How does the FDIC bailout work?

Question/Comment: How does the FDIC bailout work? If I have an account in a failing bank, how much money must I have in the account to get the $100,000 bailout? Is it true that the bailout pertains to one $100,000 payment per person no matter how many accounts one has in failing banks? In other words one does not receive $100,000 per account, right? How many bailouts is one person entitled to in a lifetime?

Paul Solman: You need to have at least $100,000 in an account to get $100,000, right? What are you hoping: you deposit $1.75, the bank goes under and the government pays you $99,998 and a quarter? The “I” in FDIC stands for “insurance,” not “insane.”

Sorry to tease. I just couldn’t resist. Plus, I really shouldn’t, since I didn’t know the rest of the answers to your e-mail until this morning when, coincidentally, I called a bank to ask the same questions. Here’s what the EverBank of St. Louis, Mo., said:

“You’re insured for up to $100,000 on one account per person at any bank. If your partner/spouse/etc. opens an account, that would make two. And you can spread your money over as many different FDIC banks as you can find. So the number of bailouts, unless I’m misinformed, is only limited by the number of banks.”