprehensive description... not intended as a legal interpretation") states that a joint account is insured up to $250k per depositor if it meets three conditions:

  1. All co-owners must be living people. Legal entities such as corporations, trusts, estates or partnerships are not eligible for joint account coverage.
  2. All co-owners must have equal rights to withdraw deposits from the account. For example, if one co-owner can withdraw deposits on his or her signature alone but the other co-owner can withdraw deposits only with the signature of both co-owners, the co-owners would not have equal withdrawal rights.
  3. All co-owners have personally signed, which may include signing electronically, a deposit account signature card, or alternatively, the insured bank has information in its deposit account records establishing co-ownership of the account. This requirement does not apply to CDs or accounts established by an agent, nominee, guardian, custodian, executor or conservator.

Capitol One's use of the terms "primary" and "secondary" would not seem to have any relevance unless it uses those terms to refer to not meeting conditions #2 or #3 above.

1
  • I am not positive about #3, so I should probably just call Cap1 and ask. But I did check, and my wife is alive. So we're good on #1. Thanks! :-)
    – The111
    Mar 1 '20 at 9:55

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